There's now a financial incentive to adopting a pit bull in Brookhaven.
Town officials have launched a progam that will pay animal shelters and rescue organizations $250 for each pit bull or mixed-breed pit bull they place in a safe and loving home.
The program, called the "Brookhaven Bully Alliance," seeks to alleviate the overpopulation of pit bulls and mixed pit bull breeds in Brookhaven, town Supervisor Mark Lesko said.
He said shelters have been "overwhelmed with the number of pit bulls that are brought in and must be cared for."
“Sadly, they are coming in to the shelter faster than they are being adopted," he said.
The shelter has been working for months to whittle the number of pit bills in the shelter. Last summer, the shelter had as many as 200 pit bulls. The number currently stands at about 140.
Lesko said many people get pit bulls for the wrong reasons -- either status or to breed them to fight -- and then end up unable -- or unwilling -- to care for the animal. He said he hopes the "Brookhaven Bully Alliance" will pair dogs with the right kind of owner.
Funding for the pit bull initiative comes from the Help the Animals Fund Inc., a not-for-profit organization in the town.
All the dogs in the program are professionally evaluated, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and receive identifying micro-chips.