Animal behavior expert offers advice for dogs case in Leeds - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Animal behavior expert offers advice for dogs case in Leeds


A judge ordered 33 dogs to be put down after two others attacked and killed a Leeds man.  But, one expert says most of the dogs passed temperament testing, meaning they are not a threat.

Twenty-eight of the 33 dogs passed the test, and the expert from Auburn University who conducted the test said one of the dogs could possibly be a working police dog.

"It's been a major group effort to get these dogs here," said Dr. Rachel Nelson at Crossroads Animal Hospital in Moody.  Nelson has been instrumental in the fight to save the dogs.

Last week, the dogs were supposed to be euthanized.

A judge in Saint Clair County filed the order after two Rottweiler's killed a man. Those dogs were killed on scene, and the other 33 were picked up and brought to animal control where they were saved at the last minute.  "It was very close," said Dr. Nelson.  "Myself, and staff, staff of BJC Animal Control, we were just very fearful this was not going to happen in time."

The judge in the case agreed to a hearing later this month, giving Dr. Nelson the time she needed to prove that not all the dogs were dangerous. Dr. Larry Myers, an expert on animal behavior, agrees. He evaluated all the dogs briefly. Were many of the dogs friendly and adoptable? "Yes,"
 said Dr. Myers.  Were some of the dogs not friendly and adoptable? Also, "Yes."

Dr. Myers has been conducting animal behavior tests since 1976. The court approved him to evaluate the dogs. "I really didn't want to go in and say, ‘Oh gee you have 33 dogs, put them all down.'  And I wasn't sure that wasn't going to be the case, but it wasn't and I'm damn glad to find that out," said Dr. Myers. "Some of them seemed to be extremely well adjusted."

He found that 28 of the 33 showed no signs of aggression, but that doesn't mean they're out of the woods yet. "We are always still just holding our breath a little but until we are able to get these dogs out, but right now it's looking good," said Dr. Nelson.




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