Jan 11, 2018 - Shelter & Rescue    3 Comments

Veterinarian Speaks Out About Dangerous Adoption Practices

After speaking out over conditions at the Muskingum County Dog Warden & Adoption Center with county commissioners, Dr. Brian Williams is hopeful that positive changes will occur.

At the core of the veterinarian’s frustration is the issue of adopting out dogs that are known to be aggressive:

“It was supposed to be my decision if an animal was adopted,” Williams said. “The warden continues to adopt dogs out after I have flagged them as bite dogs,” he continued.

Some of these dogs were adopted and returned more than once because they proved to be aggressive, according to Williams.

“One dog was brought into my clinic by the owner to be euthanized. It had already been returned by two previous owners and she didn’t want it to be adopted a fourth time knowing how aggressive it was.”

This carelessness is obviously an immediate risk to public safety (there are, unfortunately, numerous examples to choose from), but as a trend, it also threatens the mission of rescue as a whole. Adopting out aggressive dogs because one desires to be more “humane” or to increase live release rates accomplishes neither goal. As family members, including pets, are harmed, word inevitably gets out, and every incident that occurs tarnishes the reputation of rescue among prospective adopters. And when people opt out of adoption because they are concerned about dogs with dangerous behavioral issues, it harms rescues’ goal of finding homes for all healthy, adoptable pets. We hope Dr. Williams’ concerns are taken seriously and addressed.



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  • Hannahoneybee

    Everyone who is paying attention is frustrated by this trend.

  • wilkinak

    Somewhat local to me, within ~ 150mi radius, two women have been killed by recently adopted pit bulls. The first was within hours of receiving the dog, the second was after a couple weeks. There needs to legal responsibility attached to adopting out dogs.

    It has gotten to the point that there should be a written disclosure, signed by both parties, if an adoption dog has been previously cited as dangerous, or was slated for euthanasia for aggression, especially for cross state adoptions.

    It’s to the point that there needs to be federal guidance for dog adoptions, to limit the fraud and put the priority on saving human lives.