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Posted on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

HSHV hopes to sterilize 50 more pit bulls free of charge before July

By Tom Perkins

Since Ypsilanti Township passed an ordinance requiring its residents to sterilize their pit bulls, the Humane Society of Huron Valley has offered to do so for free through grant funding from PetSmart.

The township and HSHV are hoping to receive another round of funding, but must use the remaining grant money to sterilize 50 more pit bulls by June 30.


In October 2010, Ypsilanti Township passed an ordinance requiring sterilizations for Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers or certain mixed-breeds.

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To sweeten the deal, the HSHV is offering the chance to win a flat-screen television for residents who bring in their pit bulls.

The grant provided $72,000 for 900 sterilizations, and so far 850 pit bulls have been spayed or neutered as part of the program. The HSHV would be able to point to the program’s success in its effort to secure more funding if it can complete all the sterilizations before the deadline.

Jenny Paillon , HSHV director of operations, said the agency loves the breed, but pit bulls make up 50 percent of their intake and one breed dominating that statistic means there is a problem with their value in the community.

“Making sure our companion animals are spayed/neutered is an important and positive step toward stopping overpopulation, which creates neglect, homelessness and needless euthanasia,” she said.

In October 2010, Ypsilanti Township passed an ordinance requiring sterilizations for Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers or any mixed breed exhibiting five out of eight physical characteristics outlined within the ordinance.

There was a two-year sunset clause built into the ordinance and the Board of Trustees made the law permanent in October of 2012.

The number of pit bulls brought into the HSHV, either for running loose, being involved in dog fights or just to be euthanized, prompted the ordinance.

According to Humane Society statistics, pit bulls accounted for 50 percent of the dogs euthanized in 2010, and Ypsilanti Township accounted for nearly 50 percent of the shelter’s pit bull intake.

In 2009, 237 pit bulls were brought into the Humane Society from Ypsilanti Township. That number dropped to 135 in 2012 after the law’s implementation.

The number of dogs euthanized during that time frame also decreased from 139 to 58.

“If we sterilize this heavily overpopulated breed, then we will have safer communities from a public health and safety standpoint, and a community consciousness,” Paillon said. “Sterilized dogs live healthier lives, communities have less unsocialized stray dogs roaming freely and we have less pit bulls coming to our shelter for possible euthanasia.”

Mike Radzik, director of the township’s office of community standards, said the township also fully supports the ordinance and feels it has been a success.

“This law has made a substantial impact on the pit bull population, which was the whole point,” he said. “We continue to want to encourage sterilization of pit bulls and continue to control their population in the township, so it’s important that the funding source can be renewed.”

Residents who violate the law face criminal misdemeanor charges punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.



Sat, Jun 8, 2013 : 5:09 a.m.

Sure wish people would at least educate themselves on topic before reciting a stereo typical response... Pits can be dog aggressive.. that is true.. but with the right temperament and training.are very great family pets.. im not an expert but have done at least some research on the breed, since i live in an area that seems to have high population of them...and have considered inviting a pit to be part of our family. my neighbor has one, and he is big and slobbery, likes to jump up to say hi, but i have never felt threatened by him.. he seems to get along with my boys but there is always a fence between them... bottom line.. don't always assume that just because its a pit bull that its aggressive!

Debbie Bell

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:48 a.m.

What wonderful news! "Good job" to all who made it happen. Everyone sane and compassionate wins; all dogs win, especially the pits/pit mixes themselves. Those who monger pits should not object, even if at some point, in some areas, pit bulls become few and far between. Those who want pits/pit mixes can simply adopt any homeless dog and manage / train that dog to be their beloved companion.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:03 a.m.

A few days ago I watched from my front porch as a neighbor walked her new pit puppy (quessing around 4 months of age) along the sidewalk. Approaching from the opposite direction was yet another dog owner walking her adult small breed (Poodle-ish looking) companion. As the two dogs came closer the pit puppy took off and attacked the other dog. Being the dogs were on leashes they were pulled apart before any harm was done. This puppy was doubtfully raised in an abusive/aggressive environment so having witnessed this attack I can not help but believe these dogs are by nature aggressive.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

If this is not a "breed thing" and puppies just naturally react aggressively until socialized, then everybody who gets a new puppy should be aware of this and not allow their pups to get too close to other dogs right away. Granted I haven't been around a lot of dogs/puppies but I have never heard of puppies as a general rule being aggressive towards other dogs. It was quite obvious to me this neighbor was quite surprised by her pit pup's sudden reactive and aggressive behavior towards the oncoming dog. She obviously thought she had everything under control. My point is, with pits and similar breeds you can never know if you have everything under control. and their bites can be much more severe than other dog bites. What if this had been a child walking this aforementioned dog - do you think the child would have been able to get his/her dog out of harms way? And his or herself as well?

Catherine Wright

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

Any dog or puppy not socialized around other animals will react this way. It's not a breed thing it's a dog thing. The difference between a Chihuahua (numbers are more than a Pit) attack and a Pit Bull is that their bites are different and Pit's are stronger. It's all in the way you train your animal. Socialization is key to having a dog like other dogs.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

Sorry, but these days no one should own a pit bull unless the get a special license, have proven they know how to handle and take responsibility for being a pet owner. Sadly, most of the people that own these pets are losers and only want them for fighting or to make an image statement.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

I have to agree to some extent with Upnorth. This poster has not said or implied that ALL pit owners are irresponsible or losers - but is stating that from his/her perspective MOST pit owners are. Statistically speaking I can not say I know one way or the other (and I lean towards ownership is not for fighting purposes), but I would say I have noticed a far greater number of low-income, less educated people owning pits and the like. Why is this?

Catherine Wright

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

That last statement is pure ignorance at it's finest. Pit Bulls are the most loyal and loving animal. I love my pit and I'm educated, employed full-time and I pay my property tax. No loser here. Sorry to break the stereotype.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 8:03 a.m.

Wow, your ignorance astounds me. The truth is people who own these dogs simply for "image and/or fighting" are in the minority. I am offended to be called a "loser" for owning a loving animal that in 9 yrs has never bitten or shown aggression. sheesh!


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

Tell it like it is! I agree.

Dog Guy

Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

Altering a male pit bull in its first six months can lessen aggression, making owning a pit bull completely pointless.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

You must not be much of a Dog Guy or you would realize many of us who own pit bulls do so because they are loving and loyal. I have an altered German Shepherd also, does that making owning him pointless?


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

"...Ypsilanti Township passed an ordinance requiring its residents to sterilize their pit bulls..." Now they are having a contest for people to follow the law?

Laurie Barrett

Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

It seems like at any given time one breed or another gets labeled as "the attack breed" and unfortunately there are people who will own this breed for the sole purpose of making them attack, fight, be hostile, and kill. It's psychotic or at least savage that people do that. Anyway, after the fad wears off, there are all kinds of extra numbers of the breed all over the place (it happens when people become enamored of other breeds for other reasons, like dalmatians after the Disney movie, etc) and they have to be culled. The effort mentioned in this article seems very wise. There are nice pit bulls and there are vicious pit bulls but in the final analysis there are too, too many pit bulls in the pounds and shelters.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

What a shame some cruel owner clipped that poor dog's ears. Why would someone one do this?


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

Ears are often clipped on "fighting" dogs so that an "opponent" can't so easily get a grip. And yes, "shame" is the word. (Anyone else remember reading "Beautiful Joe"?)


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

He might be getting something else clipped. I would prefer my ears.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Strange I always thought the biggest problem with Pit Bulls was their propensity to bite. Not their ability to breed.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 10:57 p.m.

The ability to breed is passed down by the idiot owners when they fail to spay/neuter their pets.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Change a noun here and a verb there and you have done a marvelous job of describing the human condition.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Could not care less about the thumbs down. Anymore than those that walk their dogs off the leash!


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

This law should be expanded to all breeds, adopted by the city as well, and enforcement needs to be stepped up. 'Breeders' should be able to apply for a permit but with additional oversight.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Love it, Brad.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Amen to your idea Brad!!


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

I've been in favor of requiring a permit for breeding for a long time. And once we get that in place, I say we extend it to dogs.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

You can bring in any dog you want. Nobody knows for sure what a "pit bull" is anyway.


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

A "pit bull" is a hockey mom without lipstick.

Ed Anderson

Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

What a creative idea! Bravo to HSHV and Ypsilanti Twp officials. Just to clarify, HSHV is a nonprofit with a specific and important mission. The contest is to further that mission by encouraging spay/neuter for the benefit of animals, people and the community. They are having a contest to incentivise responsible behavior for the greater good, not so any knucklehead off the street can win a free tv.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

You don't have to feed the trolls.... but you explained that marvelously so why not.

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

"...To sweeten the deal, the HSHV is offering the chance to win a flat-screen television for residents who bring in their pit bulls. " i don't have a pitbull, but i'd sure like a chance to win flat screen... a little discriminatory


Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

@dading - I'd be OK with adding people to the TV drawing as long as they get neutered first.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jun 6, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

Just take any dog in and tell them it's 5% pit bull.