Sunday, August 05, 2007

Pollarded Ears and Expensive Balls

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.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see adoptions are going well! I"m actually cruising the site right now helping my younger sister collect information for her college class, she has chosen to do a speech on the plight of Pit Bulls. Big sisters can rub off! lol

On another note, we recently had an awful article in the San Diego Union tribune concerning dangerous dog legislation that highlighted pit bulls. It stated that something like pit bull fighting is up 25% and the majority of dogs in the shelters are ex-fighting dogs or bait dogs, funny how I never run into any of those dogs at work......

Holly R.

Anonymous said...

I love that little manatee face! Miso is quite possibly the cutest little pittie I have ever seen. How I wish we could adopt another.... Best wishes to you all as you continue to do exceptional work.

Unknown said...

This story makes my heart sad! I have a blue male and while he is "intacted" I can't see ever turning away from such an adorable face! Where is he/ is he still alive?

Anonymous said...

Manatee face, I like that.

Anonymous said...

I think Miso is beautiful!!!!

Whoever left that blue boy at the shelter, doesnt deserve him. Or any other dog for that matter!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my friend gave me his pitbull dog, a blue pit. She never is trained as dog fighting but victim of bad fashion. She got her ears cropped. She got ear infection often.. So I recommenced to not get their ears cut.

Christa said...

Thanks for all you do for these amazing dogs! I wish I lived closer or there were more organizations like yours.Recently a pit was shot in a nearby town for "attacking" a child. Onlookers said the 8 month old dog got out by accident and was running after the girl to play. Would they have shot him if he were any other kind of dog?
I am in love with my rescue. She is like one of my children. I can't imagine my life without her, especially if she was killed because of her breed.

Anonymous said...

I pray that the lovely lilc boy finds a forever home that will value him for for who he is NOt what he can produce. He's lucky to be rid of her!

Anonymous said...

So what happened to the bully from the second story? Did he get adopted? That is so terrible what his owner did!
I can't stand it when owners chop off their dogs ears! I always tell them, "How would you feel if you went to the doctor and woke up in pain an missing parts if your body?!"
It just makes me so angry!!!

Donna said...

Thanks, guys.

Both dogs were happily adopted into loving hopes. The boy was named Boris and lives the life of a prince in Texas with two dear people and their two other dogs.

Anonymous said...

congrats miso!