Pit bull experts from the Oakland rescue group Bad Rap are in Boise this week to help care for more than 60 pit bulls rescued from an eastern Idaho dog-fighting operation where three people were slain earlier this month. They are training shelter staff and assisting in assessing the dogs.
Mixed reaction to the shelter taking the dogs: "We get one phone call demanding they all be killed, and one phone call demanding they all be saved," said Jeff Rosenthal, executive director. "It's our job to follow our mission and try to do the right thing."
The dogs are smaller and less muscular than the pit bulls and mixes the shelter sees from the Treasure Valley. Pit bulls account for about 10 percent of the shelter's intake of dogs.
What kind of condition? Some of the dogs have bad lacerations that are expected to heal. They're underweight, but time will take care of that. The "mental elements" are the issue, Rosenthal said. The dogs are "over-the-top affectionate" with people. But their behavior toward other dogs and animals could be a problem. The hope is that some can be adopted and some can go to special sanctuaries.
Is there room for all the dogs? The Idaho Humane Society often takes in dogs from other shelters. To make room for the pit bulls, some adoptable dogs went to other shelters.