I would first like to say that I have invested countless hours in trying to find out how records are kept in shelters and by the SPCA and ASPCA in Canada and the USA, and also the accuracy of them.
It is becoming very clear that the answer is “Not Very Much, and Not Very Well!” I can attest to the fact that as a member of the general public, these organizations have not done their part in terms of having these types of stats available to said public.
Honestly I find it just amazing that I can contact these organizations requesting info and they send you on an endless loop from one source to the other, and none of them really knows anything concrete. I guess that’s bureaucracy for you, balls get dropped so to speak. or maybe its because no one can agree with what a “Pit Bull” really is. One thing is sure though, if we are going to kill them based solely on a name and fear, we better figure it out!
I put questions forth to the SPCA, this is what I asked of the them (Canada):
How many pit bulls were euthanized in the Canada from January 2009-August 2010?
How many pit bulls were euthanized due to aggression issues January 2009-August 2010?
How many pit bulls were euthanized due to Breed Specific Legislation January 2009-August 2010?
How many other dogs (all breeds) were euthanized within the same time frame?
How many cats were euthanized within that same time frame?
If you could provide me with those numbers at your earliest convenience that would be greatly appreciated.
This was the response I received:
Shelters do not keep breed specific tallies. They may keep a body count if required by law but they do not separate into breeds. You can guess a percentage that are “probably” pit bulls based on the numbers you see in a shelter during a given time period.
Euthanasia rates are found based on state and counties within those states but only those shelters/counties that report. You can research by state if the data is out there.
Now this is not a slam on the SPCA, or shelters as a whole, please understand that, I asked and they did their best to accommodate my request, for that I am extremely grateful. Special thanks to Amy and in a US shelter Erica, you guys we very kind to respond, thank you for that. However I am still left with an empty sense of what is really going on in terms of Pit Bulls then.
The ASPCA never responded to my emails, I guess that because I am a “Small Fish” they felt there was no sense of urgency or interest there, or they are just way to busy to answer, but why have a Media Division then? or maybe they don’t want to discuss the Pit Bull problem. Oh well that is not the point just a side note to digest. I don’t work there so I cannot say for sure why they did not respond, but it is frustrating none the less!
From what I could gather The National Shelter Project asked for some stats from shelters on euthanasia rates on a generic level, on their website they state that of feline and canine euthanasia rates in US shelters, were largely based on voluntary surveys with low response rates and that makes it difficult to estimate the population from which the euthanized animals derive. The rest can be viewed on their site, however it does mostly refer to Michigan State, and it does not answer the question.
Now If I understand this right there are no breed specific figures at all, and shelters are not REQUIRED to respond and or supply such data, it is simply a “request.” So what I am left with is this, How can any one country set up Breed Specific Legislation, when they have absolutely no idea whether the majority of these dogs were euthanized because of agression or not.
We can all sit and debate over how many attacks were the direct result of neglect and lack of socialization, how many were trained to attack, etc.
Now with that said wouldn’t that blow the lid off BSL? Let’s think about it, what else would they base their decisions on, the Media? (Like they are really reliable!) or is it just that politicians felt pressure to act, so instead of placing their muscle behind punishment and legislation for and against Humans, it was much easier to take away “our”( meaning humans) our basic human rights, the right to choose, and to then enact the systematic genocide of this breed, based solely on fear. Did we learn nothing from Hilter? Genocide is genocide and it is still wrong! be it human or not it is still the systematic elimination of a race or Breed!
In any case this system has to be addressed and revamped! We can’t be allowed to extinguish life and not keep a record of why, when and who.
Who was it then that turned “America’s Hero” into “America’s Most wanted” Who was that? Not the dog, that’s for sure. It wasn’t the loving family, responsible enough to see that their dog was happy, well cared for, socialized, and given proper training and love was it?
It was humans, humans that were more concerned with making money from the destruction of life, or the selling of drugs, it was the Big Man who feels tough when he watches his dog rip apart another. It was those who continue to break the law with no regard at all. So what do we do? Lets give them a slap on the wrist and punish the dog. Does that sound fair?
I am completely frustrated with a system that will allow this to happen and why? because it was “Just a dog!” There is no intrinsic value place on animals, and the message to animal abusers and law breakers is it’s no big deal.
Now in terms of Canada we haven’t even advanced enough to accept that execution is a necessity not an suggestion or an option. We still feel that a serial killer, rapist, child molester, and animal abuser should have the right to life, so we can’t expect much from this camp in terms of changing laws for the better now can we? Don’t get me wrong for the most part I am proud to be Canadian, but as far as real legal progress goes , it’s an uphill climb for Canada, and there’s a long way left to go.
I do not disagree with euthanization or execution, but only for the right reasons, there MUST be proof that there is a direct danger to the public from that INDIVIDUAL or proof of untreatable illness, be it man or animal.
I wish I had better things to say, but don’t be disheartened, there are groups out there that don’t euthanize, they foster instead, each and every day wonderful citizens just like you, just like me, go out and put it all on the line to save a life, even just one! to them I am grateful and proud to be part of their species!
I have shared this with others before and it will stand the test of time. My aunt told me once that “In the end what really matters is… “What was truly felt in our hearts, and how we treated one another.” I am ashamed to say that as for these dogs, some of us do not treat them very well at all, and Gandhi was right our moral character can be judged by the way we treat our animals, and as far as that goes…., FAIL! big huge collosal FAIL!
Thanks for listening!