Pit bull birth control

Pit bulls are the dogs most likely to be surrendered or found as unclaimed strays in Washoe County. A new program is working to change that by helping pit bull owners keep their pets from reproducing.

A free spay/neuter program with vaccinations and microchip implants for pit bulls is underway, courtesy of the Nevada Humane Society (NHS) and Washoe County Regional Animal Services. These services are worth more than $200 per dog. After surgery, the person providing transportation for the pit bull receives a $5 reward.

Since July 17, 33 pit bulls have been treated, and 160 are on a waiting list. Initially, they were trying to treat 10 dogs per week. A bigger response than expected has left the NHS seeking vet techs willing to help meet the demand.

“We’re trying to do a second day on the weekend,” program director Diane Blankenburg says. She would like the organization to treat 20-25 pit bulls per week after staffing issues have been resolved. Although NHS shares a building with the county, Blankenburg stresses that the nonprofit organization is funded solely by charitable donations and grants, but mostly donations.

“The biggest thing is we’re trying to promote spay/neuters in general,” she says. NHS would like to get involved in creating more low cost spay and neuter programs to reduce the number of unwanted pets in the community.

Spaying and neutering pets reduces behavioral problems, making pets more inclined to stay at home and avoid fights. This program is already showing results. Blankenburg reports that intakes have decreased a bit and adoptions have increased, too. Schedule an appointment for a pit bull by calling 856-2000 ext. 311.