Minneapolis may allow residents to adopt stray pit bulls

A (cute) American pit bull terrier.
Last week, the Minneapolis City Council approved an ordinance allowing residents to maintain feral cat colonies. Now, council is considering something along the same lines for stray pit bulls and other so-called "bully breeds."

SEE ALSO: Schoep, the famous Lake Superior dog, dies at age 20

The ordinance would allow licensed residents to adopt dogs directly from the city's Animal Care & Control department. Currently, the city works with a handful of rescue groups to place stray and owner-surrendered dogs with owners, but because the number of dogs the city deals with is more than the rescue groups can handle, about half of the "bully breed" dogs under Animal Control's care end up being euthanized.

According to MPR, Minneapolis euthanized 152 adoptable animals last year. That number is down 75 percent from five years ago, but council member Gary Schiff thinks the city can do even better.

"Deciding whether or not a dog is potentially dangerous by the breed is very ineffective and sometimes inaccurate," Schiff, a sponsor of the proposed ordinance, told MPR. "It's more effective for the city now to do individual behavioral assessments of an animal and to screen potential adopters to make sure that people are ready for the challenges that a bully breed may have."

A Star Tribune feature from May 2012 quoted Annie Piper, an animal control officer who covers north Minneapolis, as saying that some people in that part of town "have [pit bulls] because they're scared, other people as a status symbol."

"You see people doing their strut down the street in the parade of pit bulls -- 'Look at me, we have tough dogs so we're tough guys,'" she said.

According to the Strib report, early last year, volunteers began posting photos of euthanized dogs on Facebook. Twenty two of the first 24 were "bully breeds," a category that includes pit bulls, American Staffordshire terriers, and Staffordshire bull terriers, among others.

The "bully breed" ordinance comes before council's Public Safety Committee today. If it's approved there, it advances to the full City Council.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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Gunnar Neil Berg
Gunnar Neil Berg

Love dogs. Feral cat colonies? Feral cats kill an estimated 500 millions birds a year. 500,000,000! Kill ALL feral cats on sight.

Michelle Balsimo
Michelle Balsimo

Good news for bully breeds. Time to end the breed specific discrimination.


Greetings - Please be more thorough in your reporting. First of all, it isn't just "stray pit bulls" that currently cannot be adopted from MACC. "Bully breeds" include anything from English and French bulldogs and mixes to Boxers and Sharpeis. Second, many of these dogs are owner surrenders, not strays. Third, the total euthanization rate at MACC is 40% - 36% of the animals that enter MACC are determined to be unadoptable, a very high percentage compared with animal controls in Seattle, Wa., and Portland, Ore, for instance. Shoddy reporting just to incite knee jerk reactions is poor practice.


@jdhovland Yeah, there are a lot of errors like that lately. I don't know if a 2nd person is reading it before posting.


@edgeazoo It would be awesome if you could share your information without being a jerk about it.

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