November 19, 2007

The epidemic that's killing pit bulls

One of the [very few] lucky ones. PNWPBR rocks.

I got a nice message from a woman who writes:

I found your blog through a common interest: Pit Bulls. My doggie is having puppies this week (her 1st) and I don't know the first thing to do! I was wondering if you knew of an article or site with useful info that could help us.
Thanks for writing, and I'll do what I can to help.

First, an urgent request. Hundreds of thousands of pit bulls are put to sleep -- killed -- in pounds and shelters every year. BAD RAP has a terrific, essential, hugely important write-up on the pit bull crisis, and everyone, but everyone should read it. Go. Read. I'll wait.




Now, for all I know [since her message didn't elaborate], this woman's pit bull is an obedience champion or an agility winner with a glorious temperament. It's possible that this dog's hips and elbows are OFA approved, and it's possible she comes from titled dogs with a history of good knees and no gingival hyperplasia, thyroid trouble, cataracts, tumors, skin problems or other health ailments good APBT breeders work to eliminate from their lines. It's possible the sire is equally distinguished.

I hope so, because those are the only, I repeat, only pit bulls that should be considered for breeding when the breed is in the crisis it's in today. And in this case I'm sure that there is a carefully-screened waiting list for the pups -- a long waiting list, since pit bulls tend to have large litters -- and a cast-iron spay/neuter puppy contract waiting to be signed.

On the other hand, it's possible the dog was a stray, rescued too late for a spay/abort --- the surgery my muddy pound pup in the sidebar had eight years ago. In that case, the most important thing to do is make sure the pups are neutered before they go to their new, carefully-screened homes. A local rescue can offer good advice. This thread in the Rescue Resources & Adoptable Dogs section of the Pit Bull Forum tells about a pregnant, rescued stray. [I swiped the photo above from that thread.] God bless rescuers.

An experienced rescue group or the responsible breeder of your titled, healthy dog can provide information on pregnancy and birth. Here's a link: Giving Birth to Puppies. Here's another. I'm not a vet, but your vet should have provided information on pregnancy and whelping when your dog was checked for brucellosis prior to the breeding.

Good luck, thanks for writing, and I hope the pups find wonderful, responsible homes. (I know you'll keep an eye on visiting children. A protective mother dog [of any breed] with pups can pose a real danger to unsupervised youngsters.)

I'm sorry it has to be done, but informing people about the epidemic that's killing pit bulls is one of the most important things a pibble fan can do these days. It's so important, I'm adding a direct link in the sidebar to that BAD RAP page.

[For some brilliant talk from a responsible breeder, see Breeding a French Bulldog Litter for ‘Fun’ - Parts One and Two.]


moi said...

Word, dawg! Thanks for fighting the good fight.

Luisa said...

Likewise! [I love your blogs --- I'm digging out recipes now.]

Anonymous said...

Breeding dogs is tricky. Your post raises just some of the complications that can arise.

Very informative - this should be read by every twit who thinks breeding dogs is easy and profitable.