Setting Aside Semantics: Not Killing Pets Must Be Our Goal
Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), still tap dances around backing breed specific legislation. But in this recent blog post, he acknowledges the profound issue at stake, and takes a stance on mandatory spaying and neutering of pit bulls.
This is a step in the right direction. The fundamental goal behind breed specific legislation is to reduce breed population, whereby benefiting shelters, communities and the breed. According to recent numbers, US shelters kill about 1.4 million dogs per year, 750,000 of these dogs are pit bulls and their mixes. This is highly lopsided, given that pit bulls only make up about 5% of the US dog population.
"There are other types of challenges. There are too many pit bulls being bred, mistreated and discarded in this country. Many urban shelters are packed with them, with pit bulls, in some communities, accounting for as many as 70 percent of all dogs in the shelters. Many people who want to provide a loving home won't consider these animals. And many people who want a dog as a weapon or a fighting animal do want them. This dynamic does not lend itself to an easy solution, and that's why The HSUS has been advocating mandatory spaying and neutering of pit bulls in our communities."
If not killing pit bulls is our goal -- which is the very goal of the HSUS -- communities need to initiate controls around the breed. Mandatory sterilization and stricter regulation of breeders is a healthy start.