Cockfighting seizures up 20%– & more “rescue” hoarding in 2010 than puppy mill neglect
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2010:
With more than a month of 2010 remaining, U.S. animal
agencies had already impounded record numbers of gamefowl in alleged
cockfighting cases and dogs and cats in alleged mass neglect cases,
but impoundments in alleged breeder neglect cases were down 58% from
The numbers of dogs and cats taken in from failed animal
shelters and nonprofit shelterless rescues in 2010 appear likely to
exceed the numbers impounded from breeders for the first time in the
19 years that ANIMAL PEOPLE has kept track. About 4,600 dogs and
cats had been taken in from failed shelters and rescues as of
Thanksgiving 2010, almost the same as the then-record number taken
in from failed shelters and rescues in the whole of 2009. The 2010
figure projects to a total of nearly 5,000 for the year, or 25% of
the total number of dogs and cats impounded in neglect cases.
About 3,840 dogs and cats had been impounded from breeders at
Thanksgiving 2010, projecting to 4,200 for the year: 22% of the
dogs and cats impounded in neglect cases.
The numbers of dogs and cats taken in from failed shelters
and rescues has trended rapidly upward, from 2,159 in 2005 to more
than twice as many in both 2009 and 2010. The increase follows a
rapid rise in the numbers of incorporations of animal charities,
especially organizations attempting to pursue a no-kill philosophy,
and reflects two years of national economic downturn, as new animal
charities in particular have struggled to develop a donor base.
Impoundments in breeder neglect cases topped 4,500 in 2005,
dropped to 3,000 just two years later, then soared to 8,000 in 2008
and 10,000 in 2009. The downturn in impoundments due to breeder
neglect may reflect the success of new legislation in several states,
notably Pennsylvania, in holding breeders to higher standards–or
may reflect diversion of animal agency resources to helping the
animals received from failed shelters and rescues.
The numbers of dogs and cats impounded from individual
hoarders reached 5,000 for the first time in 2005, peaked at 7,700
in 2008, dropped to 5,650 in 2009, and had rebounded to more than
9,100 by Thanksgiving 2010, projecting to 10,000 for the year.
Pit bulls & gamecocks
Impounds of pit bull terriers in individual hoarding cases
rose from about 10% of the dogs in 2005 to nearly 20% in 2008, a
year after the arrest of football star Michael Vick for involvement
in dogfighting raised public awareness of the possible meaning of
someone keeping large numbers of pit bulls. Only about 15% of the
dogs seized in hoarding cases in 2009 were pit bulls, and the pit
bull percentage is back down to about 10% in 2010. Pit bulls and
their close mixes are barely 5% of the total U.S. dog population.
Impoundments of pit bulls in dogfighting cases has trended downward
from nearly 900 in 2000 to 750 in 2009 and a projected 700 in 2010.
Gamefowl seizures have averaged about 8,000 per year for the
past decade, but had reached 10,000 by Thanksgiving 2010 and are
likely to reach 11,000 by year’s end.
Despite the continuing claims of proponents of resuming horse
slaughter for human consumption, which ended in the U.S. when the
last horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007, ANIMAL PEOPLE has found
no hint in equine impoundments due to neglect or abandonment of an
oft-alleged horse neglect and abandonment crisis.
The largest number of horses who have been impounded due to
neglect or abandonment since ANIMAL PEOPLE has kept track was 2,375
in 1996. This fell to barely half, just under 1,350, in both 2005
and 2006; rose to 1,890 in 2007; then dipped to 1,600 in 2008,
1,450 in 2009 and 1,132 through Thanksgiving 2010, projecting to
1,235 for the year.