Pit bull adoptions no longer restricted in Toledo

The Toledo Area Humane Society has decided to reverse its long-standing policy on pit bull adoptions.

The group's Board of Directors says, effectively immediately, they will put in place procedures and begin moving towards the adoption of pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs, despite the State of Ohio's view that the breed is "inherently vicious."

TAHS feels that the particular breed of animal should not be discriminated against, despite the state's consideration as well as strong public opinion.

The Humane Society says they will require several conditions be met, beyond normal adoption procedures, before adopting out pit bulls to adopters. The conditions include requiring all family members (including all other family dogs) to meet the pit bull prior to adoption, mandatory attendance of dog training classes, and proof of liability insurance.

Before adopting out pit bulls, TAHS says they will do the following:

--Will only put a pit bull up for adoption if it scores exceptionally well on SAFER (Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming) test and passes screening including extra dog-dog interaction, dog-cat interaction, food and possession guarding, and a trial period in a foster home.

--Conduct initial counseling with prospective adopters that covers breed characteristics, pit bull laws, and public perceptions and issues surrounding pit bull ownership.

--Perform criminal background check on prospective adopters in Ohio and Michigan, and disqualify any prospective adopter with a criminal history that includes drugs, weapons, violent crime, dog fighting or animal cruelty.

--Visit the home of prospective adopters to confirm conditions are suitable and meet the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code.

TAHS says they will limit the number of adult pit bulls available for adoption to a maximum of two at any time. Adoption fees for the breed will also be higher than the fees charged for adoption of other breeds.