Are you my mommy, puppy edition.
May 23, 2010 10:16 AM   Subscribe

What shelters in the Baltimore City area will give a pit bull type puppy a chance?

While walking my elderly dog in the park today, we were rushed by a puppy. He probably just wanted to play, but I wasn't going to risk it (my dog is 18 and very frail).

The puppy is now in my back yard. He's about 8 months old, not neutered, male, with old rope burn around his neck and some puncture wounds around his head. He's very sweet with adults (I'm not trying him with kids or cats). With neutering and the right kind of owner who knows how to train dogs (and a sofa), he'd be a great pet.

He can't stay in my yard long (preferably not overnight). It doesn't have proper shelter. He can't come inside. But, I want to give him a chance at a good home. I hear BARCS will put him down instantly. The SPCA says they'll get back to people surrendering pets in 72 hours. Anyone got any ideas?
posted by QIbHom to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: you might try contacting ethical bull breed rescue and referral, a baltimore-based pitbull rescue organization.
posted by jimw at 10:29 AM on May 23, 2010

(actually, looking again, i don't know what made me think they were baltimore-based. in any case, you might be able to find a local resource through one of the national pitbull rescue organizations.)
posted by jimw at 10:31 AM on May 23, 2010

Best answer: Here's a list of pitbull-friendly rescues and shelters from that same site.
posted by muta at 10:31 AM on May 23, 2010

If nothing in Baltimore works out, you could try the Washington Animal Rescue League. They took some of Michael Vick's pitts in, and they're no-kill.
posted by sallybrown at 10:32 AM on May 23, 2010

Best answer: Good for you for rescuing this pup!

You might try calling animal control if the injuries look like neglect/abuse. Doing a few quick searches for you, I gather that Baltimore (like a lot of cities) has a dog fighting problem - and the pup you found might have come from that kind of background.

From HSUS:
$1000 reward offered for information on dog fighting activity in Baltimore City and County. If you have information on dog fighting activity in Baltimore County, call 911. If you have information on dog fighting activity in Baltimore City call Animal Control at (410) 396-4698.

Maybe these folks would help:
Baltimore Dog Owners Guild
Ethical Bull Breed Rescue

Have you called BARCS? I volunteer at what is basically a low-kill shelter: dogs are put down only if they're aggressive or very ill. Even still, the rumor in our community is that if you take your dog to our shelter, it's going to be put down. Maybe it's worth a try asking the staff at BARCS and SPCA to be up front with you: what chances does this puppy have if you surrender it to them? I would think they'd be honest with you.

Last but not least: I believe dogs come to us for a reason. I have two dogs and didn't pick either of them out - they weren't the dogs I would have chosen either - but I can't imagine life without them. They've actually even saved my life once by fending off a scary guy. Maybe this pup is meant to stay with you for a little while, forever, or maybe you're a stepping stone to his destiny. Good luck!
posted by grayber at 10:32 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you, jimw, I have an e-mail in to them.

grayber, there is sign that anyone in this neighbourhood would recognize as being bred for dog fighting, but nothing actionable. No collar, no nothing, if I call 311 they'll take him to BARCS eventually, but won't do anything else.

BARCS said they'd take him, refused to answer questions about how much of a chance he'd have. So, they are a last resort. (I've no objection to euthanasia for unadoptable animals, and it is a better option than being on the street or being fought. I'm hoping I can find this guy a better option.)

Just having puppy in my yard violates my lease, and I work long days in DC. I simply cannot take care of a puppy. He deserves a much better home than I can provide him.

Thanks, folks. Please keep the ideas coming.
posted by QIbHom at 10:54 AM on May 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, folks. I've sent out a bunch more e-mails. Now I think I'll go post pics on Facebook, and see if anyone falls for teh cute.
posted by QIbHom at 11:08 AM on May 23, 2010

Response by poster: MABB (Mid-Atlantic Bully Buddies) says BARCS won't automatically put him down. They also get major points for answering first.
posted by QIbHom at 11:37 AM on May 23, 2010

Thanks for doing this.
posted by theora55 at 11:54 AM on May 23, 2010

Best answer: BARCS absolutely won't put the puppy down immediately unless it's medically necessary. They work extremely hard to find bully breeds appropriate homes. A good friend of mine has a pit bull from BARCS and I adopted a bull mix. In fact, they just had a pit bull bitch out at their fundraiser in Mt Washington yesterday.

I've done some work with BARCS and know several of the staff and volunteers; BARCS tries to euthanize as few animals as possible and works with no-kill shelters and breed rescues to make that happen. I've never turned over an animal to them, but I've turned over strays to the MDSPCA and they won't tell you anything about the likelihood of euthanasia or provide any information if you call to follow-up either.
posted by weebil at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you, weebil. That is the kind of first hand experience that, with the recommendation from MABB, I was looking for.

I may have a home for him. But, if that doesn't work out, I'll take him to BARCS tomorrow. I've no problem with euthanasia when necessary, but the shelter where I'm from (and where I got my chow-cross) did put pits down immediately, so when the folks around here said BARCS would, too, well, it sounded credible.
posted by QIbHom at 12:57 PM on May 23, 2010

You're welcome! The folks around you probably haven't had experience with BARCS, but with the old city shelter management. Before the non-profit took over running the shelter, it was extremely high-kill. Now, they really do try to be as low-kill as they possibly can. My guy was there for 4 months (during which he had been adopted and returned once) before he came home with me. If you do end up taking him to BARCS, rest assured they'll be very careful with adopting him out. They do verify the references listed on applications and run checks against public records.
posted by weebil at 1:27 PM on May 23, 2010

Response by poster: Good, good. If this couple doesn't pan out tonight (and, yes, they do need to convince me they can handle a pit puppy and he won't just be an accessory), I'll take him there. All I want for puppy is a fair chance. Sounds like he'd get it there.

When I adopted my Conan, 18 years ago, the shelter did everything but send the Mafia out to test my kneecaps. I approve, having stood there as people turn puppies in because they don't fit with their lifestyle, or they ate a shoe or something.
posted by QIbHom at 2:03 PM on May 23, 2010

Response by poster: The puppy has gone to a foster home a librarian friend found through the librarian gossip network. Librarians really can find anything! We're all still looking for a permanent home for him (the couple flamed out spectacularly). But, he's in a safe place. I'd have taken him to BARCS, though, had the librarian who has an older female pit not offered to foster him.

Thank you, folks. Seems to be freaking mitzvah week around here, eh?
posted by QIbHom at 6:56 PM on May 24, 2010

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