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Shelter Animal of the Week: Meet Maurice

Maurice is a gentle and sensitive pit bull who is looking for a comfortable home and a loving owner to play fetch with.

Maurice is one of many pit bulls who is commonly overlooked at the shelter, but the wants people to know how he shines.

Maurice is three years old and has never been part of a household where he was cared for and loved. It took him a while to venture out of his kennel, and now that volunteers from LAP have given him attention, he has come out of his shell. Maurice loves squeaky toys and playing a game of fetch, and will even gently take treats from your hand. He is gentle, sensitive, smart, and devoted to those who take care of him.

The shelter has been taking its toll on Maurice. His ribs are beginning to show and his stomach is sore from lying on the hard floor. Please consider adopting Maurice so that he can know a comfortable home and an owner to love.

Maurice is uncomfortable around other dogs and does not get along with cats, so he would do best as the only pet in the household. Since he is on the larger side, he would do better in a home with older children.

He is neutered and has his rabies shot.

To meet Maurice or inquire about one of LAP’s many dogs, call their dog department at 631-757-9373, or email them at dogs@laphuntington.org.

Paul Kemp December 19, 2011 at 09:45 PM
I appreciate all the hard work put in by the varous shelter volunteers on Long Island, however it is time to stop with the pit bulls. These are dangerous dogs, not at all suited for families or residential communities. That's why the shelters are so full of them. I'm sure there will be folks responding to this saying, "my pit bull wouldn't hurt a flea....is a big baby....is harmless, etc." It's all BS. There are too many instances, almost weekly, on Long Island in which one of these "harmless babies" mauls someone causing serious injury. Their sale should be outlawed in NYS and shelters should be required to euthanize every single one that comes into their door. This will not only eleminate a dangerous breed that should never have been created in the first place, but will also free up funding for these shelters to do more for the animals that would make real pets. Please nobody adopt this dog or any other pit bull. Adopt a cat, another breed of dog or even buy a dog from a puppy mill store! Even that is better than these shelters putting dangerous animals in our neighborhoods. And if you see a pit bull, check for tags. If none are present, call the cops and have the monster taken away before someone you love is killed or maimed by these monsters (and their ignorant owners).
K.A.C. December 19, 2011 at 10:56 PM
We opened up our home to a pit bull whose previous owner cut her ears off WITH A SCISSOR to makle her look more intimidating. She was bred to have puppies at the ripe old age of 6 months, then they sold her puppies and tied to her a fence with 6 inches of computer wire and abandoned her in a rain storm. We took her in from the cold and we taught her that not everyone is cruel. She has returned our love every day and has been a model, well behaved dog. There are no such things as bad dogs. Only bad owners. Pit bulls are not "monsters". You seriously need to educate yourself. Shame on you.
Charles December 19, 2011 at 11:07 PM
He's adorable.
Kim December 20, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Well said Kelli and what a heart warming story. Pits get such a bad rap because people treat them different then they do other dogs like labs. All they want is to be loved and kept safe.
Jane Barbato December 20, 2011 at 02:32 PM
I wonder if Mr Kemp has ever met a Pit Bull. I have, hundreds of them. I do the behavioral assessments on the shelter dogs and have found Pit Bulls to be amongst the most stable, loyal, loving dogs. Sure there are good and bad in all breeds, Pits are no exception, but as a whole they are remarkable dogs. Problem is, you never hear when a Golden or a Poodle bites, perhaps just not sensational enough. I find it hard to believe that any sentient being would formulate their opinion on these dogs based on what is highlighted in newspapers bent on increasing their circulation and keeping the masses satisfied, To add insult to injury he encourages people to purchase animals that were harvested from Puppy mills, so greedy pet store owners can line their pockets at the expense of these defenseless animals and a system of misery and cruelty can be perpetuated. Dangerous may be better defined as a closed mind like Mr Kemp's.
Tujaye December 20, 2011 at 03:18 PM
The problem with Pit Bulls is that IF they attack, it is hard to stop them. You would get the attention of other dog breeds it you hit them with a bat during an attack - not these guys. They may be the best dog in the world, but IF they get pissed, there is no off switch. Their tenacity combined with their incredibile bite strength is a real dangerous combination. Look at the lady who had that wonderful chimp that was the most behaved animal ever - until he ate a woman's face off.
George McKnight December 20, 2011 at 05:41 PM
They are lovely dogs and can be great pets for the right people. Their reputation I believe cause a great deal of the problem, animals sense fear and react to it in many cases. These dogs create fear in people, they sense it, react and in alot of cases there are attacks. I went on many of these while working in the city. They were breed as fighters and thats something you can't take out of them. Any dog or animal for that matter can and will attack if they feel the need too, this one just gets a great deal of press. I wouldn't own one, but do like the dog.
Jenn H December 20, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Someone please tell me how people become so ignorant? I have 2 wonderful pit bulls that came to me thru the great expertise of the LAP. I trust these dogs without question around my toddler nieces. And no- they would not hurt a fly and they are truly family. It is only because of irresponsible pet owners that these dogs have a bad rap. Look into the pitbulls history - they were bred for loyalty and have a strong desire to please. Google it. Don't add fuel to the fire Mr Kemp, it just proves your ignorance. Educate yourself - go speak to the volunteers at LAP - they will gladly educate you.
Laura Stallone Bonavia December 20, 2011 at 06:27 PM
"We should euthanize every single one that comes in the shelter." What about the owners of these dogs? What should happen to them? It must be the dogs fault that the shelters are full of poorly bred neglected pits because they are the ones suffering - being tortured - having to live in poor shelter conditions for months/years before being killed. No laws to control the breeding and poor placement of pups, that is what leads to what we call "dangerous dogs". Rescue groups who work through foster networks are able to see the real dog (having it live with a foster family first - providing professional guidance and evaluation) and prevent a dangerous dog from being adopted out. But without a good home with good owners, any dog and turn. There are no laws to stop the breeding. Insurance companies are banning certain breeds forcing more dogs into the shelter system. Killing innocent dogs is your response? Alow people to keep breeding for a fast buck and just keep killing them all? 6 years of rescue, I have seen only one dangerous dog, a mountain dog. Many that own dogs or want one, don't understand them and are not educated. This is how the cycle starts. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. If you suggest ridding the world of the breed, would it not be ethical and humane to stop the breeding first?
Vickie S. December 20, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Sadly Mr. Kemp's comment demonstrates how "dangerous" the dissemination of info based on sensationalism and prejudice can be. Weekly incidents of Pit Bulls mauling kids on LI? I think not! Let’s share some facts from the American Temperament Test Society: 86.4% of American Pit Bull Terriers tested scored better than what some may call "more desirable" breeds: Collie 79.9%, Chihuahua 71.1%, Sheltland Sheepdog 68.1%, Golden Retriever 84.9%, Boxer 83.7 %. Need I go on? The suggestion that buying puppy mill dogs would be better only shows how uneducated people can be about dogs’ temperaments. (Not to mention total disregard for the horrible reality of what a puppy mill really is.) While people scramble to pay exorbitant prices for anything with a "poo" or an "oodle" in it, no thought is given to the temperament of their new cute fluffy puppy. It takes generations of careful and controlled propagation to develop a new hybrid breed that is free of temperament issues. A puppy's cute factor plays no part in this extremely delicate equation.They are playing genetic roulette. It is far more likely that one or more of the following factors are most prevalent in precipitating dog bite incidents: abuse, neglect, pain, inbreeding (which is prevalent in puppy mills) and irresponsible ownership (lack of training and early socialization). To single out a specific breed and promote that euthanization of its entire population is a solution to this problem is nothing short of absurd.
Jen December 20, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Mr. Kemp. Please do some research into the true temperament of these animls. I have included some information to get you started. http://www.akc.org/breeds/american_staffordshire_terrier/ http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/americanstaffordshire.htm http://www.justdogbreeds.com/american-staffordshire-terrier.html
BigDogDaddy December 20, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Below is an excerpt from an article written by YW Grossman May 4 2011. Astoundingly, for most of our history America’s nickname for Pit Bulls was “The Nanny Dog”. For generations if you had children and wanted to keep them safe you wanted a pit bull, the dog that was the most reliable of any breed with children or adults. The Nanny Dog is now vilified by a media that always wants a demon dog breed to frighten people and LHASA-APSO BITES MAN just doesn’t sell papers. Before pit bulls it was Rottweilers, before Rottweilers it was Dobermans, and before them German Shepherds. Each breed in it’s order were deemed too vicious and unpredictable to be around people. Each time people wanted laws to ban them. It is breathtakingly ironic that the spotlight has turned on the breed once the symbol of our country and our national babysitter. In temperance tests (the equivalent of how many times your kid can poke your dog in the eye before it bites him) of all breeds the most tolerant was the Golden Retriever. The second most tolerant was the pit bull. Pit Bull’s jaws do not lock, they do not have the most powerful bite among dogs, they are not naturally human aggressive , and they feel as much pain as any other breed .
BigDogDaddy December 20, 2011 at 11:12 PM
Some famous Pitt Bulls : Petey from the Little Rascals, Nipper the RCA dog, the dog in the ads for Buster Brown shoes. Some of the Buster Brown dogs were Pitts, some were Boxers. At one time, the Pitt Bulls was held in the same high regard as the Golden Retriever is now. When companies wanted to show a warm loving family dog, they chose the Pitt Bull, which embodied Love, and Loyalty. Do you know why Pitt Bulls have become so popular for dog fighting. It is not their strength. There are stronger breeds. They were chosen because they were the breed least likely to bit their handler AFTER the fight. Do an internet search on the history of Pitt Bulls, there is much to be learned.
Maryanne Hickey December 21, 2011 at 05:08 PM
I, too was going to mention the pit bull's reputation as the Nanny Dog. I have a pit mix who is incredibly sensitive and gentle, especially with children. The LAP volunteers are responsible as well as conscious of what type of animal they are sending back into society when they try to re-home a pit bull...they are some of the best dogs out there.
Dan December 21, 2011 at 05:18 PM
I don't know the answer ... but went looking for some statistics and did come across this paper http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/images/dogbreeds-a.pdf linked on this page http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Dog-Bites/dogbite-factsheet.html covering dog bites in a much broader sense.
Erin Schmahl Grins December 23, 2011 at 11:35 PM
I have had dogs my entire life and when we went looking for a new one to join our family, we came across Ozzie (at LAP) - a pit mix. I was a bit hesitant at first when considering adopting a pit. The hype about these dogs had (of course!) made me wary. However, I did some research and what I learned astounded me! Pits have been loyal, human-friendly dogs for hundreds of years. Pits are remarkably intelligent (something I see every day with our dog), incredibly affectionate and one of the best breeds I have ever had. LAP is impressively vigilant about screening their dogs - our dog definitely needed some training (he had been in the shelter for two years) but they were behind us 100% and we have never regretted our choice! Respectfully, Mr. Kemp needs to read some more facts and maybe own one or two pits before adding to the already overblown hype about these powerful, loving animals.

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