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Pit bulls overcrowding animal shelter

Reported by: Reed Cowan
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Updated: 7/08 6:04 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Pit bulls are caught in a world of perception.

Many want them to boost a tough image. Many other don’t want them around for the same reason.

The result: The Lied Animal Shelter takes in tens of thousands of stray or abandoned dogs each year and most of them are pit bulls. Since it’s difficult to place the breed, many are destroyed because of overcrowding at the shelter.

Calvin, a pit bull terrier, like thousands of others, found himself at Lied because someone got him and then couldn’t keep him. He’s being evaluated to determine if he’s safe to mix with other animals and humans.

He passes the tests, only to return to his cage in a game of beat the clock. If he’s adopted, he’ll live. If not, he could be put down.

”Push on his neck, a little bit,” a shelter worker says as the dog shows no reaction.

”There is a sad reality … more animals than we can find new homes for,” says Carly Scholten of the Animal Foundation. “A lot of them are pit bulls. As long as the reality exists, humane euthanization is necessary.”

“The most euthanized dog is the pit bull,” says Kathy Benson who devotes her time to saving the breed in Las Vegas. She blames the valley’s pit problem on overzealous, irresponsible and unregulated breeders trying to make a quick buck.

Take a look at Craig’s List. Several pit bull puppies are for sale at hundreds of dollars for each puppy.

“Mom could have 10 puppies,” Benson says. “They make all that money.”

She says some pit puppies go for as much as $1,000. The end result, Benson says, is too many unwanted pit bulls at the shelter facing the threat of euthanasia.

“This breed is not being bred responsibly,” Benson says. “The people choosing to make a quick dollar.”

Benson says “bully breeds” such as pit bulls sometimes are shunned by landlords, homeowners associations and even insurance companies, even though the 2013 Nevada Legislature passed a law that prevents local governments from enacting ordinances against a particular breed of dog.

Still, the cages at Lied house more pit bulls that any other breed.

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