Commissioners have repealed a resolution that banned certain dog breeds from the county dog shelter.
That move came after committee members involved in construction of the shelter behind the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown expressed concern about the policy.
During Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, Debbie Hackman, a committee member who has organized fundraising for the shelter over the years, asked the board to repeal the ban passed Nov. 20.
The resolution banned breeds, including pit bull terrier, Rottweiler, cane corso, Doberman pinscher, bull mastiff and wolf hybrid.
The resolution was approved during the November meeting after commissioners had asked attorney Susan Bevers during a meeting in October to prepare it using guidelines that Red Sky Rescue has in place. Red Sky Rescue is a nonprofit animal rescue organization in the Medora area.
Bevers said Red Sky Rescue, which has provided a shelter service for the county for more than 10 years, only had restrictions on pit bull terrier breeds.
Bevers said the county considered a list of about 15 breeds the insurance industry considers dangerous, and she then asked commissioners for input.
Hackman said the committee expressed concern because many of the dogs sent to Red Sky Rescue are of the breeds the resolution banned or are a mix. She said she was thankful commissioners listened and took action.
“We’re relieved because they took it so seriously,” she said Wednesday.
Hackman said the policy was not good for the efforts of controlling the dog population here.
“To make a blanket discrimination is not an ordinance we need at this time,” she said.
Hackman said the resolution also would have caused confusion with shelter workers about what to do with dogs that would not meet requirements.
Sheriff Rick Meyer, who will oversee the shelter, said aggressive dogs are handled by Animal Control Officer Mark Deaton.
Commissioners agreed to repeal the resolution and “start from scratch.”
President Matt Reedy said the issue is a personal one for him because his son was bit by a pit bull once.
“You won’t hear any sympathy from me on a pit bull,” he said.
Commissioner Drew Markel suggested commissioners be part of the discussions moving forward as they come up with a new policy. Commissioner Bob Gillaspy said he would participate in the meetings with committee members and law enforcement.
“We want to make sure the passion and vision is clear with all of us,” Markel said.
Ground for the shelter, which has a capacity of 72, recently was broken, and construction has begun.
Hackman said concrete for the shelter has been poured near the sheriff’s department, and the sides of the building are expected to go up soon. The committee has more fundraising to do to finish the interior.
She said the committee expects construction to be complete in six months.
The committee has raised $209,000 over the last few years and estimates it will need another $66,000 to complete the project.
The committee’s next significant fundraiser is the Fur Ball, scheduled for 6 p.m. March 2 at Pewter Hall in Brownstown.
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What: Jackson County Dog Shelter annual Fur Ball
When: 6 p.m. March 2
Where: Pewter Hall, 850 W. Sweet St., Brownstown
Cost: $40 per person, $75 per couple or $280 for a table of eight. Tickets are available at the Jackson County Visitor Center and Brownstown Veterinary Clinic or by calling 812-525-9367.
Details: Event includes dinner, music from Past Tense, silent auction and live auction