SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – [Updated Story: 9:51 p.m.] The City of Springfield announced in a tweet that the pit bull ordinance allowing more local agencies to adopt out pit bulls passed unanimously. The ordinance vote was originally scheduled for a date in December.
[Previous story] More agencies could soon be able to rescue pit bulls from the city animal shelter, putting them up for adoption. As of now only one agency in Springfield is legally able to adopt pit bulls out but now it said it may not be able to much longer.
Castaway Animal Rescue Effort or C.A.R.E. said the pit bulls are great but the rising amount of the breed in the city animal shelter makes it hard for it to help others dogs. On Monday city council is discussing an ordinance making things easier for C.A.R.E.
“With the increased numbers it’s just a little overwhelming for one organization to be responsible for pulling all of those dogs. Especially just one breed,” said Anna Yendes, C.A.R.E. Pit Bull Adoption Manager.
C.A.R.E. said it never leaves a pit bull behind that passes the temperament test, but with the increased amount of pit bulls and its limited resources C.A.R.E. said it needs help from other rescues.
“It’s kind of gotten to the point where we’re not able to focus on helping other breeds of dogs,” said Yendes.
“By their own admission they can not take the number of possible animals that they would have,” said Ken McClure, Mayor Pro Tem.
Yendes said if more rescues aren’t able to adopt pit bulls out it will have to stop pulling pit bulls after the first of the new year. The original law chose another rescue to adopt pit bulls out too but it was unable to meet the requirements.
“Because of the insurance requirements that were set forth, the $1 million insurance policy that we have to carry and list the city as insured they were not able to set up a pit bull adoption program,” Yendes said.
“That’s something I think is reasonable I think that’s a reasonable requirement but nevertheless one that we do expect agencies to have to do in order to accept the animals,” said McClure.
Yendes said after getting the insurance policy worked out it’s been a joy to rescue the pit bulls and adopt them out.
“Any rescue could do this. They’re great dogs. They’re not hard to care for. It’s not the dogs at all it’s just that there’s so many of them we need help pulling them and placing them,” said Yendes.
The rescues would still have to get the same insurance to be able to pull a pit bull from the pound. Yendes said she also hopes rescues from out-of-state may be able to step in and take some of the pit bulls.
The Springfield City Council was set to vote on the resolution tonight but late today council member Kristi Fulnecky pulled the resolution saying it needs more fine tuning. Now it will be voted on at the next city council meeting in two weeks. If it is approved it will take effect immediately and the health department director would vet other agencies.