Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why it's a myth that CT shelter dogs will suddenly find homes

There has long been tension between rescues that bring in dogs from other areas and those that only rescue local dogs in need. The allegation is that rescues that bring dogs in from other areas keep local dogs in shelters from finding homes. We have heard this refrain many times. The reality is that it's not true. New England states have been very successful in enforcing spay and neuter laws with the result that the numbers of dogs in need is low. Other areas of the country (the midwest, the South and the southern California area come to mind) have not been proactive in addressing animal populations and the result is a plethora of unwanted dogs of every breed and mix imaginable. This is not the case in Connecticut.

This afternoon, Dr. Goldman, who was a major proponent of this law on behalf of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, posted a comment on this blog which states the following:

"It's a myth that most CT shelters are populated solely with Pit Bulls, not that I have anything against the bully breeds. Drive around and see for yourself."

And so we did. This is what our survey of all the shelters and organizations that purportedly pull only from local shelters has in house:


and finally

Looking at the bottom line, 62% of the dogs in Connecticut shelters are bully breeds, the second most common breed is chihuahua, followed by labs and then actually huskies, followed by a smattering of everything else. In short, it is NOT a myth that bully breeds are the predominate dogs in Connecticut shelters. Which brings us full circle: imported dogs are not causing dogs in shelters to not get adopted. Breed specific bans in homeowner's insurance policies are one cause, as is the simple truth that the residents of Connecticut are not all willing to adopt a bully breed dog. If someone has evidence to the contrary, we've never seen it. Most likely, it does not exist.

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