Sacramento shelter’s pit bulls find caring homes in Canada

A dozen dogs from the Sacramento County Bradshaw animal shelter are headed to Canada, where caring homes await.

Ten pit bulls and two Chihuahuas from the shelter were loaded into a van Friday for the long ride to Canada . Once across the border, they will be adopted by our neighbors to the north.

The international exchange benefits American dogs and Canadian owners. In Sacramento, where pit bulls and other breeds are numerous, dogs can languish in the shelter.

In Canada, though, they are readily adopted. Sacramento seeks nothing in return, not even a Newfoundland or Canadian Eskimo Husky.

“We are not trading, but we will happily take them to homes where they will be loved,” said Kerry Taylor, a volunteer from Prairie Pit Bull Rescue in Alberta, Canada. “About a month ago, we brought four dogs from Sacramento County and they were adopted within a week and a half.”

The export of Sacramento pit bulls has been going on for several years. It involves the Canadian rescue group, the county shelter and Pit Bull Socialization and Obedience Crew (PB SOC). The latter is a group of volunteers who try to improve pooches’ stay in the shelter by walking animals and giving them individual attention.

Taylor said the dogs from the Sacramento shelter are amazing animals. Nearly every one of them is house-trained, crate-trained, responds to “sit” and “stay” and walks on a leash, she said.

In the past, the dogs socialized by PB SOC have gone via airplane about four at a time to Canada. However, two volunteers from the Alberta rescue group had vacation time this week, so they drove south to Sacramento to pick up a van of dogs for the return trip across the border.

Delyse Gannaway, a volunteer with PB SOC, said she met the director of the Alberta rescue group a few years ago. Since then, Prairie Pit Bull Rescue has been taking the dogs north.

“The goal is to every six weeks send a group of pit bull dogs,” said Gannaway. “They have a huge pool of adopters there, a waiting list. We don’t have enough adopters to adopt the dogs quickly. Languishing at a shelter is harmful for a dog.”

Many times, the Alberta group seeks dogs that have special qualities, such as a pit bull that likes to be around horses. This trip they were able to supply a request for a pair of dogs who like to be together.

“Tucker and Tilly, a bonded pair who have been here four months, are going today,” said Gannaway. “The dogs go to a well-matched home.”

Prairie Pit Bull Rescue is scheduled to return in May for another transport.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews