Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pit Bulls In the River

A slightly modified tale:

One summer in the village, the people gathered for a picnic. As they shared food and conversation, someone noticed a Pit Bull in the river, struggling and flailing about. The dog was going to drown!

Someone rushed to save the dog. Then, they noticed another yowling Pit Bull in the river, and they rushed in to pull that dog out. Soon, more dogs were seen drowning in the river, and the townspeople were pulling them out as fast as they could. It took great effort, and they began to organize their activities in order to save the Pit Bulls as they came down the river. As everyone else was busy in the rescue efforts to save the dogs, two of the townspeople started to run up the shore of the river.

“Where are you going?” shouted one of the rescuers. “We need you here to help us save these dogs!”

“We are going upstream to stop whoever is throwing them in!”

And who is throwing them In?

Not Pit Bull haters. Pit Bull lovers.

Almost a million Pit Bulls a year are being killed in animal shelters across the U.S.

All of these dogs were bred by people who said they loved Pit Bulls.

All of these dogs were bought or acquired as puppies by people who said they loved Pit Bulls.

And almost all of these dogs were relinquished to the pound or "shelter" when their owners found out that an adult Pit Bull comes with a lot of responsibility.

Pit Bulls are not being pushed into the river by breed specific laws.

Cities that do not have such laws are killing dogs wholesale.

In fact, some of the cities with the lowest Pit Bull kill rates are cities that have banned the dogs, such as Denver.

Others, like San Francisco, have not banned Pit Bulls but have seen a marked decline in Pit Bull euthanasias after implementing a mandatory Pit Bull sterilization law coupled to free Pit Bull spay-neuter programs.

One thing is clear: Pit Bulls have breed specific problems.

Perhaps their biggest problem is that so many Pit Bull breeders and owners are young, irresponsible adults who have unstable lives and who are acquiring their first dog -- a Pit Bull -- for much the same reason that they might acquire a big-bore motorcycle, a sports car, or a "hummer".

Is it an accident that Pit Bull owners are much more likely to have problems with the law than the average dog owner? I don't think so.

The responsible people who are adopting Pit Bulls from shelters deserve unending applause for their efforts.

But have no illusion: the good work they do will never be enough so long as so many people stand silent while so many people breed Pit Bulls, and so many others are acquiring puppies from these breeders only to "thrown them in the river" in just a year's time.

Pit Bulls have a breed specific problem.

At what point, do we begin to recognize that these dogs need a breed specific solution?

At what point do we say we are sick and tired of killing nearly a million Pit Bulls a year?

At what point do we agree that if we want something different, we need to do something different?

At what point do we run up the river bank, and start at least talking about all those people who are throwing the dogs in the river?

The graphic, above, shows how many Pit Bulls are killed in America EVERY DAY because the Pit Bull community has failed the Pit Bull.

Nearly one million Pit Bulls a year are killed in shelters across the U.S. every year -- 2,400 dead Pit Bulls a day.



What would your suggestion be to curb the problems?

Would we see problem breeds if pits were disappeared?

Would we still see rescue over crowding and high kill rate?

What are the statistcs of over crowding of other breeds?

How many mongrels/labs/terriers etc are put to sleep a year?

PBurns said...

The answer to all these questions is on this blog, in longer form, but the answers are:

Mandatory spay-neuter, with Pit Bull breeding subject to mandatory licensing and dog-training education. If you do not know how to train dogs, and are not willing to be licensed and inspected, you do not need to be in the business of Pit Bull breeding.

I do not know what a "problem breed" is. I do know that most of the pit bulls bred in this country are dumped in a pound and killed, and that is a very breed-specific problem. To put the number in perspective: twice as many Pit Bulls are killed at pounds every year as are registered from ALL breeds by the American Kennel Club.

Dog shelter admissions across the board have plummeted thanks to spay-neuter laws and more adopting. This is a long-term trend. The two exceptions are Pit Bulls and chihuahuas, the latter a probably-passing fad left over from Paris Hilton and company. Pit Bulls, however, have crowded shelters for more than 30 years and now represent between 40 and 70 percent of shelter admissions depending on region.

Just under two million dogs of all kinds end up in shelters every year. About half are Pit Bulls. About 10 percent are very old dogs or dogs with serious health problems (including a small percentage with actual serious temperament problems). Almost 90 percent of the dogs that are killed are re-homable, but most shelters have NO actual outreach or marketing plan, unlike for-profit puppy peddlers.

Other questions? Please use the Google.