PHOTOS: ASPCA saves the city’s pitbulls

Who couldn't love this face? Elektra, with owner Lashika Katura, awaits her appointment on Monday.

Monday was the second year anniversary of the ASPCA’s “Operation Pit.”

As part of “Operation Pit,” all  New Yorkers are encouraged to bring their pits in to the ASPCA’s Upper East Side animal hospital to be spayed and neutered — free of charge.

The program offers the free service to any healthy pitbull or pitbull mix between the ages of three months and six years, as experts say that’s the breed most at risk to be euthanized.

“[Pitbulls] grow into big strong dogs that require a lot of exercise; they’re not portable if you’re moving and they have large litters. When people realize that they can’t take care of them they’ll take them to a shelter,” explained Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.

Since launching “Operation Pit” in 2010, the ASPCA has fixed more than 1,300 pitbulls free of charge. Spaying or neutering the dogs is a procedure that can normally cost between $150 to $350 or more, depending on the veterinarian.

For Veronica Lopez, 32, the free spay was a blessing.

“My vet was going to charge me $500,” said Lopez, who took a taxi down from the Bronx with her 4-year old pit, Timbs. “A friend recommended this place, so of course I came.”

In addition to preventing unwanted pups, the entire appointment includes a full physical for the dogs, life-saving vaccines, and microchipping.

“We’re recruiting [these dogs] into a life-saving mission,” said Murray. “They are honorable soldiers and when they’re done it’s like they’re graduating.”

Sure enough, before they go home each pup receives a camouflage handkerchief and a post-operative “honorable discharge” for completing the “mission.”

ASPCA offers the free spay or neuter to any pitbulls or pitbull mixes at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital on 92nd Street by appointment every weekday. The service is also available at the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic in Queens on select Sundays. Call (877) 900-PITS to schedule a free appointment.

Too many pitbulls killed

Unwanted pitbulls crowd New York City’s animal shelters, and shelters throughout the country. Unfortunately, the sheer number of the dogs means they are killed by shelters at a higher rate than other breeds.

According to animal advocacy groups, pitbulls make up 33 percent of all the dogs taken in by animal shelters nationwide. But in big cities like New York that number can be as high as 65 percent.

Above, Dr. Louise Murray with 4-month-old Foxy.

Some studies estimate that up to 1 million pitbulls are euthanized per year in the U.S. That’s 2,800 pitbulls put to sleep per day. Other estimates say that number is even higher.

An estimated 35,000 pitbulls are available for adoption.


Cops release sketch of Madison Avenue jewelry robbery…

Authorities continue to look for a man suspected in a $54,000 jewelry heist at a Madison Avenue store from from last week.


Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…


Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…


Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…


The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'


Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.


Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.


Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.


Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version


This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…


This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…


Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.


5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.