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« Onerous Adoption Requirements and the Rescue Movement | Main | Quebec newborn killed in dog attack »

June 08, 2010



No more animals available for adoption. Wow.


Taking killing off the table - Great for the dogs that don't look like pit bulls. Sadly, COHS and Polk both ban "pit bull" adoptions.

From the Central OK Humane website: "Our shelters also do not adopt out Pit Bulls. It’s not the dog species, but usually the families who bring fear of the breed. You don’t find a lot of families who want a puppy to sleep with their kids who ask for a Pit Bull. So all Pit Bulls are euthanized in our state shelters."

And a quote from Lt. Craig Burke, director of Polk County Animal Control in a recent news article.

"We don't adopt them to the public because we don't have the resources to conduct health and temperament tests," Burke said. "It's a business decision we made, not because the breed itself has a propensity to bite, but when they do it's the significance of the bite. Because of their mass, it's more severe and requires more medical attention."

They don't discriminate though. Same article said, "The shelter will not let the public adopt impounded pit bulls or three other breeds - Akitas, Rottweilers and chows - and most are euthanized."

That makes things easy.


it's not so hard to adopt out "all" your animals if you kill a certain percentage first. It's easy to set impossible standards for the animals and for the adopters to justify the killing. Especially when decision makers use ignorance as the basis for their decision


Donna -- thanks for pointing this out. I wasn't aware of this in either case and certainly would have pointed it out if I had known.

In Polk County's case, many of their dogs weren't adopted, but merely tranfered to shelters and rescues. Their policy doesn't forbid transferring these breeds of dogs, so it stands to reason their numbers included bullies.

As for OKC, their adoption numbers are great - -and impressive regardless (and a very replicatable model). It is frustrating, sad and unfortunate that they discriminate and don't allow all dogs to get the same adoption opportunities.


Those pit bull rules are sad and disgusting. Especially as animal control is notorious for not getting breeds right. I am so happy for the animals who get a second chance by being adopted out by these agencies. Why shouldn't pit bulls get that same chance?

I guess I don't want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, but I have a hard time cheering them on if they are truly killing pits.

Emily Garman

This is completely incorrect. I am with the Central Oklahoma Humane Society and we adopted about probably 50 pit bulls at this event. Until recently, our city shelter (Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division) was under a city ordinance to not adopt out pit bulls, but this has changed in the last 8 months or so and they adopt out pit bulls frequently. I myself had four pit bull foster dogs that went to great homes during the Midnight Woofness event.

If you have questions about our adoption policies, please contact us at any time. Make sure to get correct information before you post damaging, erroneous statements such as this.

Emily Garman

Also, the "quote" pulled from the Central Oklahoma Humane Society web site is not, to my knowledge, anywhere on our site (and I am the webmaster). If you can provide a URL where that appears, please let me know and I will immediately remove it. I don't believe that statement appears anywhere on our site because it is completely false.


Emily Garman-I am so glad to hear that about the the rule change! Thank you so much for setting the record straight and thank you for helping to find homes for so many needy dogs recently.

PAMM - People Against Murdering Muttz

Before you get all self righteous next time EmilyG, do a quick Google search.


I will come to EmilyG's defense. As it appears as though that article was from January 2008. She indicated the rules changed 8 months ago or so. She may have not been webmaster in 2008. But good find, nonetheless.


Emily G - it's great that OKC Humane has changed this policy - -it's great that all animals are going to be given the opportunity to find new homes. Obviously it is understandable why many would not be aware of this recent change in policy....and understandably frustrating when dogs that look a certain way are decided to "not count" as kills for shelters. So great job on the adoption program and for getting the policy changed...


I'm thrilled that your shelter has changed its policy, Emily. Oklahoma has gone thru a lot of changes in recent years/months.

The quote that I pulled up is still live. It would be fantastic to see the newer policy that embraces pit bulls replace this terrible quote.

Emily Garman

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. This article was reproduced from an article written about our executive director in a local newspaper. This quote was not attributed in the article to any representative from the Central Oklahoma Humane Society--in fact, it was the article's author's own words.

Our rules on pit bulls did change in the past eight months, well after this article was published. but even at that time, the statement was incorrect. We do not speak for all our state shelters.

The Central OK Humane Society is a non-profit organization; we are separate from our municipal shelter (OKC Animal Welfare division) although we work closely together. Both groups adopt out pit bulls (and all other breeds). We oppose any kind of breed specific legislation.

I'm sorry this statement alone was pulled from our web site, given all the many, many other articles that appear there! but I'm glad it was brought to my attention so we can address the incorrect statements, or at least add an addendum to the article, since much of it is out of date at this time. What we may end up doing is just removing it because it's got a lot of mistakes in it, to be honest!

You're right that Oklahoma has gone through a lot of changes in the past year, and they are all really good for animals!

Thanks for giving me the chance to set the record straight for our organization.


thumbs up to you, EmilyG, for responding in such a positive way, and to COKHumane for changing your policy


I almost have to laugh at EmilyG's response because I'm guessing she finds that blurb as disgusting as the rest of us and obviously very surprised to see it there. (Sorry, not buying that someone from your org didn't feed the author that post - it was specifically posted on your site by someone. Glad that attitude is gone!)

However, the idea that pit bulls shouldn't be adopted out by shelters was, and still is, promoted by pit bull/animal "advocates" who also assume that only bad people want pit bulls and also, as a public shelter they can't screen out the Black people - oh I mean the bad people. That is happening this minute in the St Joseph, MO "Shelter" - call them and ask. That city doesn't even have BSL...until recently, the KCMO shelter had the support of both our pit bull groups to not adopt them out.

This post, and conversation, highlights the best and the worst of the AW community - thankfully it looks like we're moving forward at the old attitudes are fading away. 388 lives saved in 48 hours proves that we CAN save them all!!!

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