City of Detroit says 'Ace' the abused and starved dog has been put down after days of public outcry

DETROIT (WXYZ) - In a statement, the city of Detroit has announced that Ace the dog, found abandoned in a hardware store, was euthanized.

For days, Ace's case has caused many to question a city policy to put down any pit bull or pit bull mix after four days, giving the dog's owner that time to come in and claim the dog. Many people are now working to change that policy .

Ace was discovered on November 4 in an Ace Hardware store located at McNichols and Oakland in Detroit. The dog appeared to have been abused and starved.

The owner of the hardware store told 7 Action News he never would have called the city if he knew this would be the dog's fate.

The statement from Bruce King, the General Manager for the Environmental Health Services division of the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion reads as follows:

The injunction issued by the Wayne County Court was not received by Detroit Animal Control or the City of Detroit. At the end of business today, the dog referred to as Ace was euthanized following expiration of the four day holding period and departmental policy.

We are not insensitive to the overwhelming appeal from citizens for an alternative approach. We are, indeed, heartened by these appeals. However, if we grant this one exception, we are simply not set up for what will undoubtedly lead to overwhelming appeals in similar cases.

This situation regarding the dog retrieved from the Ace Hardware store has now started to impact the safety of the residents of the city of Detroit. Urgent calls for help from elderly citizens, school principals, postal supervisors and the police are going unanswered because our Detroit Animal Control dispatch line is overwhelmed with calls from outside of the city, state and even the country.

The City of Detroit protects the right of each citizen to own up to four dogs regardless of breed and many, many Detroiters choose to own one or more pit bulls with our blessing. DAC returns many pit bull dogs to owners every year. There are several communities in Southeastern Michigan who not only refuse to return pit bull dogs to owners but go beyond that and ban ownership of these dogs entirely.

Detroit Animal Control is operating under policies and procedures enacted to control the stray animal population and prevent injury to persons; especially children and the elderly. DAC is acting in accordance with the Stray Holding Law facilitated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture that mandates quarantining stray animals for 4 days; while ensuring they are provided care. Further, DAC does not adopt out or release pit bulls or pit bull mixes and will not release any dog (regardless of breed) unless proof of ownership can be established through a dog license or supporting documentation such as prior veterinary records.

There have been a number of people who have claimed ownership of the dog that have failed to provide adequate proof, including identifying the dog in the kennel, or having the dog recognize or respond to the individuals' calls.

We are proud of the dedication of Detroit Animal Control Manager, Harry Ward and his officers for risking their lives every day protecting residents of this city. Attacking their character and integrity is disingenuous, disconcerting and disappointing. We receive calls every year from hundreds of citizens who are appreciative for the work they do.

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