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Missing McLovin: Shelter Sparks Ire, Euthanizing Pit Bull Despite Ownership Claims

by Amy Drew

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Photo: Second Chance Rescue --------------------------------
Photo: Second Chance Rescue

Was McLovin murdered?

A social media frenzy erupted over this issues, when a pit bull mix was put down by the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center following an attack during which a cat lost its life. The incident occurred only an hour after McLovin was adopted.

The Norfolk-based Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center acquired McLovin from Second Chance Rescue, a shelter based in New York City. When the adoptive owner surrendered the dog to the Norfolk shelter following the attack — which Norfolk shelter officials claim gave the city legal custody of the dog — Second Chance stepped up to claim ownership.

“The city shelter knew the ownership of the dog was in question, yet they killed McLovin within 24 hours and destroyed the body,” Debra Griggs, Vice Chair of the Norfolk Animal Advisory Board, told ABC affiliate 13NewsNow.

Griggs said contested ownership claims and a lack of a required court order deeming the dog dangerous, should have stopped the city from moving forward with killing McLovin.

“The heart of the matter is a lack of transparency on the city’s part about the facts of this case,” Griggs said.

Social media users across the country went online to share outrage over the City of Norfolk’s decision to put McLovin down.

Lori Crouch, the Corporate Communications Director with the City of Norfolk, released a statement regarding the matter:

“Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center understands that sometimes it may be necessary to give up a pet and staff does its very best to place an animal into a new home.On May 11th, a Norfolk Animal Control Officer delivered a pitbull mix to the Center. The animal control officer advised shelter staff the dog’s owner called shortly after her dog mauled to death a 12-year-old domestic short-haired cat owned by a Norfolk resident. The officer reportedthe dog jumped onto a car parked on the neighbor’s property to attack the cat.The dog’s owner followed animal control to the shelter and relinquished ownership of her dog on the same day as the attack.Shelter staff researched the dog’s history and discovered repeated failed adoption attempts with other out-of-state agencies and a rabies certificate that was altered to change the dog’s breed and age. The dog was scanned for a microchip. Staff contacted Home Again Microchip for owner information. The microchip was never registered.Given the dog’s history, the decision of the dog’s owner to surrender the dog which legally transferred the ownership to the City and in the interest of public safety, staff made the decision to humanely euthanize the dog.”

Second Chance and other animal rights groups plan to protest outside the city shelter.