Monday, November 28, 2011

Killing Dogs at Battersea

At Battersea Dogs and Cats Home outside of London, they are killing bull-staffie crosses left and right.  

Watch the whole video, above.  It's important and worth it.

Why is the Battersea "shelter" killing so many pit-bull type dogs? 

The short answer is because people continue to breed these dogs indiscriminately, and no one wants them in the number they are being bred.  That's as true in the U.K. as it is in the U.S.

Of course, this is not the story the Panorama TV crew started off to film!  They started off to say that these dogs were being put down because of the Dangerous Dogs Act.  And yes, they did find a few dogs that were put down merely for what they looked like.  On the main, however, they found something different:  that bull staffie crosses (i.e. pit bulls) and butcher dogs of other types (Rottweiler- and Boxer-crosses) were being bred and dumped indiscriminately in the U.K.,  same as they are in the U.S.  The dogs being put down are healthy and available, but no one wants them, and at Battersea perfectly fine dogs are coded "aggressive" just to make the whole thing a little easier to deal with

What's going on? 

What's going on is SILENCE in the pit bull and staffie community, and in the dog community in general, when it comes to the wholesale slaughter of these dogs.

Silence.  No one is talking about the FAILURE of the Pit Bull and staffie communities to spay-neuter their dogs, and as a consequence no breed is being killed as often.  Let me say it plain:
Silence = Death 

Look at the numbers above, which show how few Pit Bulls are neutered.  There's the Pit Bull problem -- both for the the dogs and for people.

San Francisco, which has mandatory spay-neuter for Pit Bulls has seen a steep decline in the number of Pit Bulls that are coming in to their shelters, and the numbers they are having to put down.

San Francisco appears to have found a solution. Since 2005, when the city adopted a mandatory spay-neuter law for pit bulls in the wake of the mauling death of 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish, the number of pit bulls impounded and euthanized has dropped dramatically, according to animal control officials.

"It's absolutely made a difference," said Capt. Vicky Guldbech of San Francisco's animal control department. "When I started this job, pit bulls were feared. We were afraid of them. Now when I see pit bulls in the field, they have cute wagging tails."

The shelter has seen a 25 percent decline in seized pit bulls at the shelter, and a 33 percent drop in pit bulls that are euthanized, according to animal control Director Rebecca Katz.

That's a story that the property-rights Pit Bull crowd do not mention too often.

Nor do the property-rights Pit Bull crowd talk about what happened outside of San Francisco with an un-neutered Pit Bull owned by a vocal supporter of BadRap.   Anyone want to guess what happened there?   No, it was not pretty.

But of course, the Wall of Silence remains.

We cannot talk about the nearly one million dead Pit Bulls that are killed every year in this country.

We cannot talk about the failure of the Pit Bull community to spay-neuter.

We cannot talk about the success of mandatory spay-neuter with this dog.

All we can do is bury the dead in silence, dog and human alike.



Water Over The Dam said...

So the solution is known, and pet dog owners are signing up (74% of goldens are neutered on the chart you post!) The message isn't being heard by pitbull (by whatever name) owners though (73% NOT neutered). So why is it still "OK" in so many minds to not neuter, and to breed, pitbulls?

BadRap is opposed to mandatory spay-neuter, instead, they say "To decrease euthanasia rates and curb irresponsible ownership, we need proactive, cost effective solutions that embrace the human-animal bond rather than tear it down." No explanation as to what that would be, and further, according to BadRap, promoting neutering is a decision tagging you as one of the nasty "more privileged dog owners" that go around judging others. Conclusion: Having an unneutered pitbull makes you both politically correct and also "one with the people!" (sarcasm)

I do know that in poor areas (and even some more affluent ones) homeowners and renters are looking for a legal weapon to keep in their yard. They have pitbulls instead of poodles because other people are afraid of the pitbulls. A neutered dog is perceived as being weaker than an unneutered dog, less frightening, not useful. A dog that everyone is afraid of also can be a cash asset to an impoverished owner - the dog might generate some money by selling its potentially fearsome pups. They even give it the nod on BadRap - "Selling puppies to keep the lights on and feed the kids. Wouldn't you?"
And that's before you get into the whole dog fighting breeding thing.

Sorry to go on and on, it did recently get personal for me. A very kindhearted friend who has always had collies went to the pound to "rescue" a dog and was guilt-tripped into coming home with a pitbull that she can barely control and certainly can't enjoy. Placing these dogs in homes as pets with people who can't handle them is not the answer. Making spay/neuter mandatory, at least in urban areas is the way to go. Spay/neuter of pitbulls is not an attack on the rights of "the people", just an excuse to hide behind for "the property-rights Pit Bull crowd" - you got them described right there.

branwyne said...

Thanks for sharing this video, Patrick. I don't know why its so hard for the alleged "pit bull advocates" to do the math. The focus on marketing the dogs to get more people to adopt them is futile..they are shoveling snow while its still snowing. There are not, and will never be, enough permanent homes for these dogs. The hard truth is, a pit bull is NOT a good choice for the average family. There are homeowners insurance restrictions, and most rentals will not rent to someone with a pit bull for liabilty and insurance reasons. There are often HOA restrictions banning these dogs, and the U.S. Marines have banned them from base housing. They often cannot be adopted into households with existing dogs because of their high levels of dog aggression, which further limits the pool of potential adopters. They are strong,high energy dogs that can escape containment easily, which makes them a challenge to own.

Its a total lack of breed stewardship....from the "breed clubs" to the rescues, to the "advocates". Breeding pit bulls has become an income source for people living on the margins of society...people who lack the skills or education to make a living otherwise. Free s/n offers won't make a dent in the problem. And subsidizing and encouraging low income pit bull ownership, as Bad Rap does, just leads to the headline making attacks that lead us right back to the public's demands to ban the breed.

The AmStaff and APBT community should be hanging their heads in shame....instead they play the victim and whine about how "unfair" it is that the public wants their breed banned. But they remain silent when alleged pit bull "experts" tell the dog-loving and naive public that the pit bull they adopt from the local pound will be great with the kids and the neighbors poodle because they are "nanny dogs" who need to be "forced" to fight.

PBurns said...

Right on all points. A video I will post tomorrow will follow a litter so you can see who breeds them and where they go. Long but worth it! Check it out!


√Čadaoin said...

I find the incompetence of the staff to identify pitbulls as opposed to Staffies (or "Staffy crosses") disappointing, but not surprising. I lost count of the number of obvious pitbulls given the green light, and yet the officer goes into the kennel and picks out only 4 which he deems to fall under the ban. What a farce. Especially since, to all practical intents and purposes other than the artifice of the showring, they are the same thing.