The Houston SPCA, in the form of Meera Nandlal, who’s in charge of public relations, got back to us finally today and made it clear there has absolutely been no change in policy by the SPCA about adopting out pit bulls.
The Houston SPCA, as we've noted, makes a big point of saying they do not adopt out pit bulls because they consider them unsafe.
Asked about the apparent change in policy -- why the SPCA didn’t kill the dozen pit bulls it picked up on Galveston Island after Hurricane Ike but instead handed them over to other rescue organizations -- Nandlal replied forcefully: “Explain to me how that’s an adoption!”
Complaining she was having trouble understanding my questions, Nandlal put me on speaker phone. Asked for the name of anyone else listening in – especially the person who she said would answer my questions – Nandlal replied: “Why do you need to know that?”
Eventually she relented and identified Ana Perez, the SPCA employee who worked with the rescue groups to facilitate the transfer of the pit bulls. (Actually, Perez was the first person we called today before we were bounced to two other people).
Perez seemed to understand my questions. “We do not adopt out pit bulls.” OK then, what did you do? “We asked our adoption partners to help out.” She said the dogs were “”behaviorally sound” and healthy.
Do you normally do this in cases with pit bulls? Send them out to other rescue groups?
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Why this time?
“The circumstances with Hurricane Ike, we felt all the animals should get a chance.”
So we can all rest easy. The Houston SPCA will not adopt out pit bulls ever and it didn’t this time either. Because of Hurricane Ike and maybe the bad publicity that might come with killing perfectly healthy dogs that the humanitarian SPCA had just rescued (film at 10), this lucky dozen got spared. But make no mistake, it will probably never happen again (and they didn’t do it this time either!).
– Margaret Downing