We've chosen a real hot button issue as the first installment of
our new occasional blog feature called "Can We Talk?" which will
encourage open but polite discourse on a number of pressing topics.
The breeding of Pit Bulls can stir up fiery debate at the drop of a hat - is breeding across-the-board bad, or is it something that under some circumstances is okay, but mostly and usually is not? For most of us involved in the rescue side of things, the answer to the "how do you feel about breeding" question comes as quickly as the words can leave the lips (or get typed on the computer screen): "NO to breeding! TOO many Pit Bulls are homeless and dying!"
The Real Pit Bull does not promote nor encourage breeding. That is the organization's official stand, all of our board members and volunteers concur that there are too many breeders, too many Pit Bulls, and we'd be so much better off if 99.999999999999% of those producing puppies just STOPPED already, goshdarnit! (We'll concede the rare ethical breeder - in fact, we'll even applaud them!)
Although there are no exact numbers, by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of Pit Bulls, or more, die each year because no on wants them, they are abandoned or neglected, or tortured to death. All of these dogs end up in bad situations because of careless breeding practices and subsequent bad placement with irresponsible people.
Stop for a moment and imagine a pile of dead Pit Bulls: hundreds of thousands, or a million of them. Their limp, lifeless bodies wasting away. And that is exactly what it is: a huge, deplorable waste.
If that image of a monstrous pile of decomposing Pit Bulls stirs anger and disgust - good! That's the whole point. And just in case you missed the point: there are TOO MANY PIT BULLS and they are DYING in humungous numbers. Just being tossed out like garbage in a landfill!
Yet there seems to be some incorrigible need amongst a certain segment of Pit Bull caregivers to breed their dogs. This is such a head-scratcher, and one reason we've chosen to do this blog post - we really want to know WHY? WHY breed??? (That’s not a rhetorical question!)
We've probably all had the experience of walking down the street with our neutered or spayed Pit Bull, only to have some random person pull up in a car beside us and say, "Nice pit, do you wanna breed him?" And how many times have you had to suppress the need to scream, holler, stamp your feet, and pull your hair out as, for the billionth time, someone's just told you how much they love Pit Bulls and plan on breeding their dog. And those are just the casual backyard breeder encounters.
Only the brave and truly strong-of-stomach dare embark on a "pit bull breeder" search on Google. The number of breeders out there is truly staggering.
For a couple grand (or six!) you too could become the owner of a rare, special, awesome-tastic, blue-nose Pit with a 30 inch head. Titles? Health certificates? Who needs 'em! These pups will weigh 100 pounds at 6 months of age! Git ‘em while they’re hot!
And there are hundreds of breeders producing the same thing. Rare? As rare as pebbles of sand on a beach. Don't believe it? Visit a shelter - you'll have no problem finding one of those "big blue pits" and for only a mere fraction of what breeders will charge you. In fact, name any color-size-style-sex-height-weight-personality Pit Bull you want, and we can point you in the direction of exactly what you are looking for, currently available at your local shelter or rescue.
Have you ever come across a breeder who told you, "I don't really love my dogs or the breed as a whole, and in fact I know I am part of the problem but I don't care, I'm going to keep breeding anyway"?
If you are a breeder reading this, surely you will proudly state how much you love Pit Bulls and that all your puppies get good homes and offer up a million reasons why you aren't like those other, "bad breeders".
Trouble is, everyone thinks what THEY are doing is "different" and "okay". Trouble is, from where us RPB folk are standing, you all look the same.
So help us - RPB, all of the people in rescue - tell you apart. Why, as a breeder, are YOU different? Why is it ethical for YOU to breed? Why breed at all?
Why do YOU feel the need to breed?