Thirty percent of the dogs in our municipal shelters are bully breeds, and they are dying, so we must do something.
As board members of Pawmetto Lifeline, we hear the outcry from citizens who love this breed and are afraid that Columbia’s proposed ordinance will basically outlaw it. We do not believe that is the goal; we believe that the goal was to encourage more responsible pet ownership and protect these companion pets from situations where they aren’t treated as part of the family.
Ordinances to improve our pets’ quality of life and lower euthanasia rates will help us become a “no-kill” community. With more than 11,700 companion animals dying yearly in our municipal shelters, this is a direction in which we must move.
Members of bully breeds, and particularly pit bulls, are dying at a higher rate than other animals, largely because it is extremely difficult to find homes for them. There are also very few bully breed rescue organizations in our state, so once they end up in a municipal shelter, there are no good options. We must do more than focus on our rights as bully breed owners; we must focus on changes that protect the breed from irresponsible owners.
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We believe the only way to help this breed is through spaying and neutering, to prevent unwanted litters. Spaying and neutering your pet is the first step in responsible pet ownership, and community resources are available to make this inexpensive and safe.
While these dogs can be great family pets, it is imperative that they are in the right homes, where the owner understands the breed and is willing to make them a part of the family.
Dogs are like children: The more effort that is put into obedience training, socialization and overall physical and mental care, the better and healthier the pet. The bully breeds have an equal capacity to other animals to be well-trained, well-behaved, gentle dogs.
The bully breed has suffered from misconceptions for far too long. It is time to protect the breed by encouraging responsible pet ownership. That includes knowing your breed, training your pets and providing consistent care, so you can show the true potential of these dogs.
Board of Trustees