Darke Co. pit bull policy sparks petition

An online petition circulating is seeking change by Darke County commissioners on treatment of unlicensed pit bulls in the county.

For several years now, Darke County’s animal shelter has had a policy that it does not adopt out unlicensed, stray pit bulls that come into the facility, said Darke County Dog Warden Duane Sanning.

In the last month, a petition appeared online at Change.org with now over 5,000 signatures asking the Darke County commissioners to change their policy. Those 5,000 signatures include people across the U.S. and overseas.

Sanning said licensed pit bulls brought into the facility are returned to their owner. But it’s the unlicensed pit bulls that will be held for the three days required by law, and often longer, Sanning said, before being euthanized.

Calls to surrounding counties reveal little to no restrictions on pit bull adoptions as found in Darke County.

The Animal Resource Center in Montgomery County, as well as Greene County Animal Control, have no restrictions in place for those wanting to adopt pit bulls, officials said.

“We don’t discriminate on breed of dog; we treat every dog the same,” said Mick Sagester, shelter supervisor.

The Animal Friends Humane Society in Butler County said while it does adopt out pit bulls, it has a policy in place regarding pit bulls. Adopters of pit bulls must own their home and not be renters, due to some renters insurance policies not covering the pit bull breed, according to shelter staff.

The city of Fairfield in Butler County does not permit pit bulls in city limits.

Clark County and Warren County animal shelters have no restrictions on pit bulls, shelter officials said Monday. A dog’s adoptability is based on successful health and behavior tests.

Champaign County’s animal shelter was closed Monday.

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