updated 1/27/2007 8:53:15 PM ET 2007-01-28T01:53:15

A dozen pit bull terriers seized in police raids have been put to death because of fears the dogs would attack employees caring for them at an animal shelter.

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The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center had been holding 72 animals seized by Dayton police during raids between July and October. The dogs were to be used as evidence against five men facing felony dogfighting charges.

The county ordered the 12 pit bulls killed on the advice of Mark Kumpf, the director of the animal shelter. Kumpf said some of the dogs had attacked employees, and all of them were extremely aggressive toward other animals and the staff.

Attorney John Rion, who represents two of the defendants in the dogfighting cases, said the owners could file a civil lawsuit over the decision to euthanize the animals by alleging unauthorized taking of property. Rion did not say whether his clients intended to do so.

The county estimates that it spent $60,000 to care for the 12 pit bulls that were euthanized. Euthanizing the dogs costs about $5 per dog, said Amy Wiedeman, county director of administrative services.

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