As you read this, an animal is being abused. By the time you’re done, a few more will be purposely hurt or even killed. According to the ASPCA, an animal is abused every 10 seconds in the US.
In shelters, 1.2 million companion animals are euthanized every year, 40% of them Pit Bulls.
This means half a million Pit Bull type dogs are killed every year.
This is JUST in shelters, it does not include deaths that occur in dog fighting rings, puppy mills, hoarding situations and other cruel animal practices.
If I didn’t already love these dogs, that number alone would keep me up at night researching how to help Pit Bulls; it is just staggering.
If this affects you as it does me, and you want to learn how to help Pit Bulls, there are many things you can do in your own community.
Already A Pit Bull Owner? Be Responsible
First off, if you already have a Pit Bull in your family, the BEST thing you can do is be a responsible owner. Make sure your best friend is fixed, trained properly, receives plenty of exercise, prompt medical care, and knows what he can and can’t do. He must have boundaries.
Try to socialize him as much as you can. If he still isn’t comfortable around other people or animals, don’t force it. It’s OK! Pit Bulls are known to love people however all dogs are different and there is no rule that says your dog will follow that guideline. This just means you need to be more vigilant.
We hear the horror stories every day. As Pit Bull owners, we know we are directly responsible for our dog’s actions. Because of this, we must do more than other dog owners, just to make sure people feel safe around us.
But, that’s ok right? We KNOW how good our dogs are.
Adopt- Don’t Shop
If you are looking to add a 4 legged member to your family, adopt from your local shelter. There are SO many dogs who, through no fault of their own, have been waiting for the right family to come along. Some have been waiting for years. Can you imagine living like that? There is no reason to spend a ton of money buying a pet when there are so many available through adoption (and they will fixed and up to date on their shots).
Also, don’t believe the rumor that all dogs in shelters are “mutts” because that is not true. And even so, who cares? Shelter dogs are just as deserving, if not more.
All rescues and animal welfare organizations need money. The amount of money that it takes to run a shelter can be hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. From food to medical care, the costs are high and never ending. I donate monthly to the ASPCA however I also prefer to donate to many local rescues because they are on my streets working hard every single day. You can pay through PayPal, by phone or by check. Most are also 100% tax deductible.
- Local- Here is a list of rescues in the Detroit area. You can also look up your local shelter’s Facebook page. If you don’t know the names of rescues near you, you can easily find them by searching online. Most are 501 (3) non profit organizations and will have their information listed so you can send a monetary donation.
- National- Here is a list of National and International animal welfare groups who are always in need
On top of money, animal rescues need items they can use right away. Make sure to make a quick phone call to confirm the kinds of food and medicines they use before buying. Items that are always needed-
- Blankets and Bedding
- Collars and Leashes
- Rawhide bones
- Flea & Tick Prevention
If you have the time, there is nothing better than fostering a dog until a permanent home is found for him. This is also a good way to decide if you are ready to adopt a dog into your own family. Talk to your local shelter or rescues and ask them how to go about doing this. Many have rules (depending on the animal) in regards to fencing, children, vetting and other animals in the home. When your foster animal is adopted, you will know he is going to a good family and you can then foster another if you want. Or, you may have a foster “failure” and end up adopting your foster dog yourself.
Contact your local shelters and ask about volunteering. Most volunteers work directly inside the kennels cleaning, picking up waste, and walking dogs. A lot of times you are there just to spend quality time with the animals. It’s definitely rewarding and they can always use the help.
Advocate and Educate
This is SO important. There are many anti- Pit Bull laws around the country which are directly linked to the horrible number of Pit Bulls that are killed in shelters every year.
Breed Specific Legislation, or BSL, is a law that bans OR restricts a dog based on their appearance, nothing more. BSL has been aimed at Pit Bulls and Pit Bull type dogs for the last several years. If you live in an area that has BSL, and your dog looks like a Pit Bull, he will be targeted.
Many states that have these laws will grandfather your dog in, meaning you will be able to keep him, however you will have to follow a strict set of rules. This also means that once the law is in place, shelters will not be allowed to adopt out any new Pit Bulls unless they are moving them out of state.
Bottom line is hundreds or thousands of innocent dogs are killed strictly because of how they look. No chance at life.
Even if your city has not enacted BSL, chances are there is a city or an area near you that has. Stay informed on current events, new proposals and sign up to Best Friends Action Network to be alerted whenever anything is happening near you.
Ban Bad Owners
In 2015, Tennessee was the first state to adopt an Animal Offender Registry; it took effect in January of this year. This registry will allow police, as well as animal shelters, to know if someone has been convicted of animal abuse. This would be HUGE in helping to stop abusers from getting their hands on other animals, whether through shelters or other ways.
If you know of other ways to help Pit Bulls that I haven’t mentioned, please leave me a comment. These dogs are in dire need of help and I totally believe if we stick together, we can do anything!