Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pit Bulls in the news

I don't read or watch news usually, so I may be sharing news everyone is aware of. But upon reading the Bad Rap blog today, I found some very sad information. Yesterday, 145 dogs were killed, after 3 defendants were sentenced in a dog fighting bust. The saddest part is that the dogs were killed simply for being "fighting dogs" - they were never given a chance. Many people are upset with the Humane Society of the United States, who recommended the dogs be killed. The HSUS claimed the dogs were bred to be fighting dogs and could not be rehabilitated. This, in spite of the many other fighting dogs who have been "rehabilitated" and gone on to be loving pets - some even have become certified therapy dogs! Various reputable groups, such as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, who have worked with the Vick dogs and other dogs from dog fighting busts had offered to go out and evaluate these 145 dogs on an individual basis, and take in at no cost any who could be rehabilitated. The HSUS turned them down, and said no, they should all be euthanized. So they were - 145 dogs killed - approximately 60 of whom were puppies!

As a fellow blogger stated...
"I'm assuming they killed all the adult dogs, who had no known history of biting, without so much as one evaluation by a qualified behaviorist. I'm assuming all the baby puppies, born in the past couple months, were taken from their dams, and killed. And I'm assuming all the bigger pups, who were seized in the original raid, who never got to grow into their big paws or figure out their floppy ears or have someone tell them to sit their waggy butt down if they want a cookie - I'm assuming they've all been killed too."

She was right - they're all dead.


Lisa said...

So I must play devil's advocate here just a bit. But I will preface my comments by saying that I am not prejudiced against pit bulls, I will admit that I used to be, but I have seen the light and now know that they can make wonderful pets. You, and others, have shown me that. Now on to my comments... How many dogs get euthanized across the country every single day? Why don't they get the kind of press that these dogs did? And why is it sadder for some people, that they were pit bulls from a fighting ring, than if they were labs from a puppy mill or yorkies from a hoarder? I already know that the argument will be "They never had a chance because they were raised and trained to fight." Well, the same can be said for puppy mill dogs, dogs (or cats) belonging to hoarders or any animal that is neglected or treated badly by it's owner. None of these animals choose their circumstances and very few of them have a chance to be pets because of their sheer numbers. There are only so many good homes. And unfortunately there are 1,000 fold or 10,000 fold more animals than homes. Is it better to let them live their life in cages in some warehouse? Just because they have been "rescued", does that mean that their lives are all that better? The cold hard truth, as much as rescuers hate to admit it, is that some animals are better off with a humane death, than continuing to suffer. In my humble opinion.

Laurie said...

You have made some excellent points. I think the things that bother me most about this case are twofold. First, there was a reputable non-profit group offering to help these dogs at no cost to anyone but themselves. It wasn't anyone's tax dollars, or the community footing the bill. So why not let them help? Who would say "no thanks, they're better off dead" instead of at least giving them a chance?? Especially the puppies - everytime I look at my pitty puppy Boo, I think of those puppies. I agree all of those dogs from the bust might not have been able to be saved - but I don't understand why they didn't deserve the chance to at least see if they could be saved. And second, The HSUS said the Vick dogs should be put to sleep - that they couldn't be rehabilitated, but they were proved wrong. Didn't they learn anything from that? The same thing happened with fighting dogs from several other busts - in Oklahoma, Missouri, and other places - each time, the HSUS recommended the dogs to be euthanized, and each time it was proved that the dogs could become not only loving pets, but more than one became contributing members of society as certified therapy dogs. That is quite an accomplishment for any dog!

It is just as sad to me when puppy mill dogs, or shelter dogs, or any other dog is euthanized - but usually the puppy mill dogs or the dogs from hoarders do have someone stepping in and offering to help - and no one is saying "don't bother, those dogs can't be saved". They aren't automatically written off just because of their breed. And while I agree with you that it's not fair to dogs to cage them for the remainder of their lives, if they can be adopted into loving homes, I think they deserve a chance, just like every other breed of dog who is rescued from horrible situations.