Lucas Co. pit bull policies in limbo

After a week filled with news of bloody pit bull attacks, the breed is back in the spotlight Tuesday.

The Lucas County Board Commissioners voted to two to one to table allowing the new dog warden to make policy for her department, specifically in choosing whether to adopt out pit bulls.

Voices rose and tempers flared during the meeting as Commissioner Ben Konop argued in vain for permitting the Dog Warden Julie Lyle to change policy at the shelter.

"She's qualified, she's progressive, she's educated, she's trained, she's had the experience. She should be making the decisions and by making policy that means the policy of which dogs to kill and which dogs not to kill," said Konop.

But Commissioners Tina Wozniak and Pete Gerken maintained that granting Lyle policy-making responsibility would be giving her an abnormal amount of power.

"To bring in a resolution that says specifically one director has a different set of authorities than all of the rest is bad policy," said Gerken.

Tuesday's vote tabled the issue. And one reason Gerken felt that was the best choice is that Wednesday, the Toledo Area Humane Society Board of Directors is voting on whether to allow pit bull adoptions.

"At this point we don't have a transfer place for those pit bulls," said Gerken. "Our contract is with the humane society. Their policy at this point is no. That policy may change tomorrow."

If the humane society votes "yes" to start adopting out pit bulls, the county will then have an option other than euthanization for those dogs.

The Toledo Area Humane Society says if the change is approved, pit bulls will undergo additional testing before being made available to the public.