TOLEDO, Ohio — When it comes to being man's best friend, pit bulls often get a bad rap and are often the dogs filling up shelters.
But a new grant is looking to help find good homes for this breed at Lucas County Canine Care & Control.
The "Glass City Pitties" program will utilize the $15,000 grant to give local rescues an incentive to take on pit bulls from LC4 and end the stigma.
Best Friends Animal Society is a national non-profit animal rescue in Utah with a goal of helping shelters save as many animals as they get and leading to an overall goal of shelters being no-kill.
Ridley is a 3-year-old pit at LC4 who has been stuck at the central Toledo shelter for two months.
"So many of these dogs don't have any behavioral issues, no medical issues," Friends of Lucas County Dogs president Dou Dibble said, "we just have so many pitties, that they get overlooked."
Pit bulls make up 90% or more of the dogs at LC4. That's why the new program enlists the help of local rescues to get more pit bulls adopted.
"We will pay an incentive for these rescue partners to transfer dogs to their shelters," Dibble said.
The local rescues need to be approved 501c3s and they will receive a $150 incentive for each pit bull they take. The program is also only for dogs that have been at LC4 for more than a month.
"We are moving into the fall with a lot of dogs, so it is a little odd," LC4 director Kelly Sears said.
The shelter currently has 142 dogs; well over the normal capacity of 100. Almost all of the dogs are pit bulls or mixed breed and are being surrendered or found as strays.
She says many are overlooked simply because of their breed and get stuck in the shelter for too long.
"Just want to focus on the ones that have been here the longest because the longer they've been in the shelter, the more stressed they get," Sears said, "and even the nicest shelter is still a shelter and it's not a home."
They say the new program will give these dogs more exposure and more of a chance to get adopted sooner.
Sears added they are expecting matching donations to go along with the $15,000 grant.
In total, they believe the new program will help around 200 dogs find forever homes.