UPDATE: Honey the shelter gets adopted following online controversy

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BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) Feb. 28, 2020 6:00 p.m. UPDATE — A pit bull named Honey got caught up in controversy over whether or not the breed is dangerous and should be allowed around children, after she went to an event at a local library. However, after thousands of comments online, Honey found a new home.

Mercer County Animal Shelter Director, Stacey Harman, said a couple adopted Honey.

“The first couple that came in actually met her, introduced her to their dog, and that’s who ultimately took her home,” Harman said.

It started when Princeton Public Library posted pictures on Facebook of Honey with children at the first Tales for Tails event, where children take 10 minute turns reading to shelter animals.

The post was shared to anti-pit bull groups who bombarded the library with messages, claiming the breed is inherently dangerous and condemning the library for having a pit bull around children. But according Harman, who said Honey passed a temperament test before the event, the community jumped to Honey’s defense.

“By this morning I answered close to 50 emails, so what this group did was actually give her the exposure that she needed,” Harman said.

Harman said people lined up outside the shelter Friday morning hoping to take her home.

“She was very happy,” said Harman. “But she’s just an all around happy dog to begin with.”

Harman said Honey may be adopted, there are still more than 70 dogs at the shelter waiting to find forever homes.


PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) Feb. 27, 2020 7:00 p.m. ORIGINAL — A local library is being harassed after its first Tails to Tales event. It is a program where children take 10 minute turns reading to local shelter animals.

Last week, the Princeton Public Library launched a new program that lets kids read to shelter animals. However, library director, Sheena Johnson, said some people were outraged by their special guest.

“She was a pit bull, she was about two years old, her name was honey,” said Johnson.

Johnson said Tails to Tales was a hit with the community and she was surprised to see people from anti-pit bull groups all over the country sending multiple comments, messages, emails and phone calls to the library. They shared information from anti-pit bull organizations and stories of people being attacked, claiming the breed is inherently dangerous and the library should not have brought the dog around kids.

Johnson said the messages were disheartening.

“Some were so rude, I actually went to deleting some of the posts,” said Johnson.

Stacey Harman, Director of the Mercer County Animal Shelter, said Honey had to pass a temperament test before she could be around kids.

“The kids loved her and she loved them,” said Harman.

Harman said Tails to Tales helps give shelter dogs exposure and socialization skills. Johnson said they will not let the messages stop the program.

“She was with a little boy that comes to the library named Silas and they had a great time. His mother said that he practiced reading for a month so he could come here and read to Honey,” said Johnson. “That alone is improving his reading skills so its not something we’re going to retract.”

They plan to host another on March 28, 2020 at 11 a.m., this time with a cat.

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