Brookhaven Offers $250 For Every Pit Bull Adopted

FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Pit bulls have a bad reputation but officials in Brookhaven say they are loving animals. Due to discrimination against the breed, the town has seen an overabundance of pit bulls in their shelter and have been struggling for the past few months trying to reduce the population.

Town Supervisor Mark Lesko has proposed a program which would offer organizations $250 for each pit bull they help place in a safe and loving home.

“Unfortunately you still have folks in every community, and it’s particularly bad in Brookhaven, breeding pit bulls for fighting,” Lesko told 1010 WINS. “That’s a tremendous problem.”

RELATED: 1010 WINS’ Susan Richard On Pit Bulls Beating Their Bad Rap

The shelter currently has about 140 pit bulls — down slightly from last summer when there were 200.

“They’re great pets, great with humans and each dog is an individual but unfortunately this breed has this terrible stigma and so as a result they’re sought after when they’re puppies but when they get to be young adults we see them flooding our shelter,” Lesko said.

Lesko said he owned a pit bull mix for 12 years and said the dog was a wonderful part of his family and a “sweetheart.”

“The breed is very friendly, very adaptable with kids but it just depends on the individual dog,” Lesko said. “It’s a big dog, it’s a strong dog, very active, needs a lot of exercise, but I know in my case my dog was just a sweetheart.”

Funding for the pit bull initiative comes from the not-for-profit organization Help the Animals Fund Inc.

All the dogs in the program have been fixed, chipped and vaccinated.

Comments

One Comment

  1. lenny says:

    i ve had a few pits and i find that they are more loyal to any other dog great companion friendly marvelous with kids and super protective

  2. Iris Lambka says:

    That is great Throw the owners in a figjhting They are the ones that made them bad Pits are wonderful and loyal and gentle dogs Mark you are GRERAT what a wonderful program other shelters take a look at mark lesko and his great new idea Womderful

  3. Alexandra Baquerizo says:

    Hi my name is Alexa and with my mom we had foster a beautiful pit Maya he color is brown with white spots, We had her for almost 2 months , it is really funny because I have learned from her compassion, loyalty, love and awesome times !!! also all my famlly enjoyed her company.. Now she is with a loving and caring new family who loves her and respect her , I received news form her and she is good and really likes to play all the time ,,,, and at night she just seat back and relax …. which is great !!!. This is my message about pit !! they are really lovely creatures form God and they are here for a reason like us ,, to be better with human kind and also with all creatures in the earth .. Thanks so much and please we had to help this together in order to find them a better place to live and stop the abuse and cruelty !!

  4. JohnNy says:

    I think it is a great thing that they are doing and the dog as a breed are incredible dogs! The reason there are bites from them is because people training them aggressively. Plain and simple! I have worked with all sorts of breeds transporting and rescuing dogs for years. I also go to my local shelter and photograph the dogs and try to place them. I have a katrina rescue and another dog from down south. they are amazing and well trained so Kudos to the shelter for trying to get these angels into loving homes!

  5. Kristin says:

    WOW, I cannot beleive all of the ignorant comments on this page. I love my pittie and so does every person that meets him and every dog in the dog park that plays with him. As with any breed, its how the owner treats them and trains them. Every dog deserves a loving home. You ignorant people will NEVER get to experience the love, compassion and loyalty that you get from a Pit Bull.

    1. Megan says:

      I also have a pit who I received when he was 8 months old and he is the most gentle, loving, and overly happy dog we have ever owned. We previously owned a great dane which is another great breed. People dont understand the misconception that yes these dogs were bred for fighting and protection and at any rate any dog can bite and attack. Pits do have a bad wrap because the ones that are shown violence do usually lash out. You dont blame this on the dog you blame it on the owner. I have 3 children ages 7 , 10 , and 15 and our house is always full of kids. If I ever thought there was a threat I would not allow this but our dog loves all the kids and loves to bring his toys to them when they are here. For all the misinformed and ignorant people writting out of hate or fear really look up the breed because they are considered a ” family dog ” who are magnificent with children. As for the comment about golden retreivers my friend has owned them all her life and I have seen first hand those dogs being extremely territorial and shocker bite someone .

  6. Jodi says:

    Well, pit bulls stink…learn how to spell first off!, “kill them, they are bad dogs.” You are an ignorant dumb A$$. Obviously, you don’t have the balls to even leave your username…it shows what a coward your really are! Get a life!!!

  7. Torrie Nystrand says:

    Petey from the little raskles was a pit bull!! So was buster brown!! Oh and did you know the the Pit Bull was the only dog that graced the cover of time mag 3 times!!!! All you stupid people should shut up and go read a book learn some real facts and then come leave an educated comment!!!

  8. Andrea Mershon says:

    They could just spend that money and send me a couple of them babies!!! I wish I was close enough to help out!! Here they euthinize pits in shelters as soon as they come in =( So sad, I take them in as much as I can. Actually have room for a few too!! Just to far away to help =(

  9. Gooch says:

    all you people trying to justify owning a pit bull need to shut up. seriously. you manipulate statistics to try and make it seem like your creatures are not as vicious and deadly as they really are. jee, maybe because there are 10X more golden retrievers in the US is why there are more bites. idiots.

    1. Elizabeth Nowik says:

      Are you an idiot? Yes, there are more golden retriever bites because they are considered a “family” dog, but that just goes to show that ANY dog is capable of biting. 100 years ago, bully breeds were the golden retrievers of their era, top of the family dog lists. Dogs are dogs, plain and simple. Your comment is the same as saying any minority demographic should be outlawed because of crime statistics. Good God.

      1. Maddie says:

        In the US last year, there were 37 deaths resulting from dog attacks and pit bulls were responsible for 26 (70%) of those deaths. How many of those deaths were caused by golden retrievers? Answer: zero. There was a time, until 30-40 years ago, that it was safe to keep pit bulls as pets, but this is no longer true. Human-aggressive pit bulls have been allowed to reproduce and the breed is now contaminated. Anyone who brings a pit bull into their home today is placing their life and the lives of family members in jeopardy. If anyone is in doubt about the sort of damage a pit bull can do, Google “Amaya Hess” or “Frankie Flora” or even “pit bull attack” and see for yourself. Even organizations of ER physicians in some locations are calling for a ban on pit bulls because of the amount of damage these monsters can do in a matter of minutes, or even seconds.

        1. Torrie Nystrand says:

          I would rather Google dumb a$$ instead so I can see what you look like!!!

        2. pitbull friend says:

          Wow, ignorance knows no bounds. You do realize that more than 37 people a DAY are killed in the US in car accidents, right? I’d like to correct your statement.

          “Anyone who brings a human into their home today is placing his life and the lives of family members in jeopardy.”

          There. It’s more accurate now.

    2. Gapt says:

      YOU ARE AN IGNORANT FOOL! Guess what Pit Bulls extremely unlikely to bite. Look it up! I have 2 pit bulls, most loving dogs i’ve ever cared for. Great with children. Unfortunately you’ve followed the bandwagon of misinformation. Look up the history of pit bulls in this country. They were called the nanny dog and recommended for families with children.

      In December 2010, the American Temperament Test Society showed the American pit bull terrier scored an overall temperament rating of 83.9%, compared to the 77% score of the general dog population.

      When will the day come when people stop discriminating breeds based on a few PEOPLE who teach their dogs how to be tough.

    3. Heather says:

      And years ago the Dobies were the BAN THE BREED/DESTROY THEM ALL breed. Get over it I already am. Heck I had a full male SIAMESE cat curl up at my feet, purr, and rock my cradle when I was a baby. And people say Siamese cats are mean too. 90% of the dogs behavior is training training and let me say it again TRAINING. otherwise best euthanise EVERY police dog the minute they retire cause they are ALL trained to go after human beings.

  10. KeepItMoving says:

    I have a 6month old pit and a year old pit. I have only had pits as pets. They are loyal, and wonderful pals. I have 2 children and tons of nieces and nephews who come around on a daily basis. Both of my sisters have pits as pets. I can stick my hand in either of their bowls and they will just look at me, lick my hand then keep it moving.
    Fact of the matter is, ALL dogs have teeth, so ALL dogs bite. Period. Biting or attacking is not breed specific. When something new pops up in the news then everyone has to jump on the band wagon. This happened a few years back with Rottweilers. Now what? After Pits, is everyone going to hate a Pug?
    Make sure you have facts and not just your opinions.

  11. Mayo says:

    @EliseA- I like how people who own/like pitbulls are considered fanatics but what about people who love other breeds? How is it that a person who loves labs and wouldnt own anything but a lab is any less of a fanatic than a person who loves pit? Pull your head out of your a$$ and stop making stupid statements. This is a great program that will make sure these dogs go to loving, happy, healthy homes.

  12. rmr797 says:

    Hey they aren’t paying people to adopt these dogs – they are paying ORGANIZATIONS (like resuces and humane societies) $250.00 for each dog adopted out to a safe loving home

  13. Amanda says:

    I love this idea. I am also an insurance adjuster and can speak for the breed because I am a Pit Bull owner as well. A dog can only be held accountable for the way it’s owner trains and treats it. The majority of dog bites ARE NOT from Pit Bulls. They are simply given more press and more coverage in the media. Do some research, the numbers speak for themselves. I rescued one almost 6 years ago and he is more patient with children than my Labrador is. Don’t penalize a breed for what stupid humans do. 20-30 years ago it was Rottweilers and Dobermans that were the “bad dogs”. I’m sure as time goes by another breed will be stigmatized. Open your home and your heart to this dog and don’t pass judgement without experiencing this wonderful breed.

    1. Maddie says:

      You are right, the number of dog “bites” are not by pit bulls because pit bulls make up less than 5% of the dog population in the US. However, last year in the US, 37 people died as a result of dog bites and 26 of those 37 deaths were caused for pit bulls. The problem is not the number of bites by breed, but the amount of damage resulting from these bites, and when pit bulls are responsible for approximately 70% of the dog attack deaths, there is a problem with pit bulls. Who, or what, is at fault for these attacks is irrelevant because the results are the same. I suggest anyone thinking about adopting a pit bull Google “Amaya Hess” or “Frankie Flora” or simply “pit bull attack” and look at the damage a pit bull can do in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. And Amanda, if I ever have an insurance claim, I hope I do not have to deal with you because if you are as clueless about everything else as you are about pit bulls, you have no business being an insurance adjuster.

      1. green says:

        WE GET IT! You don’t like pit bulls, you’ve jumped on the let’s ban the breed bandwagon. Ever have a pit bull in your family? NO, then be quiet and stop spreading hate. HERE’S AN IDEA: volunteer at your local shelter and get to know pit bulls. I did and fell in love with the breed. I care for 2 and they’re gentle as can be around a 2 year old.

        What about the thousands and thousands and thousands of dogs that are in loving homes and you mention 26 deaths. I don’t get it. Any dog can be trained to be vicious and accidents happen. That’s life. But, discriminating at the cost of killing all the good dogs is no way to live.

      2. Torrie Nystrand says:

        Well Maddie lets talk Sargent Stubby the Pit Bull. Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. He entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Seicheprey (Meurthe-et-Moselle), Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches. After being gassed himself, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man’s land, and — since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could — became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover. He was solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne. Following the retaking of Château-Thierry by the US, the thankful women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. There is also a legend that while in Paris with Corporal Conroy, Stubby saved a young girl from being hit by a car. At the end of the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby home.
        Now let me reiterate all you stupid people should should get off the internet and read a book!!!!

      3. Mike says:

        First off get educated on dogs, second off the reporting on so called “Pit Bulls” holds about as much water as a strainer. FACT more than 97% of REPORTED pit bull bits are not PIT BULLS, FACT there is no such breed as a pit bull never has been and never will be recogized. FACT Rotts and German Sheps have stronger bites, FACT small dogs bite more people per year that REQUIRE hospital bites than any large dogs. THERE ARE NO SUCH THING AS BAD DOGS, JUST HORRIBLE PEOPLE AND OWNERS!!

    2. mona says:

      Are you penalized on your insurance policy for admitting to owning a Pitt? I have a 14 year old Pitt. She has never bitten anyone. BUT because she is a Pitt my home owners insurance company refused to renew my policy because she is on the “Dangerous Dog list”. I was forced to the only insurer in the state of MA that would offer me home owners insurance at 3x what I had been paying. My insurance jumped from $750 a year to $2250 a year all because I admitted to having a Pitt. So not only are the dogs discriminated against, the owners are as well.

      1. Ellen says:

        You should check with your legislative bills from the State Assembly. In NY, I noticed that there is a bill making it illegal to penalilze insurance clients for breed-speicific reasons. If you don’t have anything like that, then it’s time to form a petition, cause, or whatever you wish to make that happen. There’s power in that almighty pen and unity of people!

  14. christian murdock says:

    As a former police officer from Philadelphia I can say I have seen the best and worse of Pitbulls. I have rescued Pits from horrid conditions and seen those dogs turned into therapy dogs for childrens hospitals. I also know for a FACT that the news will not report any dog incident unless its a pitbull because most “robots” that watch the news believe everything that they say and could never believe that a Lab is the number 1 bite dog in America for the 5th straight year which is indeed a FACT. All of you who make assinine comments like dump them or they are all horrible dogs are very uniformed and unintelligent when it comes to this issue. Get your acts straight and stop profiling these dogs kust because you are too afraid to actually open your mind and educate yourself on the TRUTH.

    1. Ellen says:

      Thank you, Officer Murdock, very well written!

    2. honor says:

      Very well stated my brother.

  15. Jon LeeMath says:

    @EliseA… I am no where near what you would consider fanatical. I never really set out to be a pit owner, however, when my first male came into my life I was in love with his personality, intelligence and general nature. Then when my other dog, a shepard mix, passed I wanted another dog. After looking for weeks I fell for another pit. Both dogs came into my life in odd ways but I wouldn’t trade them in for anything. As with any dog owner, training and research. I take a hard stand against violence in my home, both dogs are as gentle as the cats that they sleep with. Pits have a bad rep due to those idiots that fight them. They make up a small percentage of all.

  16. David says:

    im sorry not very informed

  17. David says:

    hi laurie……. you must not be a very uninformed insurance adjuster considering that the 1 and 2 most reported dog bites are german sheppard and chows. Unfortunately your just spreading bad information on a misundrstood breed. I would say 99% of the pit attacks are do do owner neglect and not the breed .

  18. dave says:

    you’re an idiot

  19. Pit bulls rock says:

    Why don’t we just kill the owners that make them bad and make them fight? Problem solved.

    1. Sarah says:

      Well, if you need any help with the abusive owners, I would be glad to help you!
      And for the “pit bulls stink” person who says, “kill them they are bad dogs.” Obviously, you don’t have the balls to even leave your username…it shows what a coward your really are! Get a life!!!

    2. Mary Kathryn says:

      I STRONGLY AGREE!!!!!! THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT TRULY DESERVE THAT END!

  20. Laurie says:

    First of all – why isn’t the Town worried that people are going to adopt these dogs, collect the $250, and then either given them to an organization that will allow them to fight to the death or dump them somewhere. Paying people to take these dogs off their hands does not seem like the solution.

    Second of all – as an insurance adjuster of 25 years, the majority of the dog attacks (1) are pit bulls, (2) are family pets that the family never suspected would turn on their childrend, and (3) 84% of the attacks are unneutered males.

    1. Michelle says:

      Laurie, the article says that the dogs are FIXED, chipped and vaccinated. And as any experienced pet owner would know, unneutered males of ANY breed are more tempermental that neutered. You are being really close minded and do not know the facts.

    2. Ellen says:

      Because, Laurie, the promo is to pay organizations the money to get them adopted through their own placement, not to individuals. Rescues are very particular and strict when it comes to placing their dogs. This is a great incentive and will help programs like Fix-a-bull and other low or no-cost spay/neuter programs set up thru rescues and the ASPCA that have run dry due to all the attention. It’s wonderful that they are all vetted, chipped and fixed to save the org time and money. This should really work.

  21. MomInNYS says:

    Unreal… I hate the media attention Pitbulls get. My Pitbull is wonderful. With ANY dog supervision and understanding your dog REGARDLESS of breed is how you keep people safe. Unreal.

  22. Elaine says:

    I’ve had a pit mix for 10 years and I adore her. She’s extremely intelligent and I can take her favorite bone right out of her mouth while she’s eating it and never even get a growl from her. She’s an awsome watchdog, and a protector….but she loves to be loved up and gives love right back. She’s my best girl!

  23. Jim says:

    The bites are coming from dogs that are trained to fight amd get loose. It is not the PETS in loving homes that are biting.

  24. Jim says:

    I have had pit bulls for 12 years and I have not seen a bad one. Maybe we need start to REALLY punish the aholes that teach then to fight!! It is not the dogs it is ignorant owners trying to convince themselves of their manhood by maiming dogs.

    Make it a 10 year felony.

    1. antoinette says:

      Agreed. It’s just sick how the justice system fails to protect this breed. I’ve own my pitbull for about 11 yrs. She’s the most sweetest dog. She’d never ever harm anyone. I’ve been around tons of pitbulls and there is no other type of dog for me. And I will continue to fight for this breed til I die. It’s ashame the justice system just doesn’t care. Makes me want to vomit.

  25. Cortney says:

    everyone is quick to judge the breed..but have u looked at the stats…pits are not even in the top biting dogs in a year. stop sterotyping without looking at facts because u just make ur self look dumb! pit bulls are a great and loving breed and its all how people raise them, just like any breed of dog.

  26. EliseA says:

    After the article in arizona about the county drowning in pit bulls and now people being paid to give them away, isn’t it obvious that most people don’t want these things?

    When you start paying people to push them, you’re not going to get better owners. The people that like these things are fanatical already, you think they’re not pushing hard already?

    People that would be considered good owners don’t want these dogs.

    1. cynthia pell says:

      not true. Love all dogs. My family had a pitbul for 13 years, she died several yrs ago of heart disease. What a wonderful, calm, loving dog she was. I would own a pitbull any day…

    2. MomInNYS says:

      ElisaA – – – Wow. I rescued a beautiful, goofy Pitbull when she was 3 years old. I am certain that she is better off with me. I never considered her breed a problem. Before you make bold statements, please consider that there are more of us that love this breed than just “are fanatical”.

    3. Ellen says:

      What you’re seeing is the result of people breeding these dogs and then abandoning them when they’re no longer of use, or they got caught in a dog fighting ring, or they don’t want the “bait dog” any longer, or the dog they didn’t spay is now pregnant and they let her run…tons of issues, not just that people don’t want them. In PA, adoptions for pit bulls rose drastically due to great PSAs regarding their plight from shelters and humane societies. And, people that would be considered great owners do have these dogs. I know because of the wonderful pit bull rescue with which I’m associated and the tireless people who try to save them and place them in responsible furever homes. Another fundraiser tomorrow night as a matter of fact for the pitties!!! Please visit BADRAP, Bruised not Broken, Our Pack, Pitbullrescuecentral.com, and Out of the Pits for some eye-opening education about this magnificent breed..

    4. Marie D says:

      That is the most ignorant bunch of bs I’ve read in a long time. You need to get your head our of the sand and educate yourself and no, I do not own a pit but I hope to in the future

  27. Heatherly says:

    shows how much you know about the breed ..you are in the pot with everybody else’s believing in what the media says…all dogs can bite..large breeds no different than small breeds…yes a large dog makes a larger stronger bite just due to size difference…but it is how they are raised …never the breed only the deed..

    dangerous dog law should be enforced I agree but not breed specific…

    just think about this statement for minute…”Once all “Pit Bulls” are gone..what breed of dog will they pick next…it could be the beloved labs, Rotties, Retrievers, Shepherds etc…” so indeed your dog could be next on the hit list..then what will you say ???

    1. Dogs more humane says:

      I cannot agree more. Its the people who mistreat them that make some bad. In regards to some of those people who dislike them, these dogs are more humane than them. Perhaps we should off those people?

  28. robert says:

    pitbulls as a hole are not bad dogs we have resqued many they only fight because thats what people train them for they only want to please there owner so they fight its a bad rap

  29. wood says:

    Barking mad .. no pit bull should be housed with a family with small children. If people are getting rid of them, there’s a reason. They are fighting dogs .. if you want a family dog, get a lab and get real.

    1. Chris Hughes says:

      look at the facts douchbag, more golden retriever attacks last year than pit bulls.

      1. Maddie says:

        YOU look at the facts. Golden retrievers “bite,” pit bulls “attack.” There’s a difference. When was the last time you saw a “Child killed by golden retriever” article?

      2. Torrie Nystrand says:

        Well Maddie lets talk Sargent Stubby the Pit Bull. Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. He entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Seicheprey (Meurthe-et-Moselle), Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches. After being gassed himself, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man’s land, and — since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could — became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover. He was solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne. Following the retaking of Château-Thierry by the US, the thankful women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. There is also a legend that while in Paris with Corporal Conroy, Stubby saved a young girl from being hit by a car. At the end of the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby home.
        Now let me reiterate all you stupid people should read a book!!!!

    2. people are stupid says:

      Labs are actually accountable for most dog bites. Just because every advertisement shows a lab with a family does not mean they are a super family dog. You need to stop paying so much attention to the media and know what you are talking about first.

    3. Ellen says:

      Ignorance surely breeds fear and contempt. Read a few books and do a little research prior to making such an inflammatory comment, troll. They are one of the best dogs to have with children; hence the moniker “nanny dog” bestowed upon them eons ago when they were America’s dog. Please read The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant.
      EDUCATE DON’T DISCRIMINATE!

  30. doc says:

    What a crazy ideal! If one of those Pitbull bite a child, I hope the lawyer will take
    the town and it’s owner to the cleaner. The town should fine any owner who breed a
    dog and abandon it.

    1. Mojo's Mom says:

      So all stray pitbuls should be put down. Now there is not only a crazy idea but a not so brilliant one at that. Fear breeds ignorance and ignorance breeds fear and Doc you breed both

  31. Courtney says:

    This is a great idea!! I feel like all communities need to address this stigma and take steps to correct it!
    http://www.dailypawprints.com

  32. CJ says:

    Bottom line, its the owners who make this breed agressive than they already are im glad they doing sumthing consrtuctive about these dogs, i have 1 and will continue to own pitbulls til i die…a man best friend is a pit!

    1. robbie says:

      very true, theres alot of dumb respondes on here.I love my pits.

  33. Rick H says:

    I’ve Had a Pitbull for 11 1/2 years what a Dog , he’s been the best friend i’ve ever had everyday we play with a littleball for hours, highenergy is right but friendly with everyone never have to yell or repromand at all, a little dog defensive , but they want to be the only dog that pleases you they are a wonderful Breed it’s to bad people have to abuse them, where’s the compassion for a dying breed ?

  34. Ellen says:

    What a great idea! I am sharing with rescues I am associated with on Facebook and maybe we can get some of these beauties out of there and bring them to Upstate NY and beyond. Most of the problem usuallly lies with not enough foster homes for these dogs, but money is always a good incentive for the rescues to plug a little harder🙂

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