Pamela Fanning 
Member since Nov 24, 2011


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Recent Comments

Re: “Shelter Dogs

Thank you for your article, Erika. As a long-term volunteer at Berkeley Animal Care Services, I am always so grateful for the many new faces who come through the shelter to join the corps of volunteers, just as you have. There is no doubt that it can be a very sad place to be, but because of the devotion of the volunteers who try to make sure the dogs get walked as often as possible, and the competent and compassionate staff, BACS is one of the most successful (read: high adoption rate; low euthanasia rate) municipal shelters in the State of California.

I must take issue, though with your description of your experience with Jupiter. You describe your fear of being "locked in a cage" with a big pit bull, and your questioning whether you are able to handle the situation. For those who are not familiar with the breed category (pit bull is not a breed, but is comprised of any number of the following: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, English Staffordshire Terrier), the description of your experience may lead them to further believe the negative stereotype perpetuated by the media. I understand your apprehensiveness in the situation-- and admire your quick assessment that he was not quite the best match for you; however, Jupiter, or any pit bull who is put up for adoption at BACS is not dangerous to humans. Very, very few pit bulls have a natural aggression toward humans; if they demonstrate the latter quality, any responsible shelter will immediately euthanize the dog.

Jupiter is one of those big-headed, lovable-huggable pit bulls who will lick you to no end, but would never, ever harm you. I have great faith in the expertise of the staff members who see so many of these beautiful dogs come through our shelter, in being able to recognize an unsafe dog. In my seven years as a volunteer, working primarily with pit bulls (after I, too overcame my initial apprehension), and adopting two of them, I have never ever feared for my safety. I believe it is important to offer this counterpoint perspective on walking and spending time with the pit bulls at BACS for those who may not be familiar with the breed category, and who may consider volunteering to do one of the most satisfying jobs there is for an animal lover.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Pamela Fanning on 11/24/2011 at 6:24 PM

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