Visiting the San Diego County Animal Shelter in Bonita last week, it became apparent that the shelter is home to a disproportionately large number of pit bulls and pit-bull-mix dogs.

According to Daniel DeSousa of San Diego County Department of Animal Services, pit bulls are found loose more often than other breeds, and that may be because the public is more apt to report a loose pit bull than a loose golden retriever.

“Because pit bulls tend to have a reputation of being a ‘tough dog,’ they seem to be the breed of choice for gangbangers, bullies, drug dealers, and amateur dog fighters,” says DeSousa. “If their dog were to be brought to the shelter, they are less apt to pay the necessary fees to claim their dog. They will simply get another one.”

Nicole Edwards, the president of Even Chance, a non-profit pit-bull advocacy group, says, “most people that are irresponsible with their pits feel that having them spayed or neutered devalues them, as these people often breed any two pits to sell the puppies for money.” And while the shelter is brimming with pit bulls, it seems the general population isn’t lining up to adopt them.

“With all of the biased news coverage on pit pulls, the average public is scared of this breed,” notes Edwards. “It is interesting that many other reports of dog bites or dangerous dogs are not reported when they are a more accepted breed.”

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Joe Poutous May 11, 2009 @ 9:37 a.m.

We adopted one once. The dog was in pretty bad shape (the rescue lady that had the dog was a real freakshow) and we ended up spending about a grand on vet bills. We named her Ruby, she was very sweet until she started getting better. Then her real personality started to come out. She was a jumper, a nipper and wanted to be the dominate "dog" - I guess she considered my 4 year old to be one of the dogs, too.

It broke our hearts, but we had to take her back. I only hope that because she was healthy that a new home was found.

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