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My visit to an Ohio humane society...
...they broke many a myth I had...

Well, I got a long-distance dedication for this little man a couple of days ago, and found out he was in Ohio -- a state that previously made me shudder when I thought of pit bulls...

... I figured, "why not go see it first hand" to see if the state's pitbull policy was really as crazy as everyone says it is...

... here's my journey...

 

 

I hopped in the car at 10 AM, and when the day was done,
got home at around midnight -- stopping only for gas, and an
hour at the humane society. It was actually quite a nice ride...

 

 

... here's Elvis, my fearless co-pilot...

 

 

... some parts of the drive were quite nasty, though no real accumulation...

 

 

... as we approached the shelter, a ray of sunlight came out -- not a bad sign -- :D

 

 

At last, we arrived at the humane society and went in. From what I understand, this humane society also houses the animal control for the county...

 

 

We meet the little man, Hercules, and his caregiver, a shelter employee.

I spent about an hour with her, touring the facility, and discussing pit bulls and Ohio.

What I found was a deep compassion and respect for this breed from shelter staff. I learned is that the vicious-dog statute was repealed 5 months ago, and that shelters are now able to work with rescues in placing their pit bulls -- the rescue must first pass careful review by the animal control officer --

 

 

That said, Ohio law doesn't allow its impounded pit bulls to be adopted out to the general public. That is a shame... and this boy is a testament to that.

Look at this face -- he has his obligatory 72 hours in the shelter, for his "owner" to reclaim him. If not by then, he will be killed. That's just the way it is. As you'll see, there simply isn't space or facilities to keep everyone forever.

Look at the chain on his neck... I hate those chains.

 

 

Due to space contstraints, this little man has a cell-mate -- a stunning white boxer with blue eyes --

-- doubling-up runs is somewhat playing with fire, since pit bulls should NEVER be housed together with other dogs, because of their innate dog aggressive trait, which can be further explored here.

The reason for the doubling-up here is overcrowding, which isn't immediately cured, and since the temperaments of both dogs seems mellow, this is done.

 

 

As you can see, our little boy is less than thrilled
with his cell-buddy. Note too, that dogs should have
platforms or blankets to sleep on.

 

 

These two are quite heartbreaking. When I was coming in to the shelter, a minivan pulled up, with these two pups in the back, untethered, and free.

I asked the woman why she was bringing them. She said, "They were strays, running around my back yard."

I said, "They will likely get killed here."

She said, "I don't care -- just get them out of my lawn."

I hope, for her sake, that she isn't ever re-incarnated as a dog. I told her that.

 

 

Anyway, again, due to overcrowding, these two adult pit bulls are being housed together -- this should NEVER happen --

-- although they appear friendly to each other, the female (white) seems easily agitated, and her getting set off by another dog in the kennel could lead her to re-direct aggression to the male in the run, leading to a difficult situation. This would be especially bad when the two are un-monitored during the night.

Again, due to ovecrowding, this is the only immediate option.

 

 

Here is a boy whose 72 hours are up this coming Saturday. The picture is blurry because my flash batteries went, but I thought he deserved some exposure.

 

 

A run with the toy breeds in it.

I was really impressed with the staff's insistence on working with rescue groups to place their dogs -- as I walked down the aisle, I heard a lot of "Do you know a good rottie rescue" and "Do you know a good American Bulldog rescue" questions -- this is the way things SHOULD be, and I'm happy to see care-givers who really do care --

 

 

... and with that, we get out boy, Hercules, and head home.

Herc was the only pup available for discharge, and he was
extremely loved and well-cared for. The other pups' were still
in their 72-hour window, awaiting their "owners" to come and claim
them. The staff said, "Some get reclaimed... and most don't." --

The staff said they don't have
a vet or a lot of funding, but they managed to get him vaccinated and wormed --
-- more government money needs to go to shelters and animal welfare.
All dogs deserve a fighting chance -- and vaccinations and worming are absolute necessities .

 

 

Outside of the shelter, little Hercules gives his best ear flop, and he and I are off towards home.

 

 

This experience was an eye-opener for me -- seeing the reality these folks and pups have to go through every day. I respect both dog and man more, and am more an advocate of spay/neuter, adoptions and responsible ownership than I ever was.

If you are interested in the boy to the right, please contact me at eric@spbr.org and we'll talk to the shelter.

 

 

Back at home, Hercules shows off his unique brindle spotting to both Elvis and Fanny.

Usually I would not have dogs eating together, but at such a young age, I think it's good socialization for them --

 

 

Here is Hercules, ready for a long night's rest. He is safe, yet there is much more to be done -- not only on a dog by dog basis, but on a broader scale, teaching people to respect this wonderful breed and to own it more responsibly.