It seems as though the media circus surrounding the Michael Vick case may have caused some changes in the public’s opinion of dog fighting. Most did not even know that dog fighting was still practiced, and certainly didn’t understand the epidemic proportions that still exist in this country. It’s hard to say if the authorities are doing more to stop the fighters or if it’s just that there is more media attention now. Another change that occurred after the Vick dogs were rescued is the public’s opinion of the dogs themselves. Suddenly, dogs confiscated from fighting rings aren’t facing an automatic death sentence, in at least some cases there may be a glimmer of hope that some of them could actually find there way into homes and onto a happier life.
But these changes raise a new question that doesn’t have an easy answer. Where will all these dogs go? Take a look around at your own home. How many dogs do you have; one, two, maybe even as many as five? Now imagine trying to find homes for 100 times that many dogs, many of whom have never lived in a house before, may not get along with other animals and may have expensive health problems. And that is just the ones confiscated in the last month. That doesn’t count the literally thousands of pit bulls and pit bull mixes that are currently in shelters and rescues waiting for homes of their own.
What can we do with all these dogs? Many people don’t want to adopt a pit bull, maybe they’re afraid of the reputation, maybe they just can’t handle a dog with the energy most pit bull’s have. Many others can’t have a pit bull due to breed specific laws in their neighborhood, a landlord that won’t allow it, the difficulty in finding homeowners or renters insurance with a pit bull, and forget it if you’re in the military since they are now banned from base housing! That rules out a lot of potential homes for these dogs.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting these dogs not be evaluated and placed up for adoption if they can be, I’m just wondering how we are going to find homes for another 500 pit bulls when there aren’t enough homes for the many thousands of pit bulls already waiting.
~ Amanda Clase