The Toledo Area Humane Society board of directors Wednesday afternoon voted to change its long standing policy of not adopting "pit bull" and "pit bull"-type dogs to the public.
Effective immediately, the humane society said it will put the procedures in place and begin moving toward "pit bull" adoptions.
Acknowledging that the state of Ohio considers "pit bulls" to be "inherently vicious" and there is a lot of strong public opinion about the animals, the humane society said there will be several conditions on their adoptions above and beyond regular adoption procedures.
Besides requiring that all family members (including other family dogs) meet the "pit bull" prior to adoption, mandatory attendance in dog training classes and proof of liability, the following conditions must be met:"pit bulls" will only be put up for adoption if they score exceptionally well on a number of tests, including dog-dog interaction, dog-cat interaction, food and possession guarding screening, and a trial period in a foster home.
All prospective adopters will have an initial counseling session which will cover breed characteristics, pit bull laws, and public perceptions and issues around pit bull ownership. Prospective adopters will be given a written summary of this counseling and be required to sign that they have read and understand the materials provided.Humane society staff will do a criminal background check on prospective adopters which covers convictions in Ohio and Michigan, and disqualify any potential adopter with drug, weapons or violent crime convictions or convictions for dog fighting or animal cruelty.Staff members will visit the home of prospective adopters prior to adoption to confirm that conditions where the adopted dog will be housed are suitable and meet the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code.