UPDATE 11/10: Detroit Euthanizes Pit Bull ‘Ace’ Despite Court Ruling
UPDATE 11/8: Detroit Health Dept: Policy Stands, Ace On Deathrow
DETROIT (WWJ) – An emaciated dog named Ace is pulling the heart-strings of many.
After being found alone and scared in the lobby of an Ace Hardware in Detroit on Nov. 4, Ace – who is thought to be a pit bull – was picked up by Detroit Animal Control.
Acting on an ordinance that says an unlicensed animal can be put down within four days of being captured if an owner does not come forward, Detroit Animal Control said they would keep the pit bull until Thursday — but after that time is up, so is Ace’s.
Thousands of outraged pet lovers and concerned citizens from all over the world said the dog should be saved and given to an animal shelter or rescue that would be willing to nurse the pooch back to health.
But, the Michigan Humane Society said they have a contract with Detroit Animal Control that states pit bulls are not an eligible breed to be transferred for either adoption or rescue.
Running out of time and with few options left, animal activists went before the City Council on Tuesday to ask members to let them step in and save Ace.
“I’d hate to see this city put in the position where, in the face of the world, that it doesn’t have compassion,” said Stray K-9 Rescue League spokeswoman Teresa Mahalab.
To the delight of the activists, City Council President Charles Pugh agreed.
“Well, it just makes sense that if we have a group that’s willing to take on the responsibility, if it’s a liability issue then we should be able to waive that. But if you have a group that wants to take responsibility of the dog, then we should let you have it,” said Pugh.
Pugh also called on City Council attorneys to find out if the city can make an exception to a policy the forbids the transfer of pit bulls from shelter to shelter.
“It seems like a simple request. If we can make sure that we are not liable for what happens with the dog if we were to transfer it to this rescue league, then why is that such a big deal? Why can’t we just do that?” Pugh asked.
Dan Carlisle, also known as “Hush,” runs the Detroit Dog Rescue and is calling for a change the city ordinance so many shelters could try to help stray dogs.
“I would hope that Detroit City Council would give Detroit Animal Control the option to recognize or to give a dog over to a recognized rescue group. If they can do that, you know, that’s progress. But unfortunately right now, that’s not the case.”
Hush said he’s speaking up for the thousands of dogs in Detroit who face abuse or neglect.
“We are, as a rescue, willing to step up and take ownership of the dog, get it vetted, get it trained, get it fostered, whatever we need to do to get this dog rehabilitated and, you know, back to the loving animal it’s supposed to be.”
Hush said a change in the ordinance would mean legitimate rescue organizations could lighten the load for the Detroit Animal Control.