Dilemma - what to do with abandoned pup I found

I have a dilemma and I’d like some opinions to help me make a decision.

Last week I found an abandoned puppy. I brought her home, and mr.stretch agreed to let me foster her until we could find her a forever home. We already have 4 dogs; keeping her ourselves is not an option.

After doing some research, I’m pretty sure this puppy is a ‘Pit Bull’ or at the very least would be classified as one in my area.

From my reading of the local ordinances, the determination of whether she is a Pit Bull would be made subjectively by animal control, i.e. they would decide based on whether they think she looks like a Pit, which she does. And my particular city has a breed ban, as do many of the other cities around here. I did not know about this breed ban until after I had brought the pup home…last I heard, they were considering a dangerous dog ordinance but had not yet passed any bans. The breed ban states that Pit Bulls will be confiscated and put down. My county also has a dangerous dog ordinance that is strange and vague and makes me unhappy.

This means I am in violation of the law by having this puppy in my home as I live inside the city limits. And it will be very hard to find her a home in my area with the breed bans because I can’t in good conscience give her to someone else just so they can get in trouble.

What the heck should I do with this puppy? I can’t keep her for long because I’m breaking the law. I don’t know that I’ll be able to find her a good home locally because the cities that don’t seem to have a breed ban do have other ordinances that are pretty close. I have contacted a Pit Bull rescue and I have contacted the only local rescue that seems willing to take Pits, but neither of them has gotten back to me. And, to be honest they probably have plenty of other dogs to worry about.

She’s been here almost a week, and so far she is a real sweetie. But as she gets older, I don’t know what she’ll be like. I did a bunch of reading on Pits yesterday and even the places that rescue Pits say that they shouldn’t be kept in same-sex dog households (all my dogs are female!), and that sometimes you have to realize that your Pit can’t be with your other dogs. This makes me wonder how she’ll ever find a home.

All of this just makes me sad. I can’t decide what to do.

Opinions and suggestions are welcome. I don’t want to debate the breed ban or dangerous dog ordinance or how stupid I believe them to be. That’s fodder for another thread.

I don’t know how the Pit Bull rescue works, but I would suspect the odds of them being able to help your dog are pretty good, since she is so young and yes, seriously adorable. I’m sure they have a much harder time finding homes for older dogs, and probably also have to deal with a lot of dogs who have been abandoned because they’ve shown signs of aggression. Since yours is still so young, innocent, and cute, I bet she’ll fare well.

Have you looked at any of the small communities outside of the cities in your area? Maybe you could find a rural home for her.

Good luck.

She may be cute now, and she sure looks it. But IMHO there are valid reasons for the breed ban; we have one in the entire province of Ontario. As sad as it may be, and I’m a major dog lover myself, I would somehow get rid of it. If that means someone has to put it down then so be it. Better it than you or one of your other dogs, or a neighbourhood kid for that matter.

I disagree with Leaffan on the breed ban thing. In fact, a recent thread included this test to see if you can correctly identify the breed:

There is nothing inherently dangerous to a pit bull or pit bull-type dog; they’re intelligent and outperform most breeds in training and temperament.

At any rate, the first thing you should do is have the puppy’s breed evaluated by a dog expert – vet or trainer or the like. As Elret said, you might have some success working with a rescue group to find her a good home; your vet could also give you good information about who to contact for help.

I’ve played the find the pit games before and she looks just like the real APBT. But in my area it apparently doesn’t matter, because they base it on what animal control thinks the dog is.

The folks at the vets office think she’s a Pit mix. But I should call them and ask who they would recommend I work with on adoption…I didn’t think of that.

Well, I don’t want to debate it, but I’ve never once heard of say, Bichon Frises mauling kids. Pit Bulls? maybe 2 or 3 times a year just locally. I’m probably somewhat ignorant on the topic, but as a father there’s no way I’m taking any chances.

Look at the owners. There may be a screw loose in the breed after years of inbreeding, but I’ve never seen animal abuse out in the open except when it’s some gangster asshole jerking his pit bull’s chain.

Good point. There most certainly seems to be a common theme in the type of people who would own a Pit Bull versus those who would own a Bichon (AKA me!).

According to the American Temperament Test Society, 87.1% of the American Pit Bulls “passed” the test. Only 77.8% of the Bichon Frise did. Of course, the latter group had a smaller sample size. Which is another reason you rarely hear of them mauling kids.

The major reason that (the fuzzily defined breed called) Pit Bulls are more dangerous is that many are raised by nutcase humans.

Let’s hope the OP’s pup can find a good home.

Call a vet, and the Pit Bull Rescue folks you mentioned, and the Humane Society/SPCA, and just ask them what you should do. I’m sure this situation comes up fairly often.

By the way, I’ve known several pit bulls, and they’ve been some of the sweetest and gentlest dogs I’ve encountered. They get a bad rap because of the sociopaths who breed them for aggression, but heck, you can train any dog to be aggressive. Pit bulls just attract that kind of owner; the reputation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Granted, this is moot in your case, if there’s a local ordinance about them.

(By the way, I picked the pit bull in Beadalin’s link on the first try.)

Called the vet, got a phone number, and a return call. A local rescue organization wants some pics to see if they think they can find a foster home for her.

I’m sure this dog could be an excellent companion if someone will only put the effort and love into her. That someone just can’t be me.

I already am owned by 3 Golden Retrievers, and they have my preferred temperment. This one will be a challenge; she’s very smart and needs someone who can put some time into raising her right.

Thanks for the responses.

Pit Bulls have a natural pre-disposition that makes them a special breed. This doesn’t mean that by any stretch they are evil dogs - many different breeds need some extra efforts and I would take a pit over a Chow (or Akita).

I consider it part of the breed - if you have a scent hound you may never be able to walk it off leash, if you have a pit you need to invest in obedience training.

That said - a Bischon Frise that goes nuts and attacks their owner may rip a pantleg and do some damage to an ankle or two, a pit is a stong, stout breed and as with any larger breed, the owner has some more reponsibility to take on with regards to training.

I also think banning a breed is stupid - idiots will just find another “tough” breed to train to aggressiveness (Rott, Staff, Doberman).

No bad/evil dogs, bad/evil owners.

We just had this discussion so I won’t get into that here.

On topic, one approach I’ve seen is to emphasize whatever you think the other breed(s) mixed in might be. We’ve listed our AmStaff/Basset/possibly Beagle mix a “Basset mix” or “mixed hound” on official forms. At least make the authorities do the legwork if they want to classify her as a Pit.

If it’s any comfort, the sites I’ve read seem to agree that young Pit Bulls are not dog-aggressive; that develops after one or even two years of age. Pit Bulls are not, of course, human-aggressive, by innate temperament, although they can be made that way, like any animal. So she probably poses no danger to your goldies.

There are other rescues farther afield if this one can’t help you – you can contact more than one. Easy for me to say from a distance, but please give this little one as much help as you reasonably can.

No other creature is as wholly in the power of Man as the dog.

Sailboat

I’ve always respected your animal comments after the budgie dilemma SB. That pulled my heartstrings. Thanks for the comments.

I can’t believe someone hasn’t snatched up that puppy yet! She’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Yes, she may have some pit in her (sweetest dogs in the world, in my vet-tech experience) or she may have some boxer in her (also incredibly sweet) or something else. Hard to tell the difference at this age. With those blue eyes she might have some husky in her–which frankly are crazier than any pit I’ve ever met. Or maybe Catahoula. A catahoula/boxer mix could very easily look like that. And that coloring is common in boxers. Have you put an add on craigslist? If I was anywhere hear you I’d take her!

I’ve got her up on Petfinder and Craiglist. I heard back from the rescue and they are considering whether they have someone to foster her.

I had an email this morning from the Petfinder listing.

I also got spammed :mad:

The email I got is from someone who says they live out in the boones around here, which means they aren’t covered by the bans. They say they are familiar with pits. I’ve responded with some questions and pics…we’ll see what response I get.

Once you meet this little girl, it’s real hard to resist her. She loves people.

Please be careful who you give her to. Some people look for dogs to use in dog fighting operations or to train up as attack/drug dogs. The latter seems unlikley in central WA, but the former is certainly possible. I realize you’re trying to do the right thing without regretting your good deed, but IMO you’d be better off just leaving her at the pound than giving her to a person who will make her into a fighting dog – even if the pound puts her down.

I raise this as a concern because my next door neighbor is really into pit rescue and is fostering the sweetest girl you’d ever meet. She (the neighbor) has now twice been contacted and met with people who IHO raised red flags – not interested in temprament, interested in size, dirt-bag looking people, nervous, didn’t pet the dog – and she has refused to give the dog to them.

It’s true that pits (and staffies and rotties and crosses) present ownership/management issues, but it is also true that they are breeds at high risk for violent exploitation. Please keep this in mind, for the dog’s sake.

This was my biggest concern.

So I talked more to the woman and she came out and met the puppy and took her away. After meeting her and talking to her, I’m confident that she’ll take good care of the pup. The pup took to her right away, which means nothing because the puppy loves everybody she met so far. The woman promised to send me updates on the pup, and I have her name, number and address, so I feel pretty good.

This thing has been really hard on mr.stretch. But it was good, too. He had been thinking of volunteering some place, and thought maybe pet rescue would be good. After fostering this dog for a week, he knows he just can’t take the change in routine that fostering brings. I can’t take the falling in love and then giving the dog away part.

We also learned that four dogs are okay, but five dogs are too much!

I don’t have anything of substance or import to the sweet pup to add, except to say that when I first say her picture, I thought of one of my older sister’s favorite books growing up: Beautiful Joe.

And no, we cannot take her… :frowning:

Hey stretch, let me know if you need more leads.

A friend of mine lives in Toppenish and she’s constantly getting dogs dumped in her yard. Because of the pit bull ban in Yakima, she has to go elsewhere for rescue help and so far she’s had rescues help her out. PM me if your leads don’t pan out.

There’s also the Pit Bull Project in Seattle that may be able to send you some rescue info too.

Best of luck. :slight_smile: