By Elaine Furst For Dog Files
In another sad blow to the breed, pit bulls are landing in record droves in animal shelters in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Over 14,000 pit bulls went through Maricopa Shelters last year. About one third of the animal shelter population in the county is made up of pit bulls. Sadly about 68 percent of them are euthanized.
The reason behind these unprecedented numbers is the misunderstood reputation of pit bulls. Unfortunately, a majority of people are only aware of the media’s misrepresentation of the breed as a mean dog. Shelter officials however, are hoping that with a better understanding of the breed and its history, this perception will change.
Sadly for pit bulls that wind up in the shelter system, their stories are all too familiar. They have often been mass-bred, mistreated and turned into fight dogs. It’s usually due to this mistreatment and neglect that they turn into an aggressive dogs. This is when they are then abandoned in shelters.
And for a mistreated pit bull, the shelter environment is actually the worst place they could be. With most shelters already overcrowded to begin with, pit bulls are usually ignored which only makes their behavior worse and makes them undesirable to anyone looking to adopt. Sadly, the only solution is euthanasia.
Dr. Rodrigo Silva, assistant county manager for community collaboration and director of the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Unit is troubled by these events.
Silva hopes to decrease the pit bull euthanasia rate by holding spay neuter clinics for pit bulls as well as providing educational materials about the breed.