Pennsylvania is not known as very animal friendly as evidenced by the legality of live pigeon shooting in the state. Now comes an alarming story of six 8-week-old pit bull puppies who were poisoned while attending a pit bull awareness event in Hollidaysburg. How’s that for irony?
Founders of A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue (ADBBR) brought the pups to the first annual Central Pennsylvania Pit Bull Awareness Day on Saturday, October 13. At about 2:00 p.m. Renae Metz, one of the founders, noticed that one of the puppies, Yogi, looked like he was having trouble. “His stomach was bloated, he had glazy eyes and couldn’t hold his head up,” said Metz.
Yogi was rushed to Ebensburg Animal Hospital where he died. The other five pups – Niayah, Mongy, Aramis, Deacon and Takoda – were sent to the animal hospital for observation and given IV fluids. Tragically, Takoda also died.
A necropsy confirmed poisoning. Brittany Miller, another founder of ADBBR, spoke with me by telephone and relayed the veterinarian suspected bleach or a bleach-based product was put in the water bowls. This caused their livers to start bleeding. Two days before, the puppies were given a clean bill of health by the veterinarian.
ADBBR is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to a conviction of the perpetrators. The money was generously donated by some of the adoptive parents, and others, with a $1,000 donation from a single person. Both the Pennsylvania State Police and the State Dog Warden are actively investigating this poisoning.
All of the surviving puppies have been approved for adoptive homes. Media coverage brought numerous applications. Niayah, Aramis, Deacon and Mongy are all back in their foster homes awaiting final adoption. Brittany told me the veterinarian wants to wait a little longer to spay/neuter because of the poisoning. He wants to ensure it is totally out of their systems before surgery.
Understanding Bully Breeds
ADBBR rescues all bully breeds — from Rottweilers to bulldogs and pit bulls. They are dedicated to educating the public about bully breeds. Did you know in the early twentieth century pit bulls used to be called “nanny dogs” because they were so dedicated to protecting the young children of their household?
It’s important to understand that any dog has the potential to bite humans.
Without proper socialization as a puppy within a loving home, any dog can become aggressive. If a dog – any breed – is raised to be violent you have the possibility of aggression causing harm to humans and/or other animals.
It is also imperative that people — especially children — be taught humane education and the proper way to interact with unfamiliar dogs and other animals. According to the American Humane Association (AHA), of the 4.7 million estimated dog bites each year almost 800,000 require medical intervention. Fifty percent of the attacks were on children under the age of 12.
Many townships have passed breed-specific legislation (BSL) but this only serves to provide a false sense of security, because any dog can become aggressive. BSL is expensive and often poorly-enforced, therefore providing little protection to the general public from dog bite incidents.
The AHA reports 25 different breeds of dogs were involved in 238 fatal dog attacks in the U.S. and sites “responsible breeding and ownership, public education and enforcement of existing laws are the most effective ways of reducing dog bites.”
Check out events for the 6th National Pit Bull Awareness Day, being held this year on October 27.
So yes, that adage “it’s the deed, not the breed” is something we should all be aware of.
Take a look at some photos of the poisoned puppies Brittany Miller shared with me.
All photos used with permission of Brittany Miller, ADBBR http://adarrahbullbullyrescue.webs.com/