Chief: 9 pit bulls should be put down, 12 others adoptable

Published: Jan. 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2012 at 11:15 PM CST
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It is what the police chief of Biloxi feared would happen. On Wednesday, he told WLOX News that nine of the 24 pit bulls seized from properties off Hudson-Krohn Road last month will have to be put down.

His decision was based on a recommendation by the Sula Foundation of New Orleans. Sula is a pit bull advocacy and rescue organization.

After spending two days evaluating the pit bulls, the Sula Foundation released its full report. It comes with pictures of 21 pit bulls, each with a name like "Sweet Mama" and "Bailey." Next to each dog is a description of its emotional condition.

"They did a whole series of tests on each animal and determined nine of the animals are not suitable for adoption. So that doesn't leave us with another direction except for those nine animals to be put down," said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller.

The pit bulls that are slated to be put to sleep had red check marks next to them. Chief Miller said Sula determined those nine dogs showed just too much aggression toward other animals.

"I'm sure it was heartbreaking for them [Sula]. Nonetheless, they know it's the right thing, and I'm going to base my opinion on what they tell me. They're the experts," said Miller. "If something were to happen in the future and someone got hurt or another animal got hurt, I don't want that on my conscience."

The good news is the other 12 pit bulls are available for adoption. Miller said Sula will first try to find homes for those remaining animals.

"Probably a majority of the animals that Sula adopts out, or help us adopt out, will leave this region. They'll probably go somewhere out of state. Then if there's any left over, we will certainly make those available to the general public here," said Miller.

Anyone interested in adopting the dogs will have to sign an agreement releasing the city of any liability. And since the chief believes the pit bulls were used in dog fighting, he wants people to fully understand what to expect when they take the animals home.

"I think that the ones that are left, after we put down the nine, I think they'll be perfectly suitable. I think they're going to be great pets. I think people are going to be very fortunate to have them," said Miller.

Before any action is taken on the pit bulls, Sula will come in one more time to make sure the nine dogs that are slated to be euthanized are correctly identified. Three other dogs were put down the day they were discovered.

As for the investigation, the chief said the owner of the properties where the dogs were found faces more than 50 counts in the case. His officers are still trying to find him.

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