The photos of puppies being euthanized are difficult to look at, but so many people went beyond the comfort zone to watch the special report that aired Monday, and to learn more about the problem.
Full disclosure: I am an admitted dog lover and have lost countless hours of sleep with these images and the facts surrounding them stuck in my mind for the last few months.
My inbox has been inundated by many of you who feel the same.
“I’m at a loss for words yet I’m so unbelievably angry,” Connie writes. “These beautiful, loving, innocent creatures did not ask to be born but when they were they expected a chance at life.
From Annette, a long time volunteer at Rochester Animal Shelter: “I have seen many friendly and beautiful pit bulls taking their last walk down to the tech room (where they are euthanized) tails wagging, so happy just to be out of their cage for a walk. It makes me cry all the time.
“We can’t adopt or euthanize our way out of this tragic situation, only education will solve it.”
“Education is a key, and as shocking as some of the images were from last night’s story, it’s a reality.”
“Why is there no presence in the inner city? Animal Control is not available after business hours…(what about) the need for educating residents?”
The photo that accompanies this blog was e-mailed from a viewer along with a little history lesson. In the early 1900’s pit bull dogs were called “nanny dogs” because of their gentle nature, especially with children.
“Yet another breed ruined by human intervention,” said the e-mail, referring to the “second half of the 20th century when people began breeding the dogs specifically for their strength.
The topic of pit bulls as a “bully breed” was not part of the initial story but it factors in because it provides context as to why the popularity of the dogs has surged in some circles, and also why it is difficult for shelters to adopt out the hundreds of dogs they wind up with.
“I sincerely hope this will shine some light on what is a very sad issue,” says a viewer named Joanna.