Program pays for neutering of local pit bulls

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Postby Sue » April 16th, 2006, 7:18 am

http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/124434.php

Program pays for neutering of local pit bulls
By Kimberly Matas
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.13.2006

Pit bull owners will get paid Friday to spay and neuter their dogs as part of a new program from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

The goal of the "Payday for Pit Bulls" program is to reduce the number of unwanted and homeless pit bulls and pit mixes that die on the streets or in shelters, said Humane Society spokeswoman Jill Wohlfeil.

The shelter is offering six spay and neuter days in April, May and June when up to 24 pit bulls and pit mixes at a time can be sterilized for free. The dogs will receive vaccinations, microchip identification, food, toys and collars and the Humane Society will pay owners $20 when they pick up their dogs. The total value is between $128 and $158, depending on the size of the dog. The clinics are being paid for through an anonymous donation to the Humane Society.

The Humane Society took in nearly 1,000 pit bulls and mixes last year, but only 251 were returned to their owners or adopted. The shelter adopts out pit bulls of any age provided they are healthy and friendly, Wohlfeil said.

Pima Animal Care Center adopts out only pit bulls that are 4 months old or younger, said Enforcement Operations Supervisor Mark Soto.
"Pit bulls have a potential to be very animal-aggressive and at times people-aggressive and at a young age, if they're socialized, they have a tendency of being wonderful pets."

Pima Animal Care does not keep breed-specific records on the number of dogs in its facility, said spokeswoman Jody Burns, but Soto estimates officers pick up between two and six pit bulls a day that they find running loose on the streets. That's 700 to 2,220 a year.

"It's on the rise," Burns said. "We're definitely handling more now than we did three years ago, but the reason? I haven't a clue."

Justin Gallick works for the Humane Society but also runs a Tucson-based dog rescue called Adopt-A-Bull (http://www.adopt-a-bull.com), which specializes in bully breeds.

"There's really no other breed you're going to find that has that many puppies in shelters," Gallick said. "It says a lot about the need for spay and neuter of this breed."

Pit bull owners can take advantage of the Humane Society's program on a first-come, first-served basis. To make it easier for owners to have their dogs sterilized, the shelter will have drop-off and pickup points in the community so owners don't have to drive to the shelter's spay-neuter clinic at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd., near Fort Lowell and Country Club roads.
The first two drop-off points will be in the office parking lot of Vice Mayor Steve Leal, the Tucson city councilman for Ward 5 on the South Side.
"I've worked with them (the Humane Society) over the years on a variety of projects and they've always taken it upon themselves to serve the needs of the whole community," Leal said.

In May the shelter will have two other drop-off points on Tucson's South Side and in June they will be in Marana. "We're targeting specific areas of Tucson where we know there tend to be more lower socioeconomic people who might be in need of spay and neuter services," Wohlfeil said.

Because it's the first time the shelter is trying a pay-to-spay program, Wohlfeil said it's difficult to gauge owner interest.

"We might have two people show up or we might have 100. It's really hard to say. If we have 100 people show up, we'll take the first 24, then try to work in the others at the April 28 date and at our spay-and-neuter clinic if there's funding available in the future."

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at 807-8431 or at kmatas@azstarnet.com.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 16th, 2006, 10:07 am

That's a really great program!
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Postby turtle » April 16th, 2006, 1:54 pm

Pima Animal Care Center adopts out only pit bulls that are 4 months old or younger, said Enforcement Operations Supervisor Mark Soto.
"Pit bulls have a potential to be very animal-aggressive and at times people-aggressive and at a young age, if they're socialized, they have a tendency of being wonderful pets."



That sounds like a good program if the folks there will use it. There are still many who equate neutering their dogs with "chopping their balls off" and see it as a reflection on thier own manhood.

And I find it sad that the shelter above will only adopt out puppies and seems to say that animal aggression is all in how you raise them. Plus the comment "and at times people aggressive" is pretty wrong for the true temperament of the breed.

I hope it is sucessful since there sure isn't any shortage of bullies in the shelters.
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Postby Image1 » April 16th, 2006, 6:37 pm

Sacramento County has been doing this for a long time. Our Stitch was done there when we moved to Cally. We also got a $35 check for having the SPCA neuter him. We gave it back to them as a donation along with a few hunderd pounds of food.
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Postby Here's Johnny » April 17th, 2006, 2:14 pm

I like the program, its a good idea.
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Postby Charlene in LV » April 18th, 2006, 9:42 am

We have a program out here called It's The Pits, which is a free spay/neuter for pits and pit mixes. Too bad not enough people take advantage of it.
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Postby Sue » April 20th, 2006, 12:21 pm

39 fixed the first day :)

Owners of 39 pit bulls showed up this morning on the South Side to have them spayed or neutered for free by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

The program is an effort to curb the growing number of aggressive and unadoptable pit bulls showing up at the Humane Society's shelter and the Pima Animal Care Center.

About a dozen staff and volunteers were on hand at the Ward 5 council office, 4300 S. Park Ave., to take in the dogs. The dogs were taken to the Humane Society's shelter to be neutered, have microchips implanted and receive any necessary vaccinations.

The group had originally planned to take in 24 dogs today, but opted to accomodate all the dogs that were brought. "The response was more than we anticipated," said Jill Wohlfeil, manager of community relations for the Humane Society.

Robert Black, 20, brought 4-month-old Cali to be neutered. "He's starting to chew on things and I want to calm him down," Black said.

Despite the breed's notorious reputation for aggressiveness, the morning was mostly incident-free, with rambunctious puppies mingling with curious and sometimes shy adult dogs. Only two dogs required special attention from staff members to calm them down.

Vanessa Bustamante, 19, said she has no reservations about having a pit bull in the same household with her 3-year-old son Andrés Islas. "It's all how you raise them," she said, as her 11-week-old puppy Güero gamboled about her feet.

Theresa Cruz, 47, said she's never had problems with any of her pit bulls in the past, and even rehabilitated an abused dog that she kept for 17 years without problems. "It's sad that they get such bad raps," she said.
Cruz and her daughter Melissa brought three dogs in to get neutered, puppies Bruno and Güera, and their 3 1/2-year-old mother Bella. Bella has had 10 litters, Cruz said. The mother and daughter said the free program is a boon because otherwise they would have had to shell out about $300 to get the dogs fixed.

Wohlfeil said the program is being paid for by an anonymous donation.
"We have too many pit bulls in our shelters," she said. "They take up space that could be used for more adoptable animals." Wohlfeil said owners of the first 24 dogs taken in were paid $20 as part of the program. The remaining dogs were taken in for the procedures but the owners were not paid the $20 incentive. All the owners were also given dog food, toys and leashes and collars if they needed them.

The society will also offer the free neutering and $20 incentive at the same location April 28, and will also offer it in Sahuarita next month and in Marana in June.


http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/local/9398.php
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Postby cheekymunkee » April 20th, 2006, 12:26 pm

Great job :thumbsup: but this kind of made my jaw hit the floor!! Glad the poor dog is now fixed.

Cruz and her daughter Melissa brought three dogs in to get neutered, puppies Bruno and Güera, and their 3 1/2-year-old mother Bella. Bella has had 10 litters, Cruz said. The mother and daughter said the free program is a boon because otherwise they would have had to shell out about $300 to get the dogs fixed.
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Postby Sue » April 20th, 2006, 12:33 pm

I know :(
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Postby Mahlon » April 20th, 2006, 12:55 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:Great job :thumbsup: but this kind of made my jaw hit the floor!! Glad the poor dog is now fixed.

Cruz and her daughter Melissa brought three dogs in to get neutered, puppies Bruno and Güera, and their 3 1/2-year-old mother Bella. Bella has had 10 litters, Cruz said. The mother and daughter said the free program is a boon because otherwise they would have had to shell out about $300 to get the dogs fixed.


That quote has become kind of famous.

A 3 1/2 year old bitch--even assuming she had her first litter at six months of age and had a litter every five month since then--could not have produced 10 litters in 3.5 years.

Do the arithemetic. Its just not possible.
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Postby cheekymunkee » April 20th, 2006, 1:02 pm

I didn't even notice the age of the dog.
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Postby a-bull » April 20th, 2006, 4:42 pm

Great program.

Our local Animal Rescue League spay/neuters, microchips and updates all shots prior to adoption.

Do other people have shelters in their area that do all that prior to releasing dogs??? :|
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