A friend called yesterday to tell me that he was at the Y, and there were two white pit bulls hanging around, “trying to get in the pool” (to drink). He said the folks at the Y had been chasing them off for several days, but they kept coming back. He knows I’m involved in pit bull rescue, and thought I could come pick them up.
Many people would have thought, “Oh, no! More dangerous dogs!” My first thought was, “More dogs in danger”. When I see a dog roaming the street, I feel sorry for it, and hope that it finds a good home (or gets back to its home) quickly and safely. When I see a pit bull roaming the street, I want to stop and snatch it up.
Why? Because pit bulls are the most abused dogs on the planet. It would be very rare for someone to pick up a Collie or a Lab specifically to torture it, breed it for profit, or sell it to some dog-fighter. Someone who picked up any other dog breed would probably do so for humane reasons. People who pick up pit bulls usually don’t.
We had two legit pit rescues in Tennessee. The one in Memphis closed its doors this Spring because, like so many rescues, it depended on the energy and resources of one woman. When her own dog was diagnosed with cancer, she couldn’t give him the attention he needed and continue to devote time to the rescue. The rescue in Cookeville is still functioning, but again, it’s one woman and a few foster homes, so its existence hangs on a thread.
I can’t bring home any more dogs. There is no pit rescue organization that isn’t already over-full. Pits are popular dogs for all the wrong reasons, so they are bred frequently and often wind up in horrible situations. Many animal control agencies euthanize them immediately because they know they can’t find loving, responsible homes for “that kind of dog” or because they fear the liability of adopting out “that kind of dog”.
Thousands of dogs die every day, through starvation, abuse, euthanization… I can’t save any of them. I couldn’t save those two white pit bulls. What I can do is tell my friends to NEVER buy a dog, but to adopt one instead. I can give money to organizations who actually spend it on the animals, and not on a political agenda. I can campaign against back-yard breeders who sell pups on the side of the road. I can volunteer at an animal shelter. I can write my elected officials and ask them to support legislation against puppy mills and dog fighting.
If you, too, take a few minutes of your time, you can make a difference in the life of one dog. If we all did just that much, thousands of dogs would live the way they were intended: happy, healthy, and loved.