Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A Sad Day for Pooches
In visiting the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for Family Home Morning last Saturday my husband and I uncovered a darker side of London culture.
The facility itself was wonderful. Each kennel was clean and had a picture and information about the particular dog available for "rehoming," including breed and any issues. Yet we were quite surprised at the number of "staffie bulls," a cross of the very similar Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Pitt Bull Terrier, all of whom seemed to have emotional issues according to their write-ups. Of the dozens of dogs we saw available for rehoming, probably 85-90% were such cross-breeds.
When we asked the reception staff, they quickly dismissed the high numbers was simply a matter of "fashion." Going to the newly-built "cattery" next door revealed quite a different story. There the vet and keeper of the beautiful felines sharing little homes behind glass doors explained that there is quite a bit of illegal dog fighting in South London which uses, abuses, and abandons the "staffie bulls," making them good targets for the animal home to rescue, care for, and rehome.
Upon doing more research, it seems a fairly large problem for London as a whole (and other major cities in the U.S.). As recently as 10 December 2010, city officials have called for tougher "dangerous dog" legislation. I certainly hope it works.