MACC Changes Policy: 'Power Breeds' Can Now be Adopted

Updated: 06/05/2014 7:28 PM
Created: 06/05/2014 6:38 PM
By: Brandi Powell

If you've wanted to adopt a pit bull, Rottweiler or Dobermann pincher from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control - or MACC - now, you can. Thursday is the first day of MACC's new pet adoption policy.

Several nine-week-old baby pit bulls were among the first “power breeds” ready to be adopted from MACC.

"I think it's one of the most wonderful days that I've seen, because I have been in love with pit bull dogs for a very long time," said Minneapolis resident Jolene Behnke.

Previously, if you wanted to add a pit bull to your family, you had to go to a rescue group or breeder.

For the most part, these "power breeds" were euthanized.

"It was really breaking our hearts to see some of these really great dogs get put down and we're really excited that now they have a level playing field and a fair chance to get into a good, loving home," Behnke said.

Twenty-five new adoption counselors will be on hand to help make good matches.

Before that happens, the dogs will get "behavioral testing" by a vet, a vet tech or someone who works around animals for several hours a day - to make sure they aren't a threat to people.

"If I have a dog that comes in that is shy, a little fearful, shut down, a little wigged out because of how it came into the building, we're not even going to do that test today," Jeanette Weidemeier Bower with MACC.

The new ordinance is one of several big changes.

According to MACC, it euthanized 60 percent of its "power breeds" in 2010. In 2014, that number was just 19 percent.

Pit bull lovers, like Jolene Behnke, hope this trend continues. "I think it's going to be good for everybody, good for the people who adopt them and certainly good for the dogs who make it out of here alive."

This new ordinance does not mean that all power breeds coming into the shelter will be considered adoptable.

If they're deemed too dangerous, they'll go to a rescue group that deals specifically with pit bulls and Rottweilers. And while you many want to bring home many of these cute puppies, only one “power breed” will be adopted out at a time.

City law allows for a maximum of three animals per household, unless you have a special permit.

Photo: KSTP-TV

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