By JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ
LINCOLN HEIGHTS — During the past five years there has been a significant drop in the number of pit bulls being taken into city animal shelters. For example, 790 pit bulls and pit bull mixes arrived at the North Central Animal Shelter in Lincoln Heights during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. That’s down more than 40% from the 1,351 pit bulls taken in five years ago, according to L.A. Animal Services statistics. What explains the drop?
Apparently changing attitudes about the breed might explain part of the decline.
“I don’t know that we have conclusive proof, but I believe that the rescue community has focused on pit bulls and pit mixes, Chihuahuas and cats and they are helping us make a difference,” said Brenda Barnette, General Manager of L.A. Animal Services. “Pit bull advocates are working hard to show what great dogs Pits and pit mixes are,” she said.
That means fewer of the dogs end up in the shelters.
The decline at the North Central Animal Shelter has been mirrored by a decline across the city’s animal shelter system. Five years ago, pit bulls made up 20.36% of all the dogs taken in by city animal shelters. Now, that figure is 16.73% for the most recent fiscal year, according to figures Barnette presented at a recent meeting of Animal Services commissioners
“When the community works together, it makes a life-saving difference,” said Barnette.
Pit Bulls vs Other Dog Breeds
Few Pit Bulls in Shelters
Jacqueline Fernandez is a Los Angeles-based reporter who’s written for various media outlets such as Los Angeles Wave, The Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News.
- Got a story, tip, question or photo to share? Submit it here