Pit Bull Discrimination?
About half of the dogs euthanized in the past two months in Putnam County, were pit bull breeds, according to the Sheriff's Office, which has run animal control there for the past 11 years.
"I'm appalled that he would make such a statement, that's a complete lie, I'm outraged," said Michelle Dunlap, a Gainesville animal rescuer.
Dunlap and many others are unhappy with Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy, who says it's a 10-year-old policy: pit bulls are not allowed to be adopted from the county's shelter.
"She's in my living room right now, she's definitely from Putnam County Animal Services," said Dunlap, who claims she's pulled several pit bulls from Putnam County in recent years, like Aspen in 2009.
"Let the rescue take the dog, and work with the dog, and adopt the dog out," she said.
Dunlap and many others are speaking out, after a rumored 17 pit bulls were euthanized last Friday.
The Sheriff's Office says 16 dogs were euthanized, and 8 were pit mixes.
Deputies declined an on-camera interview, but released this statement saying animals are euthanized to provide room for future animals, and changes to their pit bull terrier adoption policy are being evaluated.
Dunlap says not every pit bull is going to kill, like the two who mauled and killed 74-year-old Roy McSweeny of Putnam County in June of 2011.
A tragedy, but according to Dunlap, not a pass to discriminate.
"It is not okay to euthanize pit bulls simply because they are pit bulls, if they are a good dog, no matter the breed, the dog needs to be rescued," she said.
Many have accused the Sheriff's Office of being in violation of state statue that prohibits local governments from discriminates against a breed of dog.
Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Deputy Hancel Woods says they've consulted their legal council and they're not in violation of any state laws.
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