Animal welfare house bill rejected

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A house bill that could have set a statewide policy prohibiting animal shelters from euthanizing or adopting any dog based on breed was rejected, Monday, for the second time.

A revision to the bill got the Agriculture subcommittee to reconsider but the result was a major disappointment to many people at the meeting. Dog lovers tried their best to convince the delegates.

"Each dog needs to be assessed individually," said Pit-bull rescuer, Will Lowery. "There are no breeds that are specifically aggressive, I think labeling a breed as aggressive as a blanket statement is a mistake."

Another supporter of the Bill Debra Griggs stood up to defend the house bill.

"We do not tolerate discrimination in our community for the humans based upon the way the head is shaped or other physical characteristics," Griggs said. "We should not tolerate it in dogs."

But despite their efforts, delegate Bobby Orrock had one of the votes against it.

"The volume of the types of animals they get in…they just get overwhelmed with them and have to correlate with how adoptable are the animals," he said.

Orrock says, if a policy is instated, shelter will be overflowing with large possibly aggressive types of dogs people usually don't want anyways, like pit bulls, leaving less room for more favorable dogs like labs and poodles.

"They've got a finite amount of space," Orrock said. "It's a damage control in their mines."

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