Monday, October 17, 2011


To: The Board of Directors, MSPCA
      The Board of Overseers, MSPCA
      Drake Bennett, The Boston Globe; Kay Lazar, The Boston Globe
      Stephen J Murphey, Boston City Council, At-large
      Robert Consalvo, Boston City Council
      and others

During the month of October the MSPCA is conducting a campaign to "elevate the status of Pit Bulls in our community." A segment aired on a local TV channel, apparently prompted by a MSPCA press release, which featured an interview with MSPCA advocacy director Kara Holmquist. The timing of the campaign is particularly awkward in light of fact that pit bulls killed two children in the week preceding the MSPCA campaign.

The TV segment included misinformation and incorrect assertions, and failed to mention that pit bulls have killed a total of at least sixteen humans this year.  The segment also failed to acknowledge the hundreds of attacks, many of them fatal, on our more vulnerable animal companions. Pit bulls have been bred for centuries for the express purpose of fighting to the death, but pit bull advocates would now have us believe this genetic trait has disappeared.

When it comes to pit bulls, humane societies are engaged in a zero-sum game. Backyard breeders produce a surplus of pit bulls, many of which ultimately end up in humane shelters. Meanwhile, the South continues to export thousands of unwanted dogs (many of them pit bulls) to cities in the north where they are more likely to be adopted. Shelters everywhere are under increased pressure to avoid euthanasia and therefore find it necessary to mount extraordinary campaigns, such as the current MSPCA "Pit Bull Awareness Month," to place pit bulls in family homes.

SPCA's across the country find themselves under similar pressures, and the campaign to improve the image of the pit bull has been an ongoing campaign for years, with the humane societies slowly losing ground to the dogfighters and backyard breeders. Untold resources are devoted to the problem (as can be seen on this MSPCA page), which could otherwise be invested in legitimate humane services. All this wasted treasure does nothing to solve the larger problem.

We urge the MSPCA to suspend all efforts to place pit bulls in family environments. Furthermore, we urge the MSPCA to suspend all advocacy in behalf of the pit bull, including legislative and lobbying efforts in their behalf. Suspending pit bull advocacy programs would allow the MSPCA to redirect resources to new or underfunded programs. A fund for the human and animal victims of pit bull attacks is an idea whose time has come; MSPCA could provide a beacon for other SPCAs by initiating such a program.

The MSPCA has a long and distinguished history of animal advocacy. Your leadership on this issue can lead the way to a safe, less cruel environment for our animal companions and for ourselves.

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Related Posts: Natural Consequences, Discredited Sources
Today's pit bull attacks on Google news -- Click here!
Related News Story: WCVB TV5

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