BALTIMORE - EDITOR'S NOTE: Read Part II of this story -- Support for pit bulls forced out of homes
The gray nuzzles may give it away or maybe it's the way these two interact, but Pit Bulls Sasha and Bear have been a pair for at least 14 years, both growing up together in the same home with the same family...until yesterday when they found themselves at the Baltimore Area Rescue and Care Shelter.
"It's heart breaking. It's like taking a family member away. The family was distraught that they had to give up their pets," said BARCS’ Debra Rhal.
Give them up because it's Maryland law; a judicial ruling last year that deemed Pit Bulls inherently dangerous animals causing liability issues for owners and landlords.
In this case, the family's landlord is Baltimore city and it told them they can no longer have Pit Bulls in their public housing despite no record of aggression or consideration for their age.
With no options, the family was forced to give them up.
"We were told that he was in tears when he gave his dogs up, he was crying. They are his family members and he was forced to give them away," said Rhal.
The owner isn't the only one crying.
The two pups have no idea what happened and the staff at BARCS is letting them stay together in an office instead of the kennel.
But the fact is since the breed specific ruling, BARCS has taken in well more than 100 of these cases.
A small percentage of these animals are successfully adopted, others go to rescues, but many end up euthanized.
BARCS is looking to avoid the latter two options with this pair; not so much a new beginning at their age, but perhaps a more dignified end.
"We're looking for someone who will take them in for the remainder of their lives. They are both very healthy dogs considering their ages so they may have a couple years left to have a good loving home and environment which they deserve."
Until then Bear and Sasha keep their weathered eyes trained on the parking lot...waiting, still unaware they are victims of circumstance.
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