New 'Power Breed' Ordinance to Start in Minneapolis

Updated: 05/28/2014 8:28 PM
Created: 05/28/2014 4:40 PM
By: Brandi Powell

Thousands of animals come into the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) every year.

Many of those include the so-called "bully" or "power" breed dogs. Those include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman Pinchers. Some animal lovers and city leaders are saying operations at MACC aren't fair for these breeds of dogs.

"This is Sophie," said Danielle Bourdeaux-DeGree, a dog-lover. "She's a 2 1/2 year old American Pit bull Terrier." Bourdeaux-DeGree hopes more Pit Bulls like Sophie, will soon find homes.

The current policy at MACC does not allow you to adopt "power" breeds. Instead, they are sent to other shelters or are euthanized.

"I just, I don't think it's fair, there's a lot of people in the public that would adopt these dogs and they're not allowing that to happen," said Bourdeaux-DeGree.

However, a new ordinance that goes into effect June 5, will allow the public to adopt Pit Bulls and others like it for the first time.

MACC is city run, and while we couldn't talk to anyone who works there, the city talked to us about the changes.

Minneapolis City Councilmember Andrew Johnson, who is passionate about saving dogs, says he believes there have been problems at MACC. "I think in the past there have been some questionable euthanasias at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control," Johnson said. "There have been some issues raised by previous volunteers about their experience."

MACC doesn't currently do behavioral testing, which is a process that determines if a dog is adoptable. However, the new ordinance will change that.

"I think that would be a good idea, and I think that would help with public adoption too," Boudreaux-DeGree said.

Still, some animal lovers say they'd like to see dogs get several behavioral tests, and even to have those videotaped tests posted online.

Next week, a new executive director starts at MACC, who is someone new to the organization.

Johnson says he's hopeful that too will be a good change.


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