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Many adopted pit bulls returned to shelter

Reported by: Reed Cowan
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Updated: 7/10 2:50 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- When Lied Animal Shelter sounded the alarm that dogs would die without more adoptions, almost 400 dogs got new homes.

But more came back, filling cages and increasing the risk of dogs being put down because of overcrowding.

For days the shelter begged the community to take abandoned and runaway dogs home so they would not have to destroy them.
At the same time, officials with the Animal Foundation, which operates the shelter, know not everyone is fit to adopt a pet. They acknowledge that’s why so many end up in shelters.

During an emergency adoption event in May, the shelter focused on placing pit bulls and Chihuahuas. Pits could be seen mixing with other dogs and with people.

Given the reputation pits carry, shelter operators were asked if there is a policy of keeping the breed away from visitors.

“No, there isn’t,” responds Karly Scholten, director of operations. “We mix them because we want them (patrons) to see as many dogs as possible.”

Scholten also was asked if the shelter has a problem with dog bites.

“Less than 10 times a year do we have a patron injured,” she says. Specifically, 12 dog bites have been recorded at Lied since 2012. Seven of those involved a visitor’s dog. The shelter won’t say how many of those injuries were from pit bull bites.

At a pet adoption event away from the shelter, one pit bull owner says he found out quickly why the breed has a bad reputation.

“At first the pit bull bites, swinging back and forth like this,” says the man who did not give his name. He said his pit dislocated the jaw of his other dog.

The pit’s reputation has caused some landlords to prohibit the breed on their property, which eventually brings more pits back to the shelter.

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