Thursday, January 22, 2009

Best Friends and Second Chance Pit Bull Rescue Offer to Evaluate Wildside Dogs

Another update on the Wildside/Faron bust.

Say what you will about Best Friends (I know some people don't like the idea of keeping dogs alive in cages indefinitely at animal sanctuaries, but I'm not looking to get into that discussion here), but I'm glad someone is putting pressure on the Wilkes County authorities to give these dogs a chance.

I like this quote from the Best Friends attorney in particular:

"Genetics is not everything," she said. "Dogs are individuals just like people are, and their temperament should be evaluated as individuals."

Good on her! I'm getting sick of hearing how "inbreeding" for generations has made these dogs particularly mean and unsuitable for adoption.

Shelters adopt out hundreds of thousands of dogs every year that no one knows *anything* about. They could be bred down from anything, anything at all--dog fighting stock, vermin-hunting stock, protection-dog stock, scatterbred and badly wired stock. Nobody knows. But shelters take great pains to temperament test these unknowns and put them out there as pets with the public. Nobody knows what is in the ancestries of these dogs, but they're more than willing to treat them as individuals.

Pit bulls don't deserve the same treatment?

And on another note in this story, what gives with the laws that say that even if Faron's not found guilty he has to pay for the care and feeding of his dogs while held by the county? That's just nuts--reminds me of the time my car was stolen. It was being driven around by some teenagers who got pulled over. The police arrested the kids and impounded my car. They refused to release it to me till they had dusted it for prints, which took them a week to get around to. When they were finally ready to release it to me, they told me I had to pay a bill for impoundment fees for that week.

Um, thanks a lot. I would have been better off if they never found my vehicle at all. But anyway, here's the most recent news.

Animal group offers to help with pit bulls

Dogs were seized from kennel in Wilkes

By Monte Mitchell
Published: January 22, 2009

WILKESBORO - Best Friends Animal Society, one of the country's largest animal sanctuaries, is offering to pay an expert to assess more than 127 pit bulls owned by Wilkes County, to spay or neuter those dogs deemed adoptable, and to network with rescue groups to place the dogs in homes.

The dogs were seized from the owner of Wildside Kennels, Ed Faron, 61, during a raid Dec. 10 at his house off Mertie Road in Wilkes County. The county now owns the dogs after Faron failed to meet a court-ordered deadline last Thursday to pay the county $52,925 for the dogs' care. He has a March 4 court date on a felony charge of dogfighting.

County officials have said that if Faron is convicted of dogfighting, the dogs will be euthanized. Animal-advocacy groups differ about whether pit bulls bred or trained for fighting can be successfully adopted as pets.

About half of the dogs seized were puppies. Two or three litters have been born since the raid, according to county officials, who did not know an exact number.

Ledy VanKavage, an attorney for Best Friends in Utah, said that it is not fair to condemn all of the dogs, especially the puppies. "Genetics is not everything," she said. "Dogs are individuals just like people are, and their temperament should be evaluated as individuals."

Best Friends is home to about 2,000 animals, and is the setting for the National Geographic Channel television program Dogtown.

Dawn McCartney, who operates Second Chance Pit Bull Rescue in Rougemont, near Durham, said she could take in some of the dogs. She requires adoption contracts, checks references and does not adopt dogs to people who plan to keep them primarily in the yard rather than inside the home.

McCartney has had pit bulls for 25 years and disagrees with the idea that dogs bred for fighting are so inherently aggressive that their offspring are not adoptable.

A spokesman for Best Friends said that the agency has left a message about the offer with county officials but has not been able yet to speak with them. Attempts to reach county officials yesterday were unsuccessful.

■ Monte Mitchell can be reached in Wilkesboro at 336-667-5691 or at mmitchell@wsjournal .com.


  1. Erin,

    It is nice to see press covering this aspect of the story. Meaning, this is one more news story declaring that the dogs caught up in these situations should be given a chance, at the very least, to be temperament tested.

    That said, the quote that you're fond of, in my opinion, is rather unfortunate.

    While the overall message of the quote is one that I whole-heartedly support, the first bit get's way too close to saying: these dogs should be evaluated despite their genetics.

    Does she subscribe to idea that pit bulls from fighting lines are genetically dangerous? I hope not.

    What do you think?

  2. I actually interpreted that quote in a totally different way--in context, I think she was was saying that despite the fact that people think genetics make fighting dogs bad, she doesn't agree and thinks all dogs are individuals.

    I didn't think she was saying they should be eval'd *despite* genetics, but that people shouldn't assume dogs are not placeable because of their genetics.

    So I guess I'm reading the opposite of what you're reading into that quote! Maybe we need to call her for clarification.

  3. Anonymous4:55 PM

    "Turning On" All Gamebred A.P.B.T posses this trait.A Gamebred dog is one that comes down from along line of dogs that have proven to posses the "Game"trait,wich is a dogs ability to continue to want fighting contact even though it has been subjected to the pain of Extreme fatigue and extreme physical punishment dealt by its opponent. "Turning on" is the trait that occurs in game bred dogs in wich the dog suddenly exhibits an encredible desire to be animal agressive wich in turn increases its power speed and agilty Descendants of this dog the Amstaff and non-gamebred A.P.B.T that were seperated from its gamebreeding are less likely to posses this trait called "Turning on" as it would also be less likely to contain the gene referred to by illegal dogfighters as "gameness" however they are not totally free of it there is always the rare genetic event that occurs whene a lost and rare gene suddenly resurfaces,a rare occurance though it may be,however the gene known as "Turning on"wich exists in all Game bred dogs will most surely surface in game bred dogs ,even though some Gamebred dogs will need to actually be fought for it to surface but the trait is there and it can surface at anytime,it has been known to surface in Gamebred dogs usually around 18 months but it has also been known to surface as late as four years old .One would not be able to tell whene a Gamebred dog will turn on just by looking at them nor could one tell if a non game bred dog is one that would actually need to be fought first before its historicle trait of turning on would surface nor would one be able to tell if a stray non-gamebred dog such as say a labradore retriever or a Saint Bernard coming down the street has been unprofessionaly trained as an attack dog what is known is that its not the formidability of the dog such as size or strength of the breed nor is its purpose for wich it was domesticated as the descendants of the Game bred Amercan pit bull terrier 'bred for fighting'often prove on temperment tests givin nation wide to have very good temperments if domesticating the fighting gene lead to human agressiveness these descendants would score low on this test,even though they are no longer breed to fight, that is one doesnt just jump from one extreme to another.The real danger is the fact that the dog coming down the street is not restrained .