Did you know that, according to Petfinder, the dog breeds with the highest numbers available for adoption are pit bull terriers (over 17,000) and Chihuahuas (over 13,000)? Other than the Labrador retriever, which also runs around 17,000, the closest that any other breed numbers is 5,000 or less.
My heart sinks to see those astronomical numbers. Some other breeds, such as English shepherd, Irish setter, and Japanese Chin each have fewer than a hundred in need of adoption. It’s difficult for me to envision how thousands of pit bulls and Chihuahuas could possibly get adopted. And yet there’s something that all of us can do to help.
What we can do is take advantage of LAA’s The Mighty and the Tiny Project, through which owners of pit bulls and Chihuahuas, can get their dogs fixed for only $25. These two dog breeds are most at risk for relinquishment and euthanasia.
LAA’s Mighty/Tiny project is made possible by a grant from the Best Friends Animal Society. Who is the Best Friends Animal Society? Why have they awarded this grant? Nearly 30 years ago, this animal welfare group helped pioneer the no-kill movement. At that time, more than 17 million pets were being killed annually in our nation’s shelters. Through the implementation of spay/neuter and trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs to reduce the number of pets entering shelters, and through the increase in the number of people adopting pets from shelters, these numbers have been reduced to around four million deaths per year.
Four million is still too many. The Best Friends Animal Society, along with many other animal welfare groups, are committed to reducing that number to zero. One way they are working to achieve this goal is through their No More Homeless Pets Network partner program with local shelters, which includes Lincoln Animal Ambassadors. Another way is through their national initiatives that focus on animals most likely to enter America’s shelter system. Currently, these are: cats, castoffs from puppy mills, and pit-bull-terrier-type dogs.
The sad fact is that more than 9000 animals are killed in our nation’s shelters. That’s seven animals per minute. More pit bulls are euthanized than any other dog breed. Sadly, pit bulls were once considered a great family dog; now, thanks to a reputation for being aggressive, they are often banned through Breed Specific Legislation. The rest of this week, LAA Talk will share a few personal stories I’ve received about local pit bulls.
The grant that Lincoln Animal Ambassadors received from Best Friends will run out this June. So far, LAA has spayed/neutered about 60 pit bulls and about the same number of Chihuahuas. Please take advantage of the special offer to get a pit bull fixed for $25. As the average spay/neuter can cost between $100 to $200, depending on the breed and the vet, the savings to an owner is obviously substantial. Also, please help LAA reach as many dogs as possible by sharing the Mighty/Tiny Project link and by donating to help cover costs. Let’s all work together to help the cause of pit bulls.