The Bloomfield Board of Health will hold an “Evaluation Public Forum” tonight which may help determine the fate of Memphis the Pit Bull who has been embroiled in a continuing debate over his future. The dog has been kept by BOH order secluded at the Bloomfield Animal Shelter on Bukowski Place and has sparked a rallying cry from many who insist he is being discriminated against solely because of his breed rather than any documented episodes of violent behavior.
At the last meeting that addressed Memphis’s future, BOH officials denied rumors that he may be euthanized and said they planned to have him further evaluated for either adoption or assignment to a sanctuary. Tonight, the BOH is expected to present the video and verbal results of an evaluation being performed today by Jim Crosby, a renowned dog and behavior specialist they’ve hired.
As of this morning, more than 27,000 people have signed an online petition appealing to the Bloomfield Board of Health to return Memphis to the family of Jeff and Diana Coltenback, who were training the pit bull — a stray that wound up in a township shelter — in socialization behaviors before township officials abruptly took him back to the shelter, where he’s remained, to the fury of many local animal advocates. The couple are owners of a local pet shop, operate a nonprofit that advocates for pit bulls, and Jeff is a certified animal behaviorist; they say Memphis was taken from them because they included socialization with humans as part of his regimen and even though the dog never exhibited any aggressive behavior and has no bite history, the township deemed their actions had put people in danger. The BOH however has said it had concerns about the dog’s temperament since he first arrived at the shelter.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. at Bloomfield Town Hall.
Photo: Causes.com’s Save Memphis petition page