Friday, May 28, 2010

23 pit bulls need homes after Surrey rescue

Twenty-three pit bulls are in need of new owners after being rescued in bad shape from a Surrey home.
Most of the dogs, which range in age from two months to three years old, have been in the care of HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society since May 1, shortly after they were recovered by the Surrey SPCA.
Shelagh Begg, the director of HugABull, said Friday that when the dogs were rescued, they were covered in wounds. Five of the puppies were completely bald from mange, a skin condition that can lead to serious infection, she said.
“Left untreated, those five pups wouldn’t have made it another week,” Begg said.
Another dog, named Scarlet, had a wound that had turned gangrenous and her leg had to be amputated.
After being in and out of veterinarian care the last few weeks and being taken in by temporary foster homes, the dogs have transformed from sickly and scared to friendly and energetic, Begg said.
Scarlett, still shy with strangers, is getting around on her three legs. Some of the puppies have adoption applications pending until they are fully recovered from mange and respiratory illnesses.
While Begg doesn’t know the full details of the circumstances from which the dogs were rescued, she said it was likely a breeding operation, and that the injured pit bulls may have been fighting over a shortage of resources and food.
Seventeen of the recovered animals are now in the care of HugABull, five are being adopted out by the rescue group Bully Buddies, and one is with TnT Shar Pei Rescue.
The scale of the rescue is unusual, but Begg said the group often works with the SPCA to find homes for pit bulls.
“Rescue groups like ours and other breed-rescues definitely want to be able to offer our services and get involved so that we can give really good dogs a chance,” she said.
Some of the dogs will attend the Petnership Project Tradeshow and Lecture Series on June 19-20 at the Hellenic Community Centre in Vancouver.
Esther Sarlo, an organizer of the event designed to inform owners about holistic pet care, said an adoptable-pet parade will take place to allow potential owners to look at various breeds they might want to adopt.
All rescue dogs at HugABull society undergo behavioural assessments before being taken on. Pit bull adoption applicants must pass a home check and need to meet the dog in their foster-home environment. According to Begg, they should also be active owners ready for an energetic dog.
Begg said that contrary to popular belief, pit bull owners make up a large community. The breed, she said, is commonly misunderstood due to the few “bad apples” that tend to make headlines.
“A sound, well-tempered pit bull true to their breed is one that loves everybody,” she said. “They are unbelievably tolerant of people. Back in the ‘30s and ‘40s, they were the No. 1 family dog.”
After weeks of veterinarian care for the rescued dogs, the organization is now looking for donations to cover estimated treatment costs of $8000 to $10,000.
More information on the adoptable pit bulls can be found at www.hugabull.com.

The Province

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