At some point in your social media history, you’ve probably seen a meme saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” And yet, so-called pitbull advocates continue to petition and even bully politicians into repealing pitbull bans by conning mayors, city council members and senators into believing they’re helping the dogs. Every city that repeals its pitbull ban (BSL) is another city that enables backyard breeders and dogfighters to breed them. This should be common sense.
Since it isn’t common sense, every shelter in this country is full of pitbulls and pit mixes that no one wants. No one, of course, but dogfighters. An example from Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, where 90 percent of Humane Society of the Delta’s 400 dogs were pitbulls in September 2020 — before pandemic pets started being returned to shelters in droves:
“The shelter averages a hundred new dogs a month needing care,” news station KARK reported. Humane Society of the Delta President Gloria Higginbotham “[hoped] law enforcement [would] crack down on dog fighting rings [that] bring nothing but pain to these canines,” but hoping doesn’t change anything, so that shelter is now closed.
By Asking Mayors, Senators and Representatives to Repeal Pitbull Bans, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends Animal Society Are Advocating FOR Dogfighters
“Though illegal in all states and a felony in 47, dogfighting is on the rise, particularly outside its traditional stronghold in the Deep South,” the Washington Post reported in 2004 — three years before Michael Vick was busted. “It’s far more pervasive than people think and it’s definitely been on the upswing in the past five to 10 years,” Humane Society of the United States dogfighting expert John Goodwin told CNN in 2007.
Knowing this, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends Animal Society should have spent the past 15 years since the Michael Vick case campaigning for lengthy mandatory minimum sentences for dogfighters and a tethering ban to deter them.
- The ASPCA knows pitbulls have been inbred for hundreds of years, and dogfighters inject them with anabolic steroids that don’t just cause aggression but affect future generations;
- The ASPCA used to acknowledge that some dogs are too aggressive to be adopted out; and
- The Humane Society of the United States told NPR in 2007 that “a pit bull terrier is meant to fight” and it “[didn’t] recommend adopting out a fight-crazy, game-bred pit bull because that creates a great liability for other people with dogs in a community. A dog that has been bred and conditioned for fighting is going to do everything he can to get out of the yard and get to that black Lab next door. And that causes problems.”
But because many people still see pitbulls as an abused underdog instead of the aggressor it was created to be hundreds of years ago and continues to be today, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends Animal Society kowtowed to public opinion to make a name for themselves in Best Friends’ case and become millionaires in the ASPCA’s case. So:
- Dogfighting is thriving, as CityWatchLA reported in 2021;
- Cats and kittens are being killed while the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends Animal Society play hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil to avoid vilifying the dogs bringing in donations;
- Pitbulls that were created hundreds of years ago to fight and kill are killing neighbors’ dogs and cats, and their owners are tying up courts, fighting euthanasia orders, so pitbulls are often returned to their owner; and
- The National Pit Bull Victim database body count increases every day because shelters and rescues have less sense than a dogfighter who told the Philadelphia Inquirer that dogfighters kill their dogs to prevent them from going to a home where they’ll maul a child.
As I write this, a Pennsylvania rescue half an hour from Philadelphia is seeking “a very specific type of foster home.” Rosie the pitbull “needs an all-female household with no dogs, no kids, and no cats” — and no conscience, because it is unconscionable to put a pitbull like this in a neighborhood with men, dogs, kids and cats.
Rosie is one of millions of pitbulls that should be euthanized instead of being posted on Facebook, retweeted on Twitter and rehomed via Craigslist, but as you see above and below, pitbull advocates and no-kill shelters are more concerned about pitbulls’ safety than anyone else’s. Notice how many times Austin Animal Center, which had FOUR HUNDRED medium/large dogs, 67 of which were living in crates, on site in September 2022, uses the word “safe” below.
The A Bea C’s of Pitbull Rescue
A Is for Anya, a Pitbull Who Thanked Her Foster by Attacking the Family Dog
Bea Is for Honey Bea, a Pitbull Whose Ad Ends with a Liability Waiver
Northern Lakes Rescue obtained pitbull Honey Bea in February. Four months later, it made one last attempt to prevent her from being euthanized by advertising her on Facebook with an ad that culminated with a liability waiver for the following reasons [links = screencaps from the ad, CAPS LOCK is the rescue’s emphasis]:
- she was showing EXTREME aggression toward other animals
- as the rescue admitted, “[M]ost EXTREMELY aggressive dogs will never train out of the aggression” … instead, the rescue said, the aggression needs to be managed
- “Honey Bea has shown EXTREME aggression towards other dogs. She will probably never be able to socialize with other dogs. She ‘stalks’ and ‘targets’ dogs as soon as she sees them. She has attacked dogs on a few occasions.”
- The rescue “did a little bit of socializing with her (WITH A MUZZLE ON), and she still tried attacking most of the dogs she was with“
- “She did find one dog that she seemed to like, but she was too intense for the other dog”
- “Honey Bea goes right for the throat when attacking and must be choked out with a slip leash to let go”
- “We are certain that given the opportunity, she would absolutely kill another dog”
- “Honey Bea also has EXTREME prey drive (even with smaller dogs). She goes nuts when she sees a small dog. She is hard to break out of that mode, even with an e-collar correction. She will stop momentarily with a correction, but she never really deescalates until the dog is far away or out of sight”
Despite all of those bullet points, the rescue said, “If Honey Bea doesn’t continue to get exposed to the world and other dogs (not directly interacting with, she will regress.”
I can’t imagine too many people sacrificing their dog to help socialize a pitbull, but this is what happened when someone offered up her pet to a pit mix:
“A woman invited us to her fenced-in back yard to meet one of her dogs,” the person with the pit mix posted. “She let us into the yard first, and we dropped the leash and let her run around by herself for a minute. Then the woman let her dog into the yard. It was a male dog, much bigger than our girl. Our dog ran right up to him and after sniffing for a minute, started growling. The woman, who has much more experience with dogs than we do, said to give them time. Our girl seemed to settle in to smelling and roaming around together. They each, at various points, laid down and showed their bellies. But she was very pushy and wouldn’t get out of his space. He was so polite with her but clearly annoyed. Then he must have made a threatening snarl or something, because our girl lunged and they started rolling and growling and snarling. It was terrifying.” The person who owned the home sprayed the dogs with water and citronella to break up the fight and send her dog running into the house.
“Edit: I don’t think my dog needs doggy friends,” the person with the pit mix conceded. “I just want to be able to visit with my friends who have dogs and feel confident that my dog isn’t aggressive or anxious. She will be going where we go. Simply ignoring or tolerating other dogs would be fine with me.”
Pitbulls weren’t bred to ignore and tolerate other dogs, so they’re constantly being tweeted with “needs to be an only pet in a home” warnings like this:
And because the dogs need to be walked, more and more quiet suburban mornings are being disrupted by screaming.
C Is for Casper, the Unfriendly Pitbull Who Needs “Supervision from Experts”
If “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan couldn’t prevent his pitbull from killing Queen Latifah’s dog, what sort of expert is going to prevent Casper, who “needs to be a solo pet” from killing a neighbor’s dog?
The time has come to cancel the ASPCA and Best Friends, who repeatedly propose legislation to put dogfighters’ pitbulls in homes faster, collaborate to propose legislation that will put them in public housing, where a considerable percentage of residents are disabled, and use pitbulls as a cash cow. It’s also time to strip the 501(c)3 designation from shelters and rescues that endanger their community. In the meantime, people are taking matters into their own hands.