Adoptions have been going well this summer, so we went to the shelters to look for a new dog for our program. Before going inside, Tim wondered out loud if we should look for dogs that have been fought to help more people understand how adoptable solid dogs with fight scars can be. Huh. After all, pit bull rescue is as much a political statement as anything, and every dog tells a story about myths and misperceptions. So, we looked.
No dice. In the SF bay area, the abandoned but 'clean' dogs far out number the very unfortunate fight victims. But as always, there are plenty of stories to be told in every kennel you peek inside: Dozens of nice dogs, frightened dogs, mangey dogs, lactating dogs, barking dogs, hopeful dogs, sick dogs.
We decided to take this young cutie with cropped ears home with us today. She's darling; we named her Miso.
Contrary to popular belief, she does not have a 'fighting crop.' This look is, basically, a really stupid fashion statement made by young owners who've come to believe that pit bulls' ears should be chopped, much the same way that amateur arborists think beautiful trees should be hacked - er - pollarded. Never mind what you read in the papers about fighting crops. Ask the kids who own these dogs if you want to know the scoop.
Kids around here tell us that they pay $100 for this cut, purchased through one of Oakland's shadier veterinarians. Hec, he even advertises the crop in his yellow pages ad. It would be hard for the shelter to find her a home with those ears, but we'll give it a go. Miso is not a 'fighter' or a 'bait dog.' Miso is a victim of bad fashion.
Story number two. (This one haunts.)
Handsome boy here has an owner who came in to the shelter to claim him. After all, his fad color - lilac - makes for highly desirable puppies, so she invested a pretty penny in the cute guy. She even taught him to 'shake.'
Thing is, she doesn't want him back neutered, even though the alternative is death. So she walked away from him - Left him to die and went back to her life. He's a victim of the all-too-common belief that dogs must be bred to be worth their kibble.
No fighters in the crowd, but lots of victims.