GALLIPOLIS — Both the Gallia County Canine Shelter and the Friends of Gallia County’s Animals are collaborating in a push to find local and abandoned pit bull dogs homes and sponsors.
According to Gallia County Dog Warden Laurie Cardillo, Autumn Thomas-Walter and other “Friends” volunteers have been making efforts to collect local pit bulls from the shelter and abroad in an attempt to get sponsors for the dogs to be spayed and neutered, as well as vetted for medical care.
“We’ve (the shelter) been donating vouchers that were paid for in the past but never used towards this,” Cardillo said. “We call it ‘No Pit Bull Left Behind.’”
Thomas-Walter recently pulled a pit bull named Caramel from the shelter who had a penchant for shyness and had been a longtime resident of the facility. Thomas-Walter is also anticipated to pick up another dog named Walt from the shelter.
“In the past, pit bull rescues were full and pit bulls are very hard to place (get homes),” Cardillo said. “I feel like it’s a step forward in a new direction because the ‘Friends’ have not regularly focused on just pit bulls. They’ve done lots of other animals for rescue. These two dogs they pulled are on a trial basis to see how the (initiative) goes and that might open up new doors.”
Cardillo said she has been attending regular “Friends” meetings and that is another step in the right direction as a few years ago controversies between the Gallia County Canine Shelter and the “Friends” group had caused friction. The two organizations have been making strides to forget a marred past.
Shelter workers and “Friends” members will tell you “it’s all about the animals.”
“The hope is that getting sponsors for spayed and neutered pit bulls will help get them moved into a rescue,” Cardillo said.
“It makes older dogs or dogs at a disadvantage have a better chance at getting out of shelters,” said “Friends” volunteer Susan Green. “Maybe things will change. I sure hope so.”
Cardillo said the majority of the dogs in the shelter currently are pit bulls or mixes.
Studies remain conflicted as to whether the pit bull is considered a dangerous category of dog. Gallipolis made possessing the breed category illegal a few years ago after the result of an attack on a young woman in 2009. The dogs have remained illegal to possess within city limits since, although no specific legislation exists against other breeds such as the doberman or rottweiler.
Dean Wright can be reached at (7400 446-2342, Ext. 2103.