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Vet Raises Concerns About Aggressive Dogs Up For Adoption

NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) -- A veterinarian was attacked by a pit bull at a local shelter.

A doctor and a former staff member call the facility a "ticking bomb" saying many of the dogs are capable of attacking anyone that takes them home.

Dr. Becky Morrow calls this situation dangerous, not just for shelter workers, but to the animal-loving public.

The pictures show the face of veterinarian Dr. Morrow ripped open by a pit bull.

"He attacked my face, my eye …" she said.

It happened at the Animal Protectors Shelter in New Kensington. Morrow says she was trying to give the dog a rabies shot.

"I'm looking at this dog – they're saying it's an adoptable dog," she said.

The dog that attacked Dr. Morrow is Chad. The shelter website says, "Chad is a brindle bundle of joy."

"This is Forrest," Dr. Morrow said, referring to another dog. "Forrest has bitten two people we know of at least. One was a police officer while Forrest was walking outside on a leash."

The shelter website says: "If Forrest could talk, he would say, 'Play ball!'"

Forrest is "very much a puppy at heart."

Tracker is described as a shelter favorite, but bit the foot off of another dog.

Zara, says the website, is "looking for an energetic owner/family who will understand his need for exercise."

Dr. Morrow says Zara killed a pug about a month ago.

Dacia is so aggressive you need to feed him with a steel dish under the cage.

"They need to be marked as dangerous dogs," Dr. Morrow said. "If that's not enforced, then the public's at risk."

The problem, according to the doctor who as bit in the face and a former employee, is the website says these dogs are friendly, fun-loving, family-type dogs when in fact the doctor says they are dangerous dogs and could be a risk to anyone who comes to Animal Protectors to adopt them.

"I have a professional obligation to the public," Dr. Morrow said. "One of the things we take an oath on is protecting public health and that's the reason why I'm so worried a child or another dog will get killed."

Video taken inside the shelter by animal rescue volunteers in the last week shows not a single dog marked as dangerous.

A woman who just quit her job at the shelter over safety concerns calls the situation a ticking bomb.

Marty Griffin: "But there are dogs there that I could bring home that would be nice on Saturday and bite my child on Monday?"

Woman: "Yes."

Griffin: "Dangerous dogs?"

Woman: "Yes."

Griffin: "Should they be labeled as such?"

Woman: "They should be labeled as such …"

She says the facility has not legally labeled the dogs dangerous because they don't report biting incidents – a violation of state law.

"I was present for several dog attacks – dog versus dog, dog versus human."

"None of the five to 10 dog bites that I have witnessed in the past year at the facility have been reported properly to dog law."

KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin went to the shelter. Operators refused to comment.

In fact, they called local police and asked the police officer to arrest a KDKA-TV crew for trespassing. He confirmed a fellow police officer had been bitten by one of the shelter dogs.

Dr. Morrow says she was fired from the New Kensington shelter after the biting incident. She said she was accused of not properly muzzling the dog that bit her.

Meantime, there's no comment from the local dog warden. He referred KDKA-TV to Harrisburg.

More Local News
Animal Protectors
PA Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement

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