Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pit Bulls Everywhere

Yesterday, on a whim, my daughter and I visited the Humane Society / County Animal Shelter. The two of them are connected where we live. We looked through all of the dogs that were up for adoption. We must have seen 100-120 of them.

Over 50% were pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Another 10% were boxers or boxer mixes. Of the non-attack-dogs, I saw one cute beagle (which had two holds on it from people wanting to adopt it), but nothing else of interest. There was one Irish Setter and one Lab, but no Bassets or Golden Retrievers. It looked like the reject bin from the local dog fighting club.

Which, I'm sure, it was.

The whole place was a death camp for pit bulls. They came by the trainload into the front door and after a few weeks were gassed and discarded.

Update: Here are some corroborating stories.

From SFGate:
Not long ago, pit bulls occupied about three-quarters of the dog kennels at San Francisco's Animal Care and Control shelter. Now, only about a quarter of the unwanted canines at the shelter are pit bulls.

The numbers of pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes abandoned and euthanized in San Francisco have fallen drastically since the city implemented a law 18 months ago requiring that pit bulls be sterilized, animal officials say.
From Pit Bull Rescue Central:
It is estimated that up to 200 Pit Bulls are killed EVERY DAY in Los Angeles County, CA, shelters alone because there are not enough homes for them. Imagine the number across the entire United States...

The pit bull population has now risen to 40% of all the dogs in 12 shelters in Los Angeles.
KiroTV (Seattle) reported the average number of pit bulls euthanized.

Between 2002 and mid-September 2007, Seattle euthanized a total of 3,407 dogs
1,762 (52%) were non-pit bull breeds and 1,645 (48%) were pit bulls
Average: about 300 pit bulls euthanized annually


Kelly the little black dog said...

We noticed this even in Monterey. Colorado was completely different. A pit bull was a rare sight. Here there are a lot of herding dogs, greyhounds (because of dog racing), labs, goldens, etc.

Justin said...

Must be a Cali thing. You see a few of them here, but not that many.

Anonymous said...

Our last two dogs have been lab/pit mixes and completely non-aggressive. We got them both from the pound.


Anonymous said...

Of all the dog attack calls I've worked, over 90% have been pits or pit-mix breeds. I'm not buying the whole "it's all in how you raise them" baloney about the breed being naturally non-agressive. I'm sure there are a few good natured animals out there but the majority of them deserve the reputation the breed has. I'm discovering more and more cities are enacting ordinances prohibiting ownership of pit bulls.

As for a family pet, you can't go wrong with a Beagle. They're loving, loyal, playful, and easy to care for. I raised them for years and loved every one of them.

Foxfier said...

I believe it's a Mexican thing; the culture of Mexico embraces animal fights. Look around any place with a lot of illegals from Mexico and you'll find cock bins, too-- usually, they're barrels that have been cut in half and have heavy wire over the top.

I don't think these dogs are meaner, it's just that because of the way they're bred-- locking jaw, lots of emphasis on physical power-- that when they get mean it gets ugly.
Being attacked by a corgi just doesn't have the same effect....

K T Cat said...

My fiancee has a pit bull that she found as a puppy, abandoned outside of her house. It's a good dog, but the thing has no concept of pain. It's been through major surgeries and shows no acknowledgement of its wounds. It's 90 pounds of raw, unstoppable power.

I like the dog, but I would never have another one. It's like having a happy, playful Sherman tank in the house.

I think foxfier has it right. When we take the beast for a walk, the hispanics and blacks tend to sit up and take notice of it and compliment the dog. It would be interesting to see a correlation between local human demographics and breeds of dogs in the pound.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching a lot of Animal Planet lately (mostly the SPCA shows). It's interesting to see how each city approaches the pit bull problem. In Detroit, the problem is so prevalent they said just about all the pits in the city have some dog fighting lineage. Dade county, Florida bans the breed entirely.

I live just a few miles from Mexico and have been warned about dog fighting rings stealing pet dogs for bait in their training programs. Our local animal shelter won't let you adopt a pit if you have cats or small children.

I think that when aggression has been selected for in the breeding for so long... Well, I would never want to own one.

Anonymous said...

My wife came with an American Bulldog. Best dog in the world, but there's a big semblance to various pit bulls.

People who knew the dog loved him. People who didn't were scared of him. Best of all worlds :-)

B-Daddy said...

I agree with Brian, our dog is a rescue lab/pit bull mix and is a love.

Foxfier said...

My sister has a dog that the guy *said* is pit. (we're pretty sure that Tank's parents were rescued from pit fighting and then adopted out to a puppy mill)

Basically, Tank screams "Hi, my dad was bred for pit fights" type mongrel.

She's the most harmless, brainless bit of fluff you'd ever meet-- and I'm glad of it, because it'd hurt my sister to have to kill the poor idiot if she did get mean.