The 72 volatile dogs, which can't be adopted, have bitten workers, cost taxpayers $60,000.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
DAYTON â€” Scars mar the dogs' faces, forelegs and bodies. Several have slips of ears, sliced straight across, apparently with scissors. Most bark furiously at visitors, some propelling their muscled bodies several feet vertically into the air, banging against their cage bars, growling and baring their teeth.
Visitors are warned against touching them and told to remove coats that could brush against cages and be grabbed in a dog's strong jaws. Volunteers are reluctant to get near them.
Montgomery County is struggling to care for pit bulls seized last year in dogfighting investigations in Dayton
And people hunting for lost dogs are no longer allowed to freely patrol the corridors of the Montgomery County Animal Control Center's kennels because the 72 American pit bull terriers living there are so dangerous, said center director Mark Kumpf.
The dogs were confiscated in raids by Dayton police, starting in July, during suspected dogfighting investigations. The animals have been housed by the county â€” at a cost to taxpayers of about $60,000 as the cases go through the courts. Five Dayton men face felony dogfighting charges.
Meanwhile, center staff face a daily battle with some of the dogs. Several workers have been bitten, mostly breaking up fights between the dogs when they are removed from cages for cleaning or exercise, Kumpf said. Some shred hard plastic flooring in their cages, destroy drain covers and tear water bowls off the wall. Barriers are attached to several cages so the dog inside won't be driven to a frenzy by the sight of another dog.
The center is once again accepting stray animals, after putting cages and kennels in hallways and the garage. Built to hold about 100 dogs and cats, it now operates at 145 percent of capacity, and additional workers were hired to care for animals, Kumpf said.
The 72 pit bulls likely will be euthanized, although the county has held off because of the court cases. But they cannot be adopted out â€” Ohio law prohibits it for pit bulls â€” and they are too volatile to go to rescue groups, said Amy Wiedeman, director of administrative services.
"I don't feel that any of us would feel comfortable that these dogs should go anywhere," she said. "We believe they were primarily used for dogfighting. Rehabilitation for that, we don't think is going to happen."
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.