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Pit Bull Rehabilitation

Updated on September 25, 2015

Euthanasia Vs. Rehabilitation

Many times rescues and shelters encounter a delimma. What to do with the pit bulls that were brought in due to a a dog fighting raid. Many and most times, the dogs are automatically just put down. Euthanasia tends to be the first and only option for the dogs. Now, is that fair? Is it right?

My opinion is that no, it's not fair. No, it's not right. No, it's not the only option.

I will fully admit that in some cases, the dogs cannot be rehabilitated, and euthanasia may be the only option.

In many cases, the fighting pit bulls that are found, have been bred generation after generation for their aggression. Prized, champion fighters are bred to create larger, more aggressive dogs. In some cases, these dogs, may not be able to become family pets. In other cases, with work and training, fighting dogs CAN become family pets.

I've seen pit bulls used as bait dogs with over 50 puncture wounds their face alone, become dog friendly, and a great cuddle dog. Gracie, a black pit bull, was one of these dogs. She came to the shelter completely torn to shreds. She is currently in a home with a young man, who runs her daily, plays cuddles, and just loves her. Before this home, she was housed with other pitbulls, labs, and terriers, all over which got along fine.

Another pitbull, Lola, a tan little girl, who had been severely overbred to the point of becoming small dog aggressive. She is now in a home with several small dog breeds. Lola, came to the shelter with a bullet wound in her back leg and scars covering her face. With work and some tender love and care, she became a very loving adult dog.

I overheard someone sayJackson, an Amstaff, should be put down just bc of a bad rep. 'He'll turn bc he got attacked.' He's housed with other dogs, and has never turned.
I overheard someone sayJackson, an Amstaff, should be put down just bc of a bad rep. 'He'll turn bc he got attacked.' He's housed with other dogs, and has never turned.

Information About the Truths of Dog Fighting

Jackson was bred by and ADBA registered breeder. He was purchased by a pet parent with other bully breed dogs. Now, his situation was different. He was never bred to fight or show agression. But, I'm mentioning his story because of the bad rep that many people hold. After a year in his home, he was attacked by the owner's other dogs. This owner returned him to the breeder. The breeder wanted him to have a good home versus reselling him. The first time he was up for adoption, I overheard a customer say that he should just be put down because he would never make a good dog. Because he had been attacked, he will be prone to attacking later on. Well, two year later, Jackson has never once shown any signs of aggression.

I strongly believe that any dog that has been involved in any way of a dog fighting ring, should be put through several temperament tests. Not just one day but on several days. Why more than one day of the same testings? Becuase even dogs have bad days...

After going through extensive temperament testings, I think the dogs that successfully pass all the tests, should then undergo extensive training. The training would be to ensure that the dogs never show signs of aggression again.

The dogs would then be ready to be family pets to experience pet parents only.

I think that rehabilitation versus euthanasia is a much better option. But, in some cases, dogs may not be able to be rehabiliated. These dogs, if forced to live in family or pet situations, would live unhappy lives. This is not fair either. There is not sense in forcing a dog to live an unhappy life just to not have to put him down.

I believe that rehabilitation should ALWAYS be considered in replace of euthanasia. Even when it comes to fighting pitbulls.


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