By Joanna D. Samson, FOTAS Vice President.
What do Lucy, Skye, Olivia, Zeus, Roberta, Harley, Andrew, Bane, Butch, Zach, Dante, Buster, Milo, Brees, Leroy, Triscit, Biscuit, Snowhite, Alberta, Rowdy, Axel, Rory, Destiny, and Tamara have in common?
Other than being canines who ended up at the Aiken County Animal Shelter through no fault of their own, they are energetic, muscular, sleek, barrel-chested, short-snouted, square-headed people-pleasers with big goofy smiles, long tongues and irresistible urges to chase balls and curl up next to their humans on a couch to watch Living Dead reruns.
In short, they are all pit bulls or pit bull crosses.
They are also all lucky, because most of these dogs have found homes and humans to adore. However, because they are pit bullish, they spent a longer time in the shelter than their cute, fluffy, floppy-eared shelter mates – a seriously perilous position in a public shelter with limited space.
And in the County shelter, like other public shelters around the country, many of their brethren are not so lucky. Pit bulls are deemed unadoptable and euthanized at much higher rates than other breeds before they even get to the adoption floor.
Yet often the very people who are attracted to pit bulls refuse to spay or neuter their pets. They say it is cruel and unnatural to take away their manhood or breeding capacity.
Really? In my book, it is unspeakably cruel and unnatural to bring pit bull puppies into the world when there are thousands upon thousands of deserving, homeless pits across the country who are likely to be killed without ever having known the love of a responsible human. Really.
The truth is, in an animal-rich environment like Aiken, it’s impossible to adopt your way out of this problem. Last year in the County alone, excluding the City, 4500 animals passed through the shelter and 50% of those were euthanized. Those are grim numbers.
The only way to meaningfully reduce the euthanasia rate is to reduce the intake rate, and the only way to reduce the intake rate is to eliminate the overpopulation of unwanted animals, and the only way to reduce overpopulation is for every citizen, and their families, and their friends to spay and neuter their animals. Period.
There are no legitimate reasons not to spay and neuter your pets. Research has proved that animals who are “fixed” live healthier, longer lives, are easier to control and make better family-members.
What’s more, you don’t need to breed your dog so your children can experience the “miracle of birth” – you can foster one of our many pregnant mamas. You and your children will get to experience the joy of birthing and caring for the puppies, FOTAS will provide food and medical supplies, and when the puppies have been weaned, you can hand them over to be sent to their new homes knowing you have done a great deed.
Spaying or neutering your pet has never been easier or more affordable. Plus you may be eligible for financial assistance through the County or City voucher program or FOTAS Fix-a-Pet.
Call us today at (803) 514-4313, and we’ll help you get it done.
Please don’t wait. Their lives are in our hands.
PETS OF THE WEEK
TIA Female, Hound, 1 year old, 32 lbs — $70.00
EMMA Female, Domestic short hair, adult — $9.00