SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Ellen Dowdy of Rescue One says her organization has received calls of abandoned pit bulls since Springfield’s city council voted to ban the breed last week.
“We've seen a lot of dumped ones,” Dowdy said. “We get contacted by people finding them and they are not dogs that seem to be stray. They are well cared for dogs. When we take them in and search for an owner, no owner comes forward.”
It’s one of a few side effects of the ban that have sprung up in the seven days since it was passed. Dowdy says many pit bull owners are scrambling to get their pets spayed or neutered.
“Prior to the ban it was an ordinance to get your dog spayed or neutered, but it wasn't enforced,” Dowdy said. “Now that it's going to be enforced everybody is panicking and seeking assistance.”
Rescue One, along with Animal Kind and Spring Valley Veterinary Hospital, are spaying and neutering pets Tuesday morning and asking only for a co-pay of whatever the pet owner can afford.
They filled up fast.
“[Pit bulls are] a big part of it but I think there's also a lot of people out there that want to do the right thing they just haven't had the money to do it,” Dowdy said. “SAAF House offers low cost as well and I know they are overflowing and booked out quite a bit in advance as well.”
Dr. Rebecca Skinner, who operates on animals at Spring Valley, says these types of events are popular.
“Cost is almost always the reason people don't spay and neuter their pets, so making it affordable is extremely important,” she said.
Dr. Skinner says her hospital hasn’t noticed an influx of pit bulls, but is expecting to see a surge ahead of the January 1 deadline to spay and neuter them.
Rescue One is planning more low-cost spay and neuter events for later this year. Dowdy says their event for November has a few spots left, and they hope to add a December day as well.
“We're hoping that by getting in on this and trying to help people out that we won't see that huge surge on the other end of dogs being surrendered and dumped towards the end of the year,” Dowdy said.