FHS offers free sterilization of Pitbull mixes

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 17, 2017

For decades, certain canine breeds have been stereotyped as undesirable due to unpredictable behavior including aggression. For a while it was the Doberman Pincher, then the German Shepherd, even Saint Bernards made the list.

Today, the American Pitbull bears that burden and the animals falling under discrimination are often the offspring of mismatched breeding. Mastiffs are bred to American Staffordshire Terriers, or Pitbulls to Labradors, to name a few, hoping to produce body confirmation with exaggerated mass and muscle, a known advantage for illegal dog fighting.

The “backyard breeder,” and by that I mean those who pay no attention to genetics of the animals, simply breeds any pair to produce litters sold for quick money. Sadly this breeder’s intention is not to improve a breed such as a reputable breeder will do, but for self gain only.

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Often a female is repeatedly bred to the same sire guaranteeing weak genetic flaws pass along to offspring. When many of these puppies fail to sell, they are abandoned or exterminated and you do not want to hear the means by which they come to that end.

In a rural area such as Polk County and extending beyond those defined borders, there are many backyard breeders. As the only “no-kill shelter” in the immediate area, the result is that Foothills Humane Society has been at capacity for over one year. Hundreds of animals remain on a waiting list whose owners are hoping room will become available for pets they can no longer keep.

More often than not it is not the innocent animal who is at fault but the human at the opposite end of the leash, a person guilty of “throw-away” mentality. Often the owner is abusive or hoping for an aggressive animal for dog fighting.

Many rural citizens believe it is their right to allow their dogs to free roam and being that many are not sterilized they repeatedly produce unwanted litters of pups. The lucky ones end up at FHS or in the homes of animal lovers committed to caring responsibly for them.

The obvious solution is for pet owners who cannot afford the cost to sterilize their free roaming pets, to contact the shelter at 828-863-4444 and inquire about a low cost spay and neutering program.

Once the animals are sterilized, food can be provided for those in need, and sterilization of Pitbull mixes is offered at no cost to the owner. Please help us reduce the suffering by encouraging those who might benefit by this program to seek out our assistance and be assured that we are pleased to be able to offer it.

Sharon Rose, Columbus, N.C.