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Immediately cease the give-away of pit bulls and pit mixes at the Stockton, California Shelter.

This petition had 7,679 supporters


Beginning May 14, 2015, Stockton Shelter, located in Northern California began giving away pit bulls and pit mixes. No yard checks, background checks or fees are required. Shelter Manager Phillip Zimmerman states that the shelter is "completely full" and the give away will continue until he directs otherwise. To fully understand the enormity of this decision, I offer the following information:

The pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog - a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800's, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other. The larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs. Fast forward decades later and the pit bull has become the dog of choice for not only dog fighters but also as the preferred guard dog for drug dealers and gangs. During raids of dog fights, it is common for law enforcement to find illegal firearms, drugs, and wanted felons.

According to NeighborhoodScout,com, Stockton, California is rated a 3 out of a possible 100 on their safety and crime index. Last year alone, Stockton's homicide rate jumped a staggering 70%. In an article published by KCRA News 3, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones is quoted as saying, "No doubt gangs and guns are a problem in Stockton." Police Sgt. Matt Garlick was quoted in a CBS Sacramento article as saying, "The problems that Stockton has - the homicides, the robberies, all the shootings - majority of that is due to the gang war."

Stockton Animal Services has a long and troubled history of unlawful practices. Mr. Zimmerman, who had no background in animal services, was hired in January of 2015, as the manager of the Stockton Shelter. The shelter hopes to become a "No-Kill" Shelter in an attempt to appease animal welfare groups that have filed suit against it for numerous illegal practices. It appears that Mr. Zimmerman is releasing these dogs into the community without a care for their well being in an attempt to increase the shelters adoption percentage rate and lower its euthanization percentage rate. 

Placing the preferred choice of fighting dogs into the hands of someone that may be a gang member or potential criminal is criminal negligence in and of itself. It is my firm and educated belief that continuing this practice could very well lead to legal ramifications against the shelter in the near future.

Based on the information provided above, we, the undersigned, demand that the Stockton Shelter cease the giving away of pit bulls and pit mixes, immediately.



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Tracy Lystra needs your help with “Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva, Vice Mayor Fugazi, Stockton Council Members, Stockton Animal Shelter: Immediately cease the give-away of pit bulls and pit mixes at the Stockton, California Shelter.”. Join Tracy and 7,678 supporters today.