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News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Pit Bulls Can Now be Rescued from Springfield Animal Shelter


Pit bulls and pit bull mixes can now be rescued from the Springfield Animal Shelter and adopted out.  Springfield City Council approved a resolution allowing the rescues for a six-month trial period at its meeting Monday night.

Rescue groups that take pit bulls out of the shelter must carry a  $1 million liability insurance policy.

Kevin Gipson, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said the dogs will be evaluated by animal shelters and rescue groups.

"For all of our animals that are adopted, we do temperament testing, dog aggressiveness as well as food aggressiveness on all of our dogs.  If they don't temperament test out then we won't allow them out for adoption, regardless of the breed," he said.

Mary Crawford is on the board of CARE Animal Rescue, which takes dogs out of the Springfield Animal Shelter and finds homes for them.  She said her organization has rescued animals from the shelter since 2003.  Most of the pit bulls, she said, will be going out of state and will be spayed and neutered, up to date on shots and micro-chipped.

"The adoption process that CARE has is very very extensive, and they'll only be going to very responsible pet owners," she said.

Currently, CARE and Half-Way Home Rescue take dogs from the Springfield Animal Shelter to adopt out.  But Lori Steffen, director of Haven of the Ozarks Animal Sanctuary, told Springfield City Council Monday they're also willing to rescue pit bulls from the shelter for adoption.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.