Imagine how you'd feel if you were arrested and charged as being vicious just because you were in the vicinity of a fight as it was getting broken up without getting to tell your side of the story. For the pups being picked up from illegal dogfights, most of which are pit bulls, that's exactly what's been happening. And for most, that vicious label is a death sentence…literally.
Thankfully, a new state law, AB 1825 recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown, is giving shelter dogs in California a second chance at life. Until recently, the dogs captured from dogfights were automatically labeled as vicious without even being evaluated. That unfortunate label made the dogs unadoptable, which meant some perfectly loving pups were being euthanized without question.
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Now each dog will be individually screened so shelter employees can accurately determine which dogs are fit for a forever family. On top of the personal evaluation, each dog is given a full workup that includes being micro-chipped, vaccinated and licensed before leaving the shelter.
Pit Bulls already have an unwarranted bad reputation, but not all the dogs picked up from the fights are truly aggressive beyond repair. Some dogs are just frightened because they were used as bait and need some TLC. Others are harmless house pets that happened to be out for a stroll at the time of the bust. Talk about wrong place, wrong time.
With shelters at capacity and trying to adopt out as many pit bulls possible, they're hoping this new law helps some truly deserving dogs live to see another day.
Main image credit: rescueme.org