Best Friends: Good Deed or Irresponsible Actions?

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The email reads: "Pets Seeking Exclusive Relationships". Sounds good, one would think it's a good marketing statement for adoption. The statement is deceiving in nature but you have to read to the bottom of the page, in small print, to grasp the truth of the statement.

Best Friends has a new promotion that includes free transportation to your home town, even if that means an ride on an airplane. Now, with all that wonderful information, did you notice in small print at the bottom of the flyer: These pets need to be the ONLY dog or cat in their home. That sounds a little ominous, doesn't it? No explanation as to what it means either.

Let's offer an explanation as to what it means. It means that these animals being promoted are animal aggressive. Simply put, they can't be with another animals without trying to kill those other animals. Is this responsible, because these promotion animals aren't going to live on a desert island, they could end up your neighbor. Is it responsible to place aggressive animals back out into the public when you are well aware of this aggression?

Looking at the pictures shows that all but one dog is a pit bull or pit type. How is Best Friends "vetting" these new homes? Will they qualify a petite woman to have a muscular pit bull that can easily overcome her on those walks? Are they doing home checks when they transport across the country to make sure these pits aren't going to a dog fighter? If we want to make that judgement, let's let past history enter the picture.

Best Friends sent dogs to a man, Don Chambers, who were rescues from Katrina. They paid him a goodly sum of money to take care of these dogs, train them, find them homes. No vetting obviously because the results were not good. "He (Chambers) received 28 dogs from the Best Friends Animal Society and $36,720 to care for them until they were adopted. Chambers didn't spend the money on the dogs, and just three of them landed in homes. Most are dead." reads the article.

Then we have the incident where Best Friends showed a lack of adequate security for two of the Vick dogs. Former and present employees expressed their concern about the inadequate fencing prior to the incident. Two of the Vick dogs, Tug and Denzel, escaped containment and literally ripped the head off of a non-Vick dog. The comments were shut down on this story because it did make people angry that this was allowed to happen. Plus people were upset at the lack of disrespect shown the dead dog when Best Friends failed to even call the dog by it's name in their announcement. The dog was Beans.

Can Best Friends be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to these pets being promoted? It is also an issue of whether these animals should be promoted for homes. It is doubtful that they will end up on a desert island, free of any and all animals. These pets will have to function in normal society but they exhibit behavior that is not appropriate for normal society. What would happen if these pets were to get out? They would kill other pets, that is what would happen. They might even go on to kill a person. With all the good, non aggressive dogs in our shelters, why is Best Friends promoting and spending a great deal of money to do so, these dogs who have aggression to the point they can't live with another animal? Wouldn't their funds be better spend trying to save those dogs and cats that have no problems, who can function in normal society, who can be walk safely down the street. Is Best Friends' version of "no kill" putting people and pets in danger?

Is it responsible stewardship to use donations in such a fashion or to put communities in jeopardy by adopting out aggressive pets without home checks or vetting the person adopting? Best Friends has set a pattern of irresponsibility in the past. Pit bulls are 14 times more likely to escape containment according to experts. There are several cases of pits attacking after passing temperament testing with rescues. And pit bulls are 6 times more likely to attack their owner. With all of this, why would any reputable agency want to put pit bulls out into the community who have proven themselves to be aggressive? I have my answer for that, you should be able to come up with your own easily enough.