Pitbull Photograph

This content courtesy of our friends at Bad Rap: www.badrap.org

'Pit Puppies for Sale!'

Pit bulls today are fighting a very tough battle, and they're losing.

Twenty five years ago they were a rare sight on our city streets and few people owned them. But things sure have changed. Today, their popularity is - quite literally - killing them. This one breed is being produced by thousands of people across the country at a time when very few homes will keep them beyond two years of age. The Net is exploding with ads boasting new puppies, and everywhere you turn someone is building a new website to promote their brand new breeding venture.

The easiest way to see the casualties of this epidemic is at our local shelters where so many young adult pit bulls spend their final days. Every single day, abandoned, lost, and unwanted pit bulls pour into shelter doors; some shelters get as many as 40 a day. Most will never find homes.

Why is this happening?

The problem is simple arithmetic combined with human nature: Pit bull puppies are popular, desirable and easy to sell. But not every home is really prepared to keep their active dog for life. That once-cute pup becomes much more work as it matures into its adult size and strength, and homes give up on pit bulls all the time. It may get into its first accidental fight, landlords may evict it, it might develop bad manners due to lack of training, it may escape its yard. Many of the cute pit bull puppies sold today will end up in shelters before their second birthday. But before they go, chances are great that these same dogs will breed one or two litters of their own...Next season's shelter dogs. And the tragic cycle continues....

Whose fault is it?

The people that claim to love them the most are often the ones doing the most damage. Every single person who breeds and sells an intact (not fixed) litter and/or studs out their male dogs is contributing to the epidemic. This includes big name show kennels, 'Backyard Breeders' (BYBs) who sell puppies through newspapers and InterNet ads, people who breed their family pets and those who have accidental litters. It's all adding up. To make matters worse, not all of these pit bulls being produced have good genetics. This means defective dogs with undesirable traits are getting into the gene pool, hurting our breed even more.

How will it stop?

Things will only start to change when enough people decide that pit bulls deserve better. It's taken thousands of people to create this problem, and it'll take thousands to decide that enough is enough. Do you love the breed enough to want to see a change?

What if?

What if breeders decided to create fewer litters and fixed all the non-show pups before they were sold? (Early Spay/Neuter)

What if breeders microchipped their puppies before each sale in order to make sure they came back safely if they're ever lost?

What if the registries (AKC, UKC, ADBA) decided to limit the numbers of pit bulls that could be registered each year?

What if people who only wanted dogs for pets decided to rescue from reputable shelters and rescues instead of buying new puppies?

What if breeders and shelters made sure that homes were 100% prepared to own this breed before giving them a dog?