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38 thoughts on “Do Not Adopt A Pit Bull, Especially Right Now: Rescue and Shelter Shenanigans During the Coronavirus Crisis

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  1. What’s the difference between a pit bull pusher and pit bull?

    One is a dangerous animal and… ..

    …the other is a blood sport dog.

    • As expected, there are mixed messages from shelters around the country, but certainly some (the open admission shelters) must brace for a large influx. However, we are also seeing some open admission shelters shut down intake except for high priority cases (dangerous dogs, etc). It’s just too early to tell. Many unemployed people will also be getting temporary relief. So the actual fallout of people giving up pets and/or being forced into new living spaces could be months away. One thing is certain during this time, attacks by family pit bulls on family members will not decrease, and off-property attacks will decrease — foot traffic has plummeted as people stay inside their own homes.

      • Our local city/county announced a shutdown of all nonessential animal control and shelter functions. AC will still respond to law enforcement requests and bites/dangerous/aggressive dog complaints. But no leash law or stray dog pickups.

  2. Around me, at least, people are outside a LOT now – everyone is out in their yards gardening, the streets are filled with walkers. Everyone home, everyone unable to go to work or school or the stores… I’ve been assuming the number of attacks will go up. Kids are home from daycare/school? Lots of chances for your toddler to open the door just as the neighbors circle the block for the third time, out for the now-coveted chance to do something, anything, other than watch Netflix.

    Plus, if even more open-intake shelters start refusing to either accept surrenders or seek out roaming aggressive dogs, that’s going south in a hurry. My local shelters already balk at accepting surrenders and refuse to investigate loose dogs.

      • Quote snip from link: “…With more children at home during school closures, incidents of dog attacks on postal carriers have a tendency to increase, the United States Postal Service says. When kids rush out the door to see a mail, a household dog often follows behind, leaving the carrier vulnerable to a dog attack. …”
        Me: With more kids at home, there will be more dog attacks on pedestrians. Supervisor of Prescott Animal Control Shannon Gray: “…I then observed Victim/Complainant Buffalin on the north side of Delano Ave. jumping onto an electrical box to get away from the suspect dog. … … I asked suspect Kline if she knew her Queensland Heeler was loose, and she stated “Yes, he gets loose all the time due to the kids leaving the gate open”.
        Yes; me, the curbside electrical box, the loose dog that was chasing me, and the supervisor of animal control all converged at the same place at the same time. Kline got a citation for Dog at Large because “…her dog had chased a man (Buffalin) on Delano Ave. and also charged at me. (Supervisor of AC)”.

        • Sooooo

          Never occurred to this fool to NOT let the dog in the yard, alone with the children when she was not supervising?

          Or to do the obvious…

          Train the dog NOT to leave the yard, gate or no gate?

          But then, that takes a bit more effort than chucking kibble in a bowl.

          Silly me.

          Sorry that happened to you, Richard.

    • My local county shelter announced on its FB page last week that it would closed to the public for now, and not accepting surrenders. Interestingly, several people seem to have immediately recognized the implications of the surrender service being eliminated, and questioned that decision. The shelter did not respond.

  3. This is the peak of irresponsibility. Our priories should be on the well being of humankind. Not dogs! And especially not KILLER DOGS! Food and supplies are flying off the shelves live crazy. Literally who would even want to buy a dog at a time like this?

    The toilet paper scam is just pathetic. People are literally unable to actually get toilet paper because of hoarders. Now the shelter wants to bribe people into taking home a killing machine for the promise of a roll of TP?! Are they serious?!

    Also, this is extremely hypocritical coming from shelters. Aren’t they supposed to be against impulse buys? Isn’t that what they claim is the worst way one could get a dog? So why on earth are they trying to push these pits out to an unsuspecting, highly stressed out crowd who really does not need to be acquiring any sort of animal? Again, this is the PEAK of irresponsibility.

    And if any of these beasts ends up attacking someone, that’s only more strain on the already stressed out health system. They need to focus on the patients suffering from the virus, not pit mauling victims. This is not the time to be adding completely preventable attacks to our hospitals!

  4. In the interest of fair warning, it seems like that pizza joint could have at least pasted in a picture of a human limb in the dog’s mouth instead of the pizza slice.

    Thanks for the, as always, informative article.

  5. On the last killing, I posted this and I was dismayed that no one started a discussion on it but I am pleased we are talking about it now:

    Does anyone want to speculate what the coronavirus will do to animal shelters and the pit population? Financial pain is coming to the US and many of the pits are going to be surrender due to the cost of keeping them. With the shelters keep trying to store and rehome them? Will they have to get serious about euthanizing these (and other large dogs) due to the cost of boarding them? Areas hit with the virus are ghost towns. Businesses are feeling the pain. Schools are being closed and families are having to have one or the only parent stay home to watch the kids while they do cyber education. I think we are going to see more lose/pack pit bulls. I think we may also see a decline in their population. Maybe.

    Now, must of what I speculated on has come to fruition. The next stage is what China is dealing with: dogs being dumped on the street. Basically, a lot of dogs and puppies running around abandoned. We all know this is dangerous, especially at a time when being outside is one of the safest places.

    • Hopefully kill shelters will start making smart decisions to put these beasts down, considering the situation. It’s now more than ever an utter waste to keep these dogs alive and waste resources on them. The kill shelters are the only hope of the number of pits having even the smallest decline.

      But I have no doubts that no kill shelters like the one written about in this article will keep trying to push them in spite of the tragedy going on right now. They’ll probably just use the situation to make more ads to sell them; “This poor pooch was abandoned because the family didn’t want to keep her during the virus :(” and then try to get sympathy and sell the dogs off that way.

    • Unfortunately where I live, which is an apartment with breed restrictions, there seems to be huge increases of these dogs around suddenly. I came face to face with one the night before that stopped me in my tracks. We’ve lived here 3 years and we know the rental office will do nothing about,so we are now faced with moving to a no pet apartment in a few months.

    • That is only going to be some families; other families have been and will continue to surrender their pets as the fall out of this crisis continues. Again, we think cat adoptions are appropriate at a time like this, as long as you keep them as indoor pets and you know the basics of feline health and their needs. Dogs have a much higher level of day-to-day responsibility (outside of the mainly indoor toy breeds), requiring house training, obedience training, socialization, exercising, kenneling when traveling and much more. Our concern is that there are never many “cute and fluffy” dog breeds to adopt from shelters. But these same shelters are loaded with unwanted pit bulls.

      • Small dogs are honestly a hot commodity at shelters and rescues where I live. I have two small dogs I bought from an animal shelter. I do not refer to them as ‘rescues’ though, as people often refer to any dog adopted from a shelter. If I had not adopted them, someone else would have. Cute small dogs tend to be adopted immediately from shelters where I live, even if they are older.

        It’s becoming more and more socially unacceptable to buy dogs from breeders (my husband really doesn’t want me to ever buy a pup from a breeder), but in some areas, if you want a nice small dog, it will be hard to find one from a rescue or shelter. At this point in time (pandemic, economic upheaval), I don’t think anyone should be breeding animals. But it’s really just a few types of dogs (primarily pit bulls) clogging shelters in some areas. Sadly, the types of reckless idiots who breed pit bulls aren’t responsible or level headed. I don’t see the pit bull crisis stopping anytime soon.

        I looked at the Niagara SPCA website. There are a couple of shepherd-type mixes and the rest of the dogs are pit bulls or mastiffs. A lot of shelters are like that – just full of impending disasters.

      • My husband just got a shelter dog after a two year search- standard poodle/Chesapeake Bay retriever, due primarily due to my allergies. I tried to talk sense into him but he’s dog crazy. He’s never considered a pit, that would be divorce territory.

        • That’s good. Finding good, safe dogs in shelters and rescues can be done. They are often overlooked because of all the pit pushing.
          I got my dog (Lab/Golden cross) from a rescue group. Had to spend a while looking and drive 2 hours to get him but that’s ok. He’s pretty much the ideal dog…friendly and biddable, and shows zero interest in chasing or bothering my cats. Good dogs are still out there.

          • He’s not even aware of anything concerning pit bulls but remarked that 75 to 80% of most shelters he’s been looking at are pit bull type dogs.

  6. The statement on the Brother Wolf website is artful and articulate. Worded so that even a pity partier would find it hard to argue. Warehousing is just awful, even for pit bulls. As must as I loath that breed, I would not want to see any of them imprisoned and getting mental illness from the confinement.

  7. Excellent article. “No-kill” shelters are a horrible idea, that most people don’t understand the true meaning of. Dogs that should have been painlessly and humanely killed months or even years ago, are still up for adoption to unsuspecting families. And many adopters don’t understand that dogs that need a home without children or other pets, are just as much a threat to the adult owner, as they are to other children and pets. It’s not a surprise that pitbull-firsters are seeking to take advantage of people during this national emergency & time of stress.

  8. All good points!

    “To a home with no other dogs, no small children”
    means
    “Will work to escape for the purpose of attacking, mauling and trying to kill dogs and small children”.

  9. Just in on Fox: “Florida dog tracks close over coronavirus, leaving hundreds of greyhounds in need of homes”

    • My dream is to have two greyhounds. Ex-racers can be good pets. they walk on lead, potty on lead and are quiet. But they do need exercise and have a high prey drive.

  10. This is beyond madness. Take home a high exercise, potentially dangerous dog, when you can’t exercise it anywhere? When everyone is stressed out and nobody is in a calm head space to train it?

    Watch the explosion of dog maulings, right before your very eyes.

    Richard, I’d take a greyhound over a pitbull any day.

    While they don’t actually DO much…they’re also the laziest dogs on the planet, surprisingly. They may look athletic but short of eating your hamster and possible housebreaking struggles, they’re generally very mild mannered.

  11. Shelters and rescues are an unregulated industry fraught with corruption and fraud. The “No Kill” movement has made them worse by filling shelter kennels with hoards of unwanted dogs that are unsuitable for adoption, but which are being offered (nay, pushed) for adoption anyway. Only once the No Kill movement is exposed for the naive solution it was, and when it is discarded for its dangerous side effects, will the shelter system begin to recover.

  12. I wish I seen this article sooner, but now I understand a lot. We adopted a “lab/heeler mix” from a no kill shelter in March. After we brought him home, everyone we knew said he was a pit. The shelter lied about his age (they said 2 1/2, paperwork suggested 4 based on dates on records and a Facebook advertisement for the dog we found) and that he was good with kids. He was always barking at anyone coming to the house, but he loved everyone he met. He whimpered when he couldn’t get to little kids he saw from the bedroom window and really wanted to go after rabbits in the yard. We own a home with no fence, so he got several walks daily. I was also the one who fed him every day. He viciously bit me this Monday. I was laying in bed and he came up and laid next to me. A couple minutes later he started watching my husband walk around the room and next thing I know he started attacking my face, then went after my ear twice. I ended up with 16 stitches to my ear, some gluing to the same ear and under my eye. I feel lucky to be alive. I let the shelter know he bit me and they weren’t even worried about me. They seemed more worried about animal control getting involved. We spent hundreds on this dog in less than 2 months and they acted like we were at fault. I don’t think I will ever adopt a dog again. I’ve had many growing up, and I did research months before we even made the decision to adopt. Shortly after we adopted this dog (the last one) there was a news report about the clearing of the shelter. They stated they adopted out what they thought was the unadoptable pets in the news interview. Now I understand what they mean by that.

    • My daughter adopted a “terrier mix” from Austin Pets Alive. The rescue group down-played the prior face bites (four that we know of) and blamed the people for mishandling the dog and “letting their guard down”. Only two prior bites were reported to animal control and neither of these were reported by Austin Pets Alive. They took the dog back after each incident and re-adopted him out. When my daughter told them she was bitten they were more concerned about her plans for the dog. I contacted the organization via email and spoke with a volunteer who said she would have a supervisor call me. This was two days ago and I have not heard from them. I am shocked that these organizations have no moral or ethical requirements when it comes to repeatedly putting people in danger. In addition, each time the dog is adopted out, quarantined after the bite, and then put back in the cage at the rescue organization it causes the dog more anxiety. This particular dog came with a prescription for Gabapentin which was being given to him for “anxiety”.

      • Thank you so much for leaving a comment. We have a major upcoming post about this issue that also centers around APA.

  13. Heather, I am so sorry to learn about your attack and being lied to by a shelter. This was a vicious facial attack. I understand why you feel lucky to be alive. We also see many lies about the ages of dogs. A 2-year old is more attractive to an adopter than a 4-year old, thus the common 2-year old lie. I hope you did get animal control involved! That dog needs to be humanely euthanized. “They stated they adopted out what they thought was the unadoptable pets in the news interview.” That is exactly what they are doing during the coronavirus.

  14. I noted that Do Good Only in Pontiac is exclusively for Pit Bulls. EACH one comes with the standard cavet. Uncertain as to small children cats etc.. The dogs come from the public shelter where the history is most certainly known. Sorry to say(actually glad) but “Tootie” is still available. Toilet paper anyone?

  15. One of my nearby shelters is currently advertising a “terrier/bull mix” up for adoption with the following profile:

    “Hi there! I am currently in foster and any adoption meet n’ greets will need to be scheduled a few days in advance

    “Do you like other dogs?”

    As I’ve gotten older, I have enjoyed the company of other dogs less and less. I need to be the only dog in the home. I’d prefer to spend my days hanging out in a backyard, rather than going on walks where I can see other dogs.

    “What do you think about cats?”

    I should not live with cats.

    “So how do you feel about kids?”

    I have some resource guarding issues with food and toys and staff has noted that I have some handling sensitivities. I would probably do fine in a house with teenagers who will respect my things and my boundaries.

    “What’s your ideal home like?”

    I would love a nice quiet home with a big yard for us to play in!

    “What is it that staff and volunteers love about you?”

    They love my scruffy face and my friendly, playful personality.

    “Is there anything else we should know about you?”

    I’m about 7 years old, weigh between 40-50 lbs and I have a behavior release that kennel staff can tell you more about when you call to meet me!

    I came into the shelter as a surrender and the above information is all recommendations based on my previous history and the behavior seen at the shelter. Expect to learn more about me after adoption.

    *It is unknown how this animal will do in their new home as all animals can be different with each person. It is important to take this into consideration when thinking about adopting and making sure you are prepared to work with any potential medical or behavior issues that occur after adoption.*

    My adoption fee includes my spay/neuter, current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification, certificate for a free veterinary exam, post-adoption support and more!

    Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about me! If you think we would be a good match come on down and ask to meet me! I’m looking for my forever home and it could be with you.”

    There are so many red flags in this dog’s profile it hurts to read it. I am sure that the “behavior release” that comes with this adoption will be sure to place all liability for future dog attacks on the adopter, rather than the shelter.

    This dog clearly has a history and it isn’t pretty. At least they don’t appear to be lying about the known issues, just heavily down playing them to avoid scaring away suckers … I mean potential rescuers.

  16. I don’t agree with the headline of this article, but I agree with the premise.
    Unfortunately there are a lot of unregulated and poorly managed animal shelters that take in pitbulls and, rather than taking appropriate precautions when adopting them out, write up fanciful, fluffy “biographies” and try to dump them on any inexperienced family.

    I would like to mention that there are rescues and shelters that specialize in dangerous dog breeds, specifically pitbulls. The rescue I work with is extremely strict on what dogs we accept, and who we adopt to; only owners with previous experience, no children or vulnerable adults in the home, who have enough time in their schedule and budget for the attention and training needed. We also do several check-ups for up to a year during the “trial period,” and if the adopter is not following all necessary protocols, we will remove the dog from the home.

    We generally have very good reviews, but all of our poor reviews are, of course, from people saying our limits are “too strict” and “unrealistic,” and that we’re “keeping these poor dogs from perfectly loving homes” with our regulations.
    But we do this both for the safety and well-being of the animals, as well as people.

    We hope to strike a middle ground, where we are not allowing animals to endanger the lives of pets or people, but where we don’t have to endorse mass-euthanasia of dogs who could do well given the appropriate conditions.

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