Sixty-five percent of the 566 stray dogs taken to Jersey City's Liberty Humane Society shelter in 2005 were pit bulls or pit-mixes.
Because of the influx, dogs of other breeds have had to be transferred to shelters outside the area because pit bulls take so long to adopt out and fill so much space at area shelters.
Twenty percent (approximately 76) of the 382 pits rescued at the LHS in 2005 showed physical signs of fighting or abuse, such as open wounds or scars around their face, ears, and front legs. Sixty percent of all incoming pits or pit mixes exhibited some form of aggression, according to LHS Director Niki Dawson.
Animal rescuers say that there are so many pit bull strays because of unregulated breeders who mate dogs for dogfights in urban areas like Jersey City, and because of irresponsible owners who buy pit bulls as a status symbol and don't neuter them. ... "There's a direct link between fighting dogs, unrestricted breeding, and the number of pits we have on the streets in Jersey City," said Dawson recently. "It's a status thing for these kids. Plus [breeding is] an easy moneymaker for them."
According to Dawson, a common practice for locals involved in dogfighting is to house their dogs in abandoned buildings or unoccupied, recently-renovated homes a few weeks prior to a fight. During the summer of 2004, at least 15 dogs were brought in by animal control officers to the LHS shelter from an abandoned house on 7 Myrtle Ave. in Jersey City.
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