Neuter advocate refuses to fix dog

The Associated Press
Friday October 06, 2000

SACRAMENTO — Local animal rights advocates thought they had the perfect spokesman for their new campaign to get pit bull owners to spay and neuter their pets. 

Then world champion boxer Tony Lopez announced he was going to breed his pit bull “the right way.” 

Organizers of the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Wednesday that they were preparing to distribute hundreds of fliers featuring Lopez when the retired prizefighter made the announcement. 

“Here’s someone who is the poster boy for spay and neuter. It’s incredibly frustrating,” said Susanne Somers, a local SPCA board member. 

“There’s really no excuse for it. He’s just perpetuating the whole problem,” she added. 

Sterilizing pit bulls is important since the animals’ fearsome reputation often scares people away from adopting them. The Sacramento SPCA is starting a $20,000 campaign to pay people to get their pit bulls fixed. 

“Since he is a full-breed, red-nosed pit, I’ve got a lot of people who are interested in breeding him. If I do it, I’ll do it the right way,” Lopez said. 

SPCA officials say if they can’t persuade Lopez to change his mind, he will be dropped as the campaign spokesman.