Animal Welfare Professionals

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"No-Kill" Shelters Handling Unprovoked Biting Dogs

  • 1.  "No-Kill" Shelters Handling Unprovoked Biting Dogs

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 09-09-2021 12:05 PM
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous

    I've been a shelter director for 6 years and never, fortunately, encountered this until recently. We are a private non-profit no-kill shelter.
    To make a long story short, One dog attacked an adopter as he was getting in their car. The woman had to have plastic surgery on her face. He was returned to the county shelter for quarantine and assessment. Yesterday one of our dogs attacked a staff member unprovoked.  She required stitches in her stomach and arm. He has also shown aggression in other incidences but was in his kennel.  We have a policy to have an assessment by a trainer and vet before any decisions are made for his future. 
    What is your policy for this type of situation? I would appreciate your advice. We are frustrated..
    #Behavior,TrainingandEnrichment


  • 2.  RE: "No-Kill" Shelters Handling Unprovoked Biting Dogs

    Posted 09-09-2021 12:55 PM
    This level of human injury may be cause for euthanasia even in a No Kill shelter. We currently use a pretty imperfect system but Dunbar bites 4 and above, unless there is a very good reason, were generally a reason for euth at the NK shelter where I worked last. However, you may consider (with full disclosure and if you believe exceptional circumstances were in play) pleading to you volunteers before you euthanize so they have a chance to find a viable solution.

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    Kristen Hassen
    American Pets Alive!
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  • 3.  RE: "No-Kill" Shelters Handling Unprovoked Biting Dogs