Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Denver, dead dog pictures, reasons to be angry (sad photos)

Westword, an alternative weekly out of Colorado, has been doing a stellar (in my biased opinion) job on covering Denver's 20-yr pit bull ban. I blogged a little about it here and here.

They just released another article called "Leaked: photos of pit bulls killed due to Denver ban"

I am reposting the small photos right now, because I think they lend themselves to a discussion on dogs, in general. You can see the larger versions at the above link.

There is no question these are real photos of dead dogs. No question.

A fair question to be asked: Are these photos of stray or confiscated pit bulls who were killed in Denver? The photographer is anonymous and the pictures were supposedly taken in 2006 (which begs the further question of why they were not shown earlier).

Unless someone steps forward and verifies the source of these photos, I can only observe that they depict the corpses of dozens of dogs, all pit bulls.

What I do know is that these pictures not only highlight what does happen when breed bans are enacted, especially those with such strict tenets as Denver, they showcase what happens in shelters across the country. I could have taken this photo in the kill room of a shelter where I volunteered for nearly four years. Pit bull and pit bull mixes comprised the overwhelming majority of dead dogs, their still warm bodies draped without care over one another. Pit bull and pit bull mixes still make up a large percentage of unwanted dogs in shelters.

Breed bans are awful, horrible things for the dogs. There is no arguing against that - if you are the uncool type of dog in areas with breed bans, your options are slim, at best. At worst, you are a dead dog walking. Their efficacy at improving overall public safety is certainly questionable; no city has consistent results after implementing breed bans. Some may see a decline in pit bull type bites. Some see an increase in dog bites. The sign of a truly effective, valid study is that it can be repeated with similar results. Breed bans do not "breed true" - using the same wording, the same enforcement, similar variables, and you still do not see reliable results. Dogs are far more dynamic than that, and the dog bite issue is far more complex than reducing it to breed.

Killing healthy dogs is an awful, horrible thing for the dogs. These pictures may not portray Denver dogs. They may have been taken after a fight bust or a cruelty case or a day at a hi-kill municipal shelter. That does not detract from the wrongness of it. There is no reason that any dog, let alone dozens of the same type of dog, should be in a picture like this. We should not be killing them. We should not be reducing them to breeds and further reducing them to corpses.

We owe these dogs so much more than that.


PoochesForPeace said...

Yes, we sure do owe them more than that. *sigh*

Kari in Redwood City said...

those pictures break my heart. all that love to give and look what they got in return

Me said...

The pictures are real, and they are what they say they are; but I don't expect you to take some random blog comment as authority, either. Skepticism's good.

But that's beside the point. What makes this even more egregious than killing animals for space is Denver killed and continues to kill not just homeless animals, and not just for space. Following the reinstatement of the breed ban, animal control went to people's homes and confiscated and killed their family pets because of their appearance.

In 2005 and 2006, in the wake of the reinstatement of the ban, Denver killed nearly 1500 dogs they determined were pit bulls, many if not most of them innocent family pets. About another 500 were confiscated, then released, often to families who managed to find their dogs new homes outside of Denver, or who were forced to move themselves.

And it comes down to this: At a time when so many animal lovers are reevaluating the necessity of the mass killing of homeless animals and trying to change things for the better, Denver is headed in the opposite direction, killing not only homeless animals, but cherished family pets as well.

bryan said...

I feel pitbulls are the black people of the dog breeds they are labled visious because some people trained them to be visious and the news has labled them visious so with that people are going to continue to be scared of them and band them and pictures like that will soon be common . this world is sad when a dog suffers from people prejudging .

Anonymous said...

how dare people make dogs suffer like that. animals are just as important as humans.dogs arent instruments of war like man. lets throw animal abusers in dog fights and see how they like it.