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« Mount Clemons (MI) repeals breed specific law | Main | Ontario, Miami-Dade BSL repeals move forward »

February 23, 2012

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John Richardson

There are too many things I want to see my own shelter improve upon to hold it up as anything like the perfect role model, but here are stats for Pit Bulls and Pit Mixes going back to October 2005: Reclaimed (mostly strays, but also a few surrenders reconsidered) 824; Adopted 752; Adopted by rescue (including of course dedicated Pit Bull rescues, but MOSTLY by all breed/all mutt rescues) 154; Still here 57 (out of 94 runs); Euthanized 606. We can, should and will do better, but if we can euthanize no more than 25% of Pit Bulls and Pit Mixes (and this is ALL Pit Bulls and Pit Mixes, not "adoptable" Pit Bulls and Pit Mixes) and fewer than 10% of all dogs, I'm sure others can do a lot better than some of the stats you see out there.

Brent

John -- great comment. Agreed that most shelters have areas in which they can improve. There are certainly some shelters that are doing most things right and still having troubles, but there are a lot of numbers out there that indicate to me that these shelters are barely trying. And I get really frustrated when shelters that aren't making a whole lot of effort decide to blame someone else for the issues. I got a note from someone earlier today about this that is fairly certain that Rochester's shelter won't even adopt out pit bulls. Well, if that's the case, then no WONDER people are breeding them, because they can't get them any other way. So then I'm not sure why blaming others for them killing so many when they refuse to try to adopt any out makes any sense. Am going to follow up if I can get more details.

A Facebook User

John, I'm a resident of the city of Rochester. You were quick to note the amount of dogs listed under the RAS (Rochester Animal Services) site noting that they only had 9 dogs listed and of those 9 dogs, only two were labeled as pit mixes of some sort. Although the city shelter can house many more dogs than this, only 10 of the runs at the shelter are on the adoption floor. The rest of the kennels are designated for holding dogs not up for adoption for whatever that reason may be (intake hold, court case, etc...). As you saw in the news piece, a large portion of these kennels are housing pit bull type dogs. It is important to note that RAS has had an unofficially policy in place for more than 10 yrs now preventing the adoption of any pit bull type dog to the general public. This is not something the public is well aware of, and is not something the piece touched on. RAS recently starting working with a handful of local rescues releasing dogs that have been tested, but as you can imagine, rescues are very limited in the number of dogs they can take into foster. The only dogs you will see listed on their site with the word pit in their "breed", will be followed with another breed or the word mix. Obviously you are starting to get a view into the insanity of this thought process as there is no way to tell what breed (s) you have in front of you when basic information is unknown about a vast majority of these dog. In addition to the fact that there is a policy problem at the shelter, we have a huge problem with a lack of education in the community and we are not providing adequate resources to low cost spay/neuter services or basic vaccinations to city residents. Many local rescues are forced to travel an hour or more to much smaller cities to spay/neuter clinics, so you can imagine what this means for city residents that can't afford to travel these distances. There are a few small groups trying to work with the city on these issues but these are long standing issues and much of the policies that are in place are politically backed (even if not done publicly). I was happy to see some exposure to the problem here in Rochester as these euth. rates have held steady for many years, but I'm not sure this was the right outlet to get the cogs moving towards a positive change.

Jenn

In the end, someone who choose to buy a $20/$30 pup from the guy breeding them down the street will end up paying at LEAST double if not triple the cost of the adoption fee at RAS by the time they fully vaccinate and spay/neuter their new addition. That is if their pup doesn't come down with parvo because the breeder didn't vaccinate them. Then you are looking at thousands of dollars versus $164. Having said that, I agree they should be marketing their fully vetted and S/N'd dogs, they need to make it easy for people to see exactly why their cost is $164. I'm sure they can reduce fees and sometimes they do, adopt one cat get another free, senior to senior adoptions, etc.

They do not currently "officially" adopt out pit bulls but as you can see, some are making it to the adoption floor. A lot are actually. I've been there when the majority of the kennel space they do have, the "adoption floor", is filled with pit mixes. Dogs that don't make it out onto the adoption floor are released directly to rescue groups that are approved to pull. They don't have much space for adoptable dogs, which I thank can be approved upon. They literally have I think about 14 kennels for adoptable dogs. The rest of the space is for impound (trust me, they need it), clinic, cat rooms, and quarantine.

Geneva Coats

Haven't you heard? Low income families don't deserve a dog. They can't take proper care of it and will use it for nefarious purposes anyway......so say society's most sanctimonious nannies.

Ruth

Isn't it Rochester where there's some VIP who's "lab" attacked a passerby with little to no provocation, and yet the VIP is one of the political folks against pit bulls?

PAMM - People Against Moronic Men

"They only have 14 kennels for adoptable dogs and the rest are for impound"

UUuummm, I call bullshit. They can use as many of those impound cages for adoption as they want - they are choosing not to for some arbitrary reason or that they merely choose not to fix the problem. Take the excuses elsewhere please...

Montecristo Travels

New to this blog.
Everywhere you go there is a breed that is at high risk. In some cases it is the ones called "bully breeds" but in other places it is the little ones that suffer. I find it interesting that this blog focuses such a great deal on the plight of the pit bull and pit bull mixes, yet ... and granted I have not yet read the entire blog and maybe should ... never do I see the shocking numbers reserved for the over bred and quickly dismissed Chihuahua for example. Now I know this may not seem like as "grand" a cause to champion but last year alone the US and Canada combined euthanized 80,000 of these little dogs – who by the way are not the yappy, aggressive ankle biters everyone wants to label them as. Yes, they too have an unfair reputation to fight.

I wish that the real issue were focused on. It isn't the breed. It isn’t even the shelters – as flawed as they all may be. It is the backyard breeders and the lack of available and inexpensive spay and neuter clinics that I believe are really the bottom line. Kill shelters will exist. No matter how much we would like to see it differently - the numbers are just not possible. A study done in Ontario a little while back (will try and find the link) showed that in order to close down or have only "no kill" shelters every adult in Canada would have to adopt 5-7 dogs depending on their province. So ... how about we focus on spay and neutering? on closing puppy mills, on fining backyard breeders and so on? Shelters are flawed but many of them are trying to do what they can, with crazy government sanctioned limitations and with lack of funding and resources rampant. They are not however, the root cause of the problem.

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