Should shelters stop labeling dogs by breed?

Letters to the editor and comments from our readers

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Breed contempt

I don’t think refusing to label pit bulls as pit bulls will have any impact on adoption rates (“Orange County Animal Services says it will no longer label dogs by breed,” Bloggytown, Feb. 5). More than 60 percent of the dogs currently listed on the website are pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Several are listed as “aggressive toward other animals”; one is listed as “food aggressive.” Clearly, there is an issue with pit bull owners and breeders who continue to produce dogs with dangerous temperaments and abandon them in record numbers. Knowingly adopting out pit bulls with aggression issues won’t help the shelter’s reputation as a place to find a safe family pet. Laws regulating the breeding of pit bulls would solve the problem effectively, freeing up shelter space and resources that could be used to help more animals and fund free spay/neuter campaigns.
Branwen, via

You have to start somewhere. All sorts of dogs are mislabeled because of the attitude that you have to label dogs something. The majority of dogs in the shelter system are a Heinz 57. You can guess all you want, but you are guessing unless you have papers saying the dog is a purebred. The only breed of dog that has pit bull in its name is the American Pit Bull Terrier. Each town and shelter system has a different idea of what they consider to be a pit bull, which doesn’t help the dogs at all, and eventually the term gets overused and very confusing. The term “pit bull” has been overused for good and bad to either help these dogs or persecute them. The sooner we get away from labeling too many mixed-breed dogs as pit bull mixes, the sooner the dogs will be looked at for their personalities. Anyone who takes home a dog has to take time to get to know their dog. Unfair or inaccurate labels doom the dog before you even get a chance to know them. These are dogs, like any other mixed-breed dog. They deserve a chance. The less the term “pit bull” is used inaccurately, the better. I am so thankful this shelter started the ball rolling for more fair treatment of dogs in general and away
from the labeling trap.
123tl78, via

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