"The Cumberland County Animal Control Board backed away Monday night from a move to limit adoptions of some breeds from the county shelter.

Instead, the board directed Dr. John Lauby, the animal control director, to look into ways the county can more carefully vet the people who adopt animals from the shelter to ensure they’ll be responsible owners.

"We’re not trying to kill anything," Lauby said. "We’re trying to adopt animals."

In October, the Animal Control board decided to recommend to county leaders that so-called bully breeds - pit bulls, Rottweilers, chow chows, American Staffordshire terriers, Presa Canarios and mixes of any of them - be rendered “unadoptable,” according to minutes from the meeting.

The board hoped to find homes for as many as possible through other shelters and rescue organizations as an alternative to euthanasia.

By Monday night, Lauby said he had received more than 18,000 emails on the topic, many from activists who erroneously were told the county was to start euthanizing all such breeds Monday.”

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