Jefferson County Dog Control Supervisor Todd L. Cummings said he hopes the north country realizes theres more to pit bulls than just the negative stigma around them.
Thats because there are about 15 pit bulls up for adoption this Sunday, as part of the shelters open house.
All of them have been screened, and honestly they all appear to be very nice, Mr. Cummings said. This is the first year in our 13 years of open houses that weve had this many pit bulls. The fad of pit bulls is over. Pit bulls are a good breed, but when something goes wrong, you hear about it.
Throughout the north country, pit bulls have attacked people and other animals but, Mr. Cummings said, there are plenty of pit bulls, such as the ones at the shelter, that get a bad rap because of their breed.
Fort Drum has tightened up their belts in terms of allowing that breed on post, and I think another problem is landlords arent allowing them due to insurance issues, Mr. Cummings said. In the county, though, we did surveying and went through our past three years of records, and Labradors were number one for dog bites in Jefferson County.
Pit bulls, though, were number two.
You have to have a passion for pit bulls to understand them, Mr. Cummings said. Whats happened in this county is they hear pit bull and they panic.
He said people shouldnt panic or assume anything about a particular breed. The best way of knowing if the dog will be a good fit with the family is to bring all family members into the shelter to spend time with the dogs, he said.
Mr. Cummings said one of his favorite dogs there now is Princess, a 1-year-old black-and-white female pit bull that has been at the shelter since June 28.
Aside from multiple pit bulls up for adoption, there are several other breeds to choose from. Twenty-eight dogs are available.
Sheeba, a 7-year-old shepherd mix, has been at the shelter since July 3 and is one of the oldest dogs there. Dog control officer Betsy Clarke said Sheeba is her favorite.
Theres just something about old dogs, she said. When you get (Sheeba) out, shes active, not stiff or sore, and shes house trained.
All dogs up for adoption will have had their rabies and parvo distemper vaccinations. The cost to adopt each dog will be $45.
There are no returns here, Mr. Cummings said.
During last years open house, 16 dogs were adopted.
The shelters open house, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at 21897 County Route 190, is held during National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. There will be shelter tours, refreshments, displays, door prizes and K-9 dogs.