Not all shelter dogs deserve to be rescued

YelmApril 7, 2013 

I live in a cul-de-sac near a really great family who have a super-sweet and docile female pit bull.

Last winter they “rescued” a male pit bull. Their dogs were always fenced, but a few days ago, the male bolted, pushed open my driveway gate and in less than a second had the head of my 11-pound terrier mix in his mouth with her body dangling.

My neighbor came quickly and pounded on his dog’s head for two or three excruciating minutes before my dog was released.

The pit bull was put down on the spot and miraculously, my dog came home from the vet with only three stitches.

This isn’t just about pit bulls because there are other breeds that will attack without provocation. It’s about “rescue.”

People rescue a dog so it won’t have to go to the animal shelter where it might get put down for its aggressive tendencies. We use the word “rescue” because it makes us feel good about ourselves and there is the implication that the dog will appreciate the gesture as part of its rehabilitation. This is just not true.

There are good dogs that need a new home and people willing to provide it, but we need to find better and safer ways to put them together.

In the meantime, before you agree to take a dog home to your family and your neighborhood, take the dog to a vet for an evaluation.

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