Monday, April 20, 2009

Tidbits from Monday Reading

The case of a VA man originally sentenced for selling Pitbull fighting videos whose conviction was reversed on appeal will be heard this fall by the Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court will consider reviving a federal law banning the sale of images of animal cruelty. A federal appeals court said the law illegally restricts this form of free speech.
For you SCOTUS watchers:

The case is U.S. v. Stevens, 08-769.


The city of Baltimore must have ZERO crime:

Animal Control and police officers from Baltimore’s Southern District set up a sting operation in Riverside Park on March 29th to catch dog owners violating the law.

"The law" being referred to is a leash/scoop law.  The "sting operation" presumably has something to do with the amount of revenue generated by each fine:

First-time offenders are being hit with $1,000 fines.

The city council is expected to consider lowering that fine to $250.


Good post on The Poodle and Dog Blog about one of the myths perpetuated by HSUS and other groups:

The Humane Society of the United States repeatedly states that 25% of the dogs in shelters are purebred dogs.


Unless a dog comes into a shelter holding his AKC pedigree in his teeth, there is no way anyone can tell for sure if the dog is purebred. The truth is that there is no way to know how many purebred dogs are held in shelters for prolonged periods, but common sense should tell us it is nowhere near one-fourth of them.

As I commented there, all you have to do to figure out whether 25% of the dogs in shelters are purebred is to visit one (or ten, or ninety-four).  Don't get me wrong, I love my shelter mutt and she won't be the last in our home by any means.  But for owners who have done their research and decided to get a purebred dog, a shelter is unlikely to fulfill their needs.  And that doesn't make them bad owners.  It just makes them people who cared enough to research and make an informed decision before getting a dog.  (Like the Obama family.)  I call those types of people good owners.

For those who want a dog that looks similar to a certain breed or who just want a nice dog, check your area shelters and rescue groups!  You never know who you might meet. 


Rinalia said...

I don't know if it's true in all areas, but certainly at my local high-volume county shelter there are a lot of dogs who bear a striking resemblance to "purebred" dogs. Enough of a resemblance for breed-specific rescues to select them on a regular basis and leave the apparent "mixier" dogs. Can't stake a claim on it, of course. Just my anecdotal observation.

Personally, I think there are a lot of purebred dogs in shelters...APBTs. I claim this because that's where Mina comes from and she claims she's as pure as they come. No one really likes to call her a purebred, though, much to her chagrin. I'm only partially kidding about the pit bull bit... :)

YesBiscuit! said...

Yes Jan mentioned that in her post. One of the reasons people don't see 25% purebreds in their shelters is due to rescues pulling dogs who look "close enough".

In my area, we see a lot of "Pitbulls" (a word I use as a general catch-all description) but none that I would characterize as an APBT or AmStaff or what have you.

Mina is cute enough to be called whatever she wants. Per me.

sfox said...

Out of a usual total population of a couple a dozen dogs (including bite quarantines, etc.), I'd say maybe 3-6 at any given time at our county shelter are purebreds or look to be. Plus all the pit bulls.

But a lot of those are breeds that like to "get around", like huskies and labs, and their people usually come and get them. The others are often elderly little dogs in bad shape, who maybe belonged to older people now in a rest home. The family didn't want them, so they were dumped somewhere and the ACO brought them in as strays. But many look like purebred shih tzus, chihuahuas, poms, etc.

Fortunately there's a local rescue person who runs a "hospice" for them, so they can live out their time comfortable and warm.

YesBiscuit! said...

Her post mentions owner reclaims as another reason why shelters don't have "25% purebreds" available for adoption.
So nice to hear about the "hospice" you mentioned. Old dogs are my favorites.

Anonymous said...

I don't know - we see a lot of purebred dogs in our shelters. We don't allow rescues to "snatch up" our dogs unless we feel they can provide a service that we can't for them. We get a lot of easily recognizable purebreds - pugs, bulldogs, bostons, great danes, st. bernards etc. I even adopted one of my frenchies from the shelter. But I completely agree it surely depends on the region.
For other shelters, though, I wonder if the number comes from surrendered animals that their owners state are purebred - I.e., someone drops off their dog and state it's a "coonhound" or a "German shepherd" and the shelters just take their word for it.

EmilyS said...

I lost all faith in the credibility of ANYONE to identify a purebred, let alone a mix, when my beloved agility instructor sent me a pic of a dog she had met and touted as a wonderful dog that needed a home. She said it had been identified by local experts as a pit bull which was the only thing preventing it from getting a fast home.

The picture (and video) showed what was evidently a Malinois mix.

Well, it was brindle...

Every real pit bull person who has gone down "pit bull death row" in Denver has verified that a good proportion of the dogs there probably have NO component of "pit bull' in it.

Anonymous said...

I commented over there too, but I think it just varies SO widely- and that study was SO limited- that it's just plain not a reliable number. I can tell you that IF you count pitbullish mixes as purebred pit bulls (and given the wide variety of type in the various bully breeds, it IS theoretically possible that they were all considered purebred by their owners)and 'it's black, flop eared, and 60 pounds with a tail, therefore it is a lab's as labs at my local shelter, then yes, we hit that 25% mark. Otherwise, it's about 10-15%. They DO get small dogs, but the vast majority are chih mixes, not purebreds (although the shelter workers used to ID them as purebred until I explained that chihuahuas did not have docked tails (those were actually rat terriers), dropped, spaniel shaped ears, wire coats, or brache-type faces.)