Williamson County animal shelter to stop using breed labels for dogs

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The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter will no longer use breed labels to identify its adoptable dogs, according to a Tuesday announcement from the shelter.

“How a dog is labeled or their physical appearance is not an indication of their personality, their past or future behavior, or their suitability for a particular adoption placement,” the statement reads.

The shelter points to a study cited by the Animal Farm Foundation, a nonprofit that works to promote pit bull dogs, that reports breed labels assigned to shelter dogs by staff members are incorrect at least 75 percent of the time.

The WCRAS release says that giving misinformation by misidentifying dog breeds does not fall in line with the shelter’s standards.

“When you remove breed labels, you open the door to possibility. You have a chance to fall in love without being inhibited by breed,” said Cheryl Schneider, animal services director for the county, in a statement. “Instead, fall in love by listening to your heart.”

The Williamson County shelter serves the animals in Round Rock, Cedar Park, Hutto, Leander. The shelter is offering free adoptions on all adult dogs and cats Feb. 10-12, and adoptions for adult dogs and cats are $14 through Feb. 14. Kittens and puppies will be $75 to adopt, according to the release.

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  1. So now people will be accidentally adopting deadly breeds like pit bulls? That won’t be a problem for sure.

  2. So now people who have done research and want a particular type of dog, with certain characteristics, will have to go to breeders. How does that help shelter dogs? And what if someone is looking for a lost dog, the shelter will refuse to help them figure out if their dog is there? “No pugs here, just dogs, they are all the same.” This is an irresponsible scam to trick people into adopting dogs they don’t want (pit bulls), and is another way that shelters are actively harming animals with their outrageous policies. The public isn’t stupid, they will just stop adopting from shelters if shelters continue to play games, resulting in more dogs being euthanized or hoarded. These games can turn deadly when adopted pit bulls kill already owned animals or maim and kill family members, which seems to be happening more and more often. I’m so disgusted.

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Caitlin covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils and reports on education, transportation, government and business news. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Caitlin produced a large-scale investigative project with The Dallas Morning News and led education coverage in the Brazos Valley at The Bryan-College Station Eagle. After interning with Community Impact Newspaper for two summers, she joined the staff as a reporter in 2015.

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