I know, so many people have no interest in adopting a Pit Bull, or Pitty Mix. I have had the same stand . . . . until I started volunteering at Sammies Friends 15 months ago. However, I am better educated now, and better than that, have met some of the sweetest, most loyal examples of that breed through volunteer work. Here is what I have learned over the past 18 months having personally housed 20 homeless dogs.
With the housing implosion, the shelter is drowning in "foreclosure" and stray dogs. So many people losing their status as home owners, and becoming renters, or moving away in seach of jobs. Lord knows it's hard enough to find a rental that takes dogs, and almost IMPOSSIBLE to find one that takes Pitties (sometimes prohibited by the insurance companies). Since the shelter can't take many "owner turn-in's" (they are obligated to take all county strays, & fill up fast with those) the result is that people simply release their dogs on county roads to fend for themselves. This results in injured, dead ,starving and scared dogs. Many are Pitts.
Currently Nevada County shelter has 12 of them, with more rolling in each day. Last month they adopted out ONE. Yes, one pit mix adopted. Do the math. Scooters Pals has 12 on their roster, fortunately in foster homes since they have no facility.
Two programs to address the problem: First and foremost, slow the breeding. Sammies Friends (NC shelter) is offering a SPAY/NEUTER YOUR PIT BULL PROGRAM, November 7th to Nov. 12th. You can get your dog spayed or neutered for low/cost or even NO COST to you. Even transportation will be provided if needed. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD. Owners will also have a chance to win a the $250 grand prize for participating. The last time they had this program 70 dogs got altered. This is so important to stop more dogs from being born that will just land on the streets, dead or in the shelters. Sammies dogs receive training while at the shelter, and they can assist you with continuing training needs. They also have a program for low income owners to help with the altering of other breeds and cats. Call Sammies at 471-5041 for info on these programs.
Scooters Pals will launch a program for NOV/DEC to WAIVE THE ADOPTION FEE to QUALIFIED OWNERS for their Pitt's and Pitt mixes looking for a home (the normal fee is $200). These dogs are spayed/neutered, all shots, all medical needs already addressed and microchipped. This would cost much more to do on your own if you started with a puppy. Plus, because they are in foster care, you get to know much about their personality before you consider them for your family.
Both scooterspals.org and sammiesfriends.org have picture galleries linked to petfinder to view the available dogs. Scooters Pals can be reached at 350-2099.
SO, maybe you would like to be a hero, and give a wonderful dog a deserving chance. So many of these dogs are model citizens already, and more will be with proper homes and training. Perhaps you can foster one from the shelter so he can be in a home for the holidays, enjoying all the perks of a family atmosphere. Or perhaps you can enlighten your neighbor that there is assistance to help them do the right thing by their dog. "Helping one dog may not change the world, but for that one dog, his world is changed forever."