Albuquerque. Nm Activists question pit bull euthanization

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Postby cheekymunkee » June 26th, 2008, 11:53 pm

Activists question pit bull euthanization

A controversy is brewing over a pit bull at one of Albuquerque's animal shelters. Shelter employees say they put the dog down because it was aggressive, but an employee and animal activists question that decision.

Wiggles, a 2-year-old pit bull, is at the center of the controversy.

Wiggles was brought to the Westside Animal Shelter in early April. After about six weeks, some people took interest in the dog, and contacted animal behavioral expert Diane Sullivan to check him out.

Sullivan evaluated Wiggles on two different occasions, and decided he was adoptable.

But four days later, shelter employees determined the dog was dangerous, so the dog was euthanized.

"Four days before that dog was put down, I would have never made that determination, and I don't see dogs turning that fast," said Sullivan.

Animal welfare workers say Wiggles showed aggression toward other dogs by barking and snarling.

"They don't make that determination lightly, if you see everyday the look on their faces when they have to go through that, and when you're here everyday getting to know the pets, it's not a real simple thing to do," said Rick DeReyes of the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department.

Animal advocates say they would like to see the leadership changed at city shelters. They also say that they want dogs to have the option of getting behavioral modification treatment rather than being euthanized.

Jodi Preis
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