Sep 14, 2016 LaSalle Co. Rescue is Overrun with Unwanted Pit Bulls

LaSalle County - The tan-and-white dog was one of 31 pit bulls stacked up Monday at Illinois Valley Animal Rescue, which saw an unusual rise in canines this summer.

The shelter had 44 dogs but usually averages 35 with less than half being pit bulls, said Chris Tomsha-Ellberg, director.

“It’s above average,” she said. “We’re used to certain times of the year when we get an influx of dogs but lately it’s all been pit bulls. Normally, it’s maybe 40 percent. They’re coming in a complete mess, hair missing, wounds, skinny, flea ridden, emaciated. It’s out of control now.”

McIntosh has worked at the shelter for six years, and this flood of dogs is unprecedented, he said.

“Eight of the last 10 dogs that came in were pit bulls,” he said.

Costly
“No one wants them,” Tomsha-Ellberg said on Facebook. “This is a drain on finances and a huge strain on our staff and volunteers.”

The shelter hired another person last week to help, she said, and issued a plea Monday for adopters.

The friendly pit bull that McIntosh showed the NewsTribune had scratches on its head.

“This dog’s probably going to cost us $200,” McIntosh said.

It is unfortunate that rescuers and backyard breeders are bringing pit bulls into LaSalle County because up to now, pit bull attacks have been relatively uncommon.  Expect that to change.

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