I read an article on the front-page of the Chicago Tribune today. It was entitled, “Unwanted, Feared, Abandoned” and it went on to elaborate about how Pitbulls are pushing the animal shelters to their limits capacity-wise, and more Pitbulls are being euthanized. This is for a number of reasons; which I will put into my own words and not in any particular order:
1. Overbreeding by unscrupulous puppy mills for money.
2. Owners not wanting to take the time to train their dogs properly. (“They have too much energy”)
3. Owners do not want the dog after it reaches a year of age (“It’s not a puppy”)
4. Dogs kicked to the curb for not winning in dogfights.
5. The economy (people cannot afford their pets, have had to downsize their homes, etc.).
6. Dog bites (There are more Pitties now, so dog bites have risen proportionally with the increase in population).
* * *
Did you know that there is no such breed as a “Pitbull”? Pitbull is a generic term used to describe a powerful dog with a large head and a strong jaw. It encompasses American Staffordshire terriers, American Pit Bull terriers (not pitbull) and Staffordshire Bull terriers, as well as mixes of these dogs. In some areas, “Pitbull” dogs are identified by appearance alone.
The outlook is grim; however, there are a number of no-kill shelters specifically for these “bully breeds” cropping up. That last part is good news, because owners are giving up their dogs at a high ratio. We need more education for owners and more safe places for the dogs to go.
I encourage everyone, everywhere, to practice responsible pet ownership. Research the dog (or cat! or whatever!) that you are considering getting, and think through whether or not it will be a good fit with your family. Factor in children, as well as your housing and/or yard situation. Think honestly about the time you have to spend with your pet. Spay and neuter, and train, train, train, your dog.
Today’s article gives me Paws for Thought. I hope you think about it, too.
Woof! Love, Maggie