Dog owners surrender pit-bull crosses

Geelong Advertiser; September 1 2011

GEELONG dog owners have begun to surrender their pit-bull crosses as tough new laws begin to bite.

Legislation on restricted dog breeds has been widened to include cross-breeds, and owners, councils, veterinarians and animal shelters will be responsible for policing it.

Registered pure or cross-breed dogs are now subject to strict controls, while unregistered dogs can be destroyed.

Geelong Animal Welfare Society (GAWS) manager Robyn Stewart said more than four pit bull crosses had been surrendered to the centre to be put down.

“People are terrified of doing the wrong thing and don’t trust them (pit bulls) any more and it’s better to be safe than sorry,” she said.

Before an abandoned dog can be released to its new owners it must be micro-chipped and de-sexed to be registered, but some veterinarians will not micro-chip dogs they believe to be part pit bull or any other restricted breed.

“Puppies didn’t ask to be born pit bull but they’ll be doomed from the minute they’re alive,” Ms Stewart said.

“Crosses are hard to tell, and everyone could look and see something different but it all comes back to responsibility.

“I don’t want to release a dog and have something happen (to someone).”

A spokesman for the Australian Veterinarian Association said the association was seeking legal advice on the new laws.

He said visually identifying elements of a cross-breed was always subjective but vets would have to err on the side of caution.

Leopold’s Moodie family picked out a new pet at GAWS last week and yesterday was heartbroken and angry at not being able to take him home straight away.

Jake, an abandoned chocolate brown staffy-cross, raised concern with vets that he may contain pit bull.

Ian Moodie said his seven-year-old daughter and wife were in tears at the thought they would have to put Jake down.

He said Jake seemed very friendly during a 30-minute meet-and-greet session.

The family’s other dog is a staffy-cross-labrador, which Mr Moodie said was the best dog he’d had and the reason they’d decided to get another staffy.

Mr Moodie said he’d made more than 20 calls between council, the dangerous dog hotline, lawyers and veterinarians before finding a vet who would micro-chip Jake.

The family will be visited by the council in a week to assess Jake’s temperament.

Mr Moodie said the fate of many dogs would hinge on their looks rather than personality.

Original story here + readers comments

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Dog owners surrender pit-bull crosses

  1. Vonnie

    That is just disgusting .. There is so much hysteria now that people have just got it out of perspective. This just gives the high kill shelters another justification in killing more animals.

  2. selwyn marock

    We as the Human Race are falling through the Cracks at an Alarming rate,one could describe it as an avalanche,but what appears to be flying downhill faster than us mere Mortals are the Vets in Geelong.
    Its Shameful did these poor excuses of the Human Race study for 7 odd years to Murder our Canine Friends or save their Lives??????

  3. Jan Baker

    Ignorance….most ppl wouldn’t know what a real Pit Bull looks like….I am an obedience instructor I have staffie x & bullmastiff x & other breeds….these ppl are responsible owners…they bring their dogs to socialize them & meet other dogs….this is where the trouble starts when ppl don’t understand that every dog needs obedience, discipline & socializing with other dogs…..Don’t blame the breed, blame the deed…..

  4. This absolutely colludes with the fantastical notion that pit bulls are dangerous dogs. What an anti species notion. Rather than exposing the truth which is that dogs are ‘made’ by their owners. Disgraceful. Dogs killed because of their race. One day we will look back in shame. But for now, pity the pit bulls and the dogs who are destined to follow: rotties? Dobermans? Shepherds? Labradors?

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