Friday, October 05, 2007

Good News on the Pit Bulls from the Michael Vick Case

The ASPCA has been working with BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls), a San Francisco-based pit bull rescue organization, to evaluate the 49 pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring.

According to the ASPCA, 48 out of the 49 dogs have passed initial evaluations and will not be euthanized.

“Recommended placement options include possible re-homing into appropriate foster homes, rehabilitation as law enforcement dogs, or placement in sanctuaries (which will need to meet U.S.D.A. facility standards). Only one of the 49 dogs was deemed unfit for rehabilitation and recommended for euthanasia, which order was entered yesterday by Judge Henry E. Hudson.”

None of the dogs will be placed in permanent homes at this time; but further evaluation in appropriate, experienced foster homes may eventually result in some dogs being placed in permanent "forever" homes as pets.

I am personally very heartened to hear of this outcome. It speaks to the resilient nature of the pit bull dog, that even after horrific abuse, their temperaments are such that they have passed an expert evaluation and will be given the chance to live out their lives in a comfortable, caring environment.

Many pit bulls make excellent law enforcement dogs, particularly in the narcotics and explosives detection field. Please see this link for more information about pit bulls and why they make great detection dogs.

Placing those that are not suitable for police work into experienced foster homes should result in some of them becoming great pets. Naturally these dogs will not be used to living in a household after being in such a terrible environment, so they will need to be taught some manners, be housebroken, and well-trained before they could hope to be in a real home.

It sounds as if some may still not be suitable for either law enforcement nor a home environment, but at least they will be allowed to live our their lives in comfort and serenity, without being subjected to constant fights with other dogs and mistreatment or worse at the hands of their tormentors.

Thanks go to the ASPCA and BAD RAP for standing up for the dogs, who were the victims in this terrible case!

Katie Jane (below) is a former fighting dog rescued by BAD RAP. Please see this link for her story.


pygalgia said...

Good to hear. Years back, I had a "pit bull" (actually, a fully papered english staffordshire terrier) who was a wonderful dog. Easily one of the most trainable dogs I've ever had.

Mauigirl said...

Yes, all of the "bully" breeds are great dogs - they all aim to please their owners and that is part of what makes them so trainable. Although, my girl is so stubborn she isn't all that trainable, LOL! I guess I need to be firmer with her and not spoil her so rotten! ;-)

Distributorcap said...

wonderful story and thanks for sharing

pit bulls can be loving wonderful pets and companions......

people are not so wonderful....

i am SO glad to hear that these dogs will be given another chance -- they deserve it, Vick does not

The Future Was Yesterday said...

Michael Vick should be euthanized. Preferably slowly, with a flame thrower.

Pit Bulls to have success in LE quite often; I have to say they should not be allowed into the general public as a "doggie for Jane and Sally."

99 of them, and their families, live happy peacrful lives. Then #100 goes on a rampage..... They are a breed with a proven history of instability.

Having said all that, I've been a dog owner for all my life except for the last ten years, and I will forever miss my dogs.

Mauigirl said...

Thanks, DCap, I agree - sometimes the dogs are better than the people who own them.

Future, I know a lot of people believe that pit bulls are unstable, but as a breed they generally have very stable personalities. Unfortunately, a few bad apples are what get all the press. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but you are much more apt to hear about it if it's a pit bull than if it's, say, a Golden Retriever that attacked.

In actuality, many breeds of dogs can exhibit the instability you mention. (Cocker Spaniels are notorious for this, as they have been subject to overbreeding by puppy mills, etc.)

The pit bull is indeed stronger than other breeds, so it is important to be careful who they are adopted to, and certainly no one should leave a young child alone with any dog, particularly one as strong as a pit bull.

S said...

I'm so glad to hear this.

sumo said...

I had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and he was the sweetest thing. He had one dog fight in his life and that was to save me from a German Shepherd running up growling at me to attack. My dog loved all animals. He slept with cats...he was friendly with other dogs even if strange. These animals do not have to be killers from the moment they are born. At one point he was injured (not fighting) and was at the Vet for nearly 2 weeks. One day I got a call from the Vet telling me to pick the dog up, he was dying. He was dying emotionally because he missed me. He wouldn't eat, wouldn't respond. So I had to pick him up (50 mi. away...lived in the country)...and as soon as he smelled me he perked right up...the Vet was amazed at his vigorous reaction. He was totally listless there. So I then had the task of caring for his boo boos after that. These animals are capable of great love like any cat or dog. He is greatly missed.

Mauigirl said...

Slouching Mom, glad to be able to spread the good news. I'm on an electronic newsletter from the ASPCA and got the news through it. I have not seen anything about it in the mainstream media and am wondering if that is just another example of the way they tend to downplay the good stories about pit bulls while focusing on the bad. I'm sure most people expected that the dogs from Vick's operation would be "vicious."

Sumo, your dog sounds as if he was a wonderful companion. Thanks for sharing his story with us. The more we talk about the great personalities these dogs have the better it is.

42yrold said...

pit bulls are great dogs and highly misunderstood and mis handled. such a shame. Vick is a sham and shame of a person.

Mauigirl said...

Well said, Figlet. He is indeed both.

Elan Morgan said...

I'm not much of a dog person, but pit bulls are one of my favourite breeds. I have always found them to be so affectionate. I'm so glad that there are people to look out for them.

Anonymous said...

That dog is actually SMILING! XD