Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pit shelter and euthanasia stats

Merritt Clifton, Editor at Animal People recently shared some pertinent information about the number of pit bulls in shelters and their ultimate disposition. I think it bears repeating because it refutes the idea that "BSL" is somehow to blame for all the pit bull deaths.

The current U.S. pit bull population is about 3.2 million, and it has been about three million for about 10 years now, according to the annual ANIMAL PEOPLE surveys of classified ads offering dogs for sale or adoption. About one million pit bulls per year enter animal shelters, about two-thirds surrendered by their keepers, most of the rest impounded for dangerous behavior. Most of these dogs have already been through three homes -- their birth home, the home that bought them, and a subsequent pass-along home, before they arrive at shelters.

An average of just over 900,000 pit bulls per year over the past 10 years have been killed in shelters after flunking behavioral screening, with a peak of 967,000, a low of 835,000, and 910,000 killed last year. This is about 60% of all the dogs killed in U.S. shelters today, up from about 50% in 2003. The average age of pit bulls killed in animal shelters is about 18 months. So what we have at any given time is a third of the pit bull population having not yet reached maturity, a third (at most) in homes they will still occupy at the end of the year, and a third flunking out of homes and being killed -- which translates into a 50% failure rate among adult dogs in homes each & every year. Among all other dog breeds combined, about 5% enter shelters each year.

Animal people news


  1. Mandatory sterilisation would go a long way in reducing these numbers. ALL puppies from ALL dog breeds are adorable; sadly with Pit Bulls, Puppyhood lasts such a short time before they start to show their Bull tendencies and they are quickly out of control in ordinary domestic settings. I am no fan of these specialist dogs, but it IS upsetting to see youngsters who should never have been born in the FIRST place, losing the only thing any of us really possess (our lives) simply because of home-breeders and their greed for cash dollars. I do wish the Pit Bull community would pull together on this and shun home breeders at every opportunity, advertise sterilisation at every opportunity, and STOP permitting ANYONE to post pictures of their new cuddly 'baby' on their Pit Bull facebook pages. The figures above PROVE that these dogs are more than your normal pet dog breed 'handful'. No doubt MORE of them would be given the peace they need had it not been for the cover-ups perpetuated at some Dog Shelters; I have seen myself clearly aggressive Pits being offered but only to homes with no children, dogs or cats; Pits dressed up in scarves and other foolish items in order to make them more 'attractive', and WORSE, Pit Bulls and Pit derivatives being labelled 'Labrador Mix' or 'Mixed Breed' or 'Terrier Type'. So dangerous. I would be afraid to GO to a Shelter looking to adopt an adult dog; I suspect the pressure put on visitors to adopt a second-hand Pittie must be immense. What a mess; a tragedy for the dogs and a tragedy for those whose lives will be ruined or ended by these unwanted and potentially extremely dangerous dogs. Also tragic for the pet cats and dogs who will be attacked, maimed or killed by these dogs - in the hands of well-meaning people who do not understand them, and who even if they DID understand them would be helpless to stop them once they had focussed on their 'prey' and begun that deadly charge and resultant maul.

  2. Here's the pet adoption list from my local tax-supported shelter. Guess which type of dog is most prevalent.

  3. Breeders/shelters/pet shops need to EDUCATE folks as regards responsible ownership/breed tendencies and SCREEN for appropriate owners.... ALL of the above-mentioned "sources" focus solely on "moving the animal".... some out of greed, and some from the misconception that a "saved life", however it is saved, is a good thing.... while that MAY OR MAY NOT be true for the animal, it is GENERALLY NOT TRUE for members of the community where this dog ends up.... citizens who did NOT get a say in whether or not they wanted this dog living among them. Citizens who now will forever have to "be on the defensive" because potential danger lives among them....

    Until one of these folks has had enough, and puts a couple shots in the beast as it is attacking either the person or his pet....


  4. yep , those are awe-inspiring figures for an awesome breed of dog. none of my numerous dogs had to be surrendered to the pound for recycling . since its always the owner never the dog , i must be an awesome owner

  5. What a clear and undeniable illustration that the BREED ITSELF is a problem breed. More importantly, I think, is how strongly it shows that "problem dogs" are not exclusively born from abuse and/or neglect. If anything, quite the opposite. These are the statistics from the GOOD pet owners.

    No doubt, some pitnutter will want to refute that, but tell me this, o'mighty enlightened nutters: do abusers re home problem pets, do they risk liability for the sake of an animal that obviously means jack shit to them? Would they risk being "found out" and arrested, by taking it to a shelter? Do they fork over $100 for the shelter fee?

    Do you seriously think any thinking, intelligent person is going to buy into the knee-jerk and baseless assertion that abusers would do anything for the animals sake ...when abusers are, by their nature, are secretive and concerned only with the self, and would have to face some financial discomfort, expenditure of time and energy, and possibly incarceration.
    Seriously, they would only fork over the animal--at their expense--if they were forced to. MOST are from WILLING pet owner... That's over 666,000 (2/3) from-a-good-family pits.

    These are cold, hard facts. Yet, nutters still scream "it's bad owners"!!!! When the numbers clearly show otherwise. So frustrating! I think this is how Galileo must've felt when he tried telling people the earth revolves around the sun, not vice-versa.

    Thank you for a great write-up Jake!

  6. Hey...Don't forget that the US Dog Fighters are estimated to kill another 250,000 Pit Bulls annually!

    Dog Lovers killing dogs...It is what the pit bull community has been about since it was created!

    Meanwhile, they rail against Denver and other cities for jumping off the Pit Bull Crazy train.

    1. hear hear, vintage! Another powerful illustration of just how small the pitbull population that has *access to opportunity to attack* (i.e. roving free in normal communities, which are where the majority of horrific attacks occur) is substantially smaller than the pitbull population as a whole. Ergo, an even smaller number of a particular breed is killing people in large numbers... probably moreso than initially thought; since speculation/calculations typically are computed using the whole pitbull populace. "Just like other dogs" my foot.

  7. hear hear, vintage!

    another strong indicator that the pitbull populace "at large" (opportunities to attack via presence in the domestic community, where most of the attacks seem to be occurring) is much smaller than the population as a whole. Ergo, the breed responsible for the most tragedy is killing more people from a smaller pool of animals. I think the correlation between breed attack statistics as they pertain to breed population... is not accurately reflecting aggression potential. (Since the numbers are typically calculated by the entirety of population.)

    Nutter false claims that the reason the number of attacks are so high is because the breed is "so popular"... only remotely plausible in that pitbulls are "the most popular dog"--in shelter populations. How many attacks occur in these shelters? yeah, the exception, not the rule. why? because they are prohibited from human interaction. minimal opportunity to maul. In the only arena in which pitbulls predominate.

    reality sayeth: smaller number of dogs committing the most violence. popularity theory=debunked, like all the rest.


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