The Capital District, like many other regions across the country, is in the midst of a Pit Bull overpopulation crisis. Approximately 30-40% of all dogs entering local animal shelters and rescues are Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes. Many of the Pit Bulls brought to shelters show signs of abuse and neglect. A disproportionate number of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes are starved and sickly, covered with mange and fleas, their ears chewed up by flies or even victims of home ear-cropping. Worse yet, some are covered with old dog fighting scars or fresh dog fighting wounds.
Unfortunately, since there are so few good homes available for Pit Bulls and mixes, most of these dogs, including puppies, are killed at our local shelters. This is not the fault of our shelters; they are simply forced to do our community’s dirty work.
Despite the overwhelming number of unwanted Pit Bulls in our shelters, many irresponsible owners continue to allow their Pit Bulls to breed out of negligence. Oftentimes, Pit Bull puppies are born in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods where their owners are ill-equipped to care for, raise, and find responsible homes for their puppies.
Pit bulls typically have very large litters with as many as 14-16 puppies. Often, the unwanted puppies are simply given away to the first bidder, un-altered, and without much regard for how they will be treated. Even more frustrating are those who intentionally breed their Pit Bulls in hopes of making a quick profit off of a litter of Pit Bull puppies. Females Pit Bulls are often kept in perpetual pregnancy, having 1-2 litters every year. Check the local newspapers, circulars, and on-line classifieds any day of the week and you will find far too many ads for Pit Bull puppies for sale.
To address the Pit Bull overpopulation crisis, Out of the Pits has partnered with local veterinarians to offer low cost spay-neuter surgeries to any Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix in the Capital District area of NY. If you do not live within an hour or so of Albany NY please look for a program in your area.
The Fix-A-Bull program offers LOW COST spay or neuter surgeries for Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes. To qualify for this low cost service, you must:
Spaying female animals eliminates the following:
• Spotting during the heat period.
• Pregnancy complications, involving cesarean sections and in some cases, death.
• Breast tumors. Less than 1% incidence if spayed prior to the first heat, in excess of 5% incidence – in non-spayed female dogs older than five years.
• Uterine infections, possibly life threatening, increasingly common with age.
• Tumors of the ovaries, uterus, and vagina.
• Need for extra food.
• Irritability and emotional changes. Hormonal stress and instability.
• Unwanted puppies killed in shelters, abandoned in the streets, neglected or abused in bad homes.
Neutering male animals can result in these benefits:
• Eliminates or reduces irritability or aggression.
• Elimination or reduction in territorial behavior (urine marking, spraying, fighting, and wandering).
• Reduces risks for prostate tumors and infections.
• Reduces risks for perineal hernias/rupture of the posterior abdominal wall.
• Reduces stress, frustration.
• Increases happiness.
Myth: Preventing pets from having litters is unnatural.
Fact: We’ve already interfered with nature by domesticating dogs and cats. Killing (euthanizing) the excess of animals is unnatural. Interfering with pack behavior by removing 6 week old puppies from their mother and siblings and selling them to strangers is unnatural…
Myth: I can find homes for all the puppies my female will have.
Fact: Finding someone to adopt a Pit Bull is very easy….. Every street thug, gangster and dog fighter are looking for cheap bait dogs…. Finding a GOOD, loving, caring and responsible home for a Pit Bull is extremely difficult… Can you assure the pups you produce and sell will be spayed or neutered so they won’t contribute to pet overpopulation? You are responsible. Each puppy you produce and place in a home means one less home for those already in need of a home. Can you look at these adorable faces in the shelter and tell them you made the right choice knowing most of them will be euthanized to make room for YOUR pups? There are already too many pets and not enough good homes. We must correct this terrible situation rather than add to the problem.
Myth: I want my children to see the miracle of birth.
Fact: The birthing process can often be traumatizing. A female in labor is often anxious and may bite or snap. Puppies may become “stuck” in the birth canal, needing surgical intervention. Mothers may eat their newborn. Stillborn and deformed offspring are common. Video stores have videos of the miracle of birth. A better lesson to teach your children is the need for spay/neuter and the tragedy of death due to pet overpopulation in animal shelters.
Myth: We don’t need to neuter males dogs because they can’t give birth.
Fact: It takes two to Tango! Intact males are often miserably aroused due to their hormones and there is nothing they can do about it but try to escape to find a female. A high percent of lost pets and animals hit by cars are unaltered male dogs as the dogs are out looking for relief… Intact males live in constant state of frustration and are more prone to developing behavior problems. No fatal dog attack by an altered dog was ever reported. Neutered males have a significantly lower risk of certain tumors and prostate disease.
Myth: My pet never leaves the yard.
Fact: Remember, gates get left open and fences blow down. People often fail to check shelters for their lost pets. (Dog licenses and microchips can help lost pets find their way home.) Intact males will desperately try to find a way to escape to relieve painful and frustrating sexual tension. Female in heat will do all they can to find and attract a reproductive partner.
Myth: Neutering will make my pet fat and change his/her personality.
Fact: Overfeeding and too little exercise will make your pet fat and lazy. Any personality change will be for the best! For males, the aggression related to hormones will decrease. For females, mood swings related to hormones will decrease. Your pet will likely become more attentive to you and your family.
Myth: Surgery is dangerous and expensive.
Fact: The procedures are routine at most veterinary facilities. There are always risks involved with any surgical procedure but the risks and costs are minimal compared to those associated with not spaying and neutering. Your pet will live longer, cost you less in veterinary bills, and be healthier and happier if it is spayed or neutered.
Myth: A female should have a litter so she’ll be a better pet.
Fact: This is a common misconception with no medical proof behind it. Females may even become more aggressive especially immediately after giving birth. Each heat cycle a female goes through will increase her risk for developing breast cancer. A non-spayed female is at risk for developing uterine infections — very often a life threatening problem that requires immediate surgery. The birthing process itself carries risks and potential complications. Are you willing to risk your pet’s life?
This is a local program using veterinarians in the Albany, NY / Capital District area, and is intended for residents located in this general vicinity only (Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Schoharie, Rensselaer, Columbia, and Greene Counties). You must provide transportation for your dog to and from the vet for surgery. If you’re outside our area, you can check out the following links for other programs near you, and also check with your local shelters and animal control facilities.
Friends of Animals / Pets 911 / Spay USA