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The Truth about Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:00pm
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“Pit Bull.” There is no other breed of dog—or arguably, any other animal at all—whose mere mention can elicit such strong opinions. Try a word-associate game with your friends: Ask them what they think of when you say “Pit Bull.” Chances are that by the numbers, their responses will be more negative than positive. And it’s no wonder: No other type of dog is as widely banned from housing, legislated against, or incorrectly vilified by the media.

How did we get here?
Pit Bulls were once widely considered ideal family pets—affectionate, loyal and gentle with children. But in recent years, these dogs have suffered tremendously from a combination of overbreeding, bad publicity and irresponsible owners. In reality, the overwhelming majority of Pits and Pit mixes are sweet goofballs who have gotten a very bad rap.

Learn the truth.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day, on October 27, is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about Pit Bulls and their responsible owners. Please take a moment to learn the truth about these wonderful dogs and consider rescuing one of them from a shelter.

Are you a proud Pit Bull parent? Please participate in National Pit Bull Awareness Day, and help us dispel the myths about these dogs by leaving a comment below about your wonderful pooch.

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Marie Fasone

I have always adopted my dog(s) from the local shelters. I'm always sad to see how many pit bulls are in the shelters and would love to have adopted one (or two), but my homeowners policy would deny coverage. As a matter of fact,there is a list of dogs that are banned. Is or has there been any legislation to change this? Thanks!

Laura Hatfield

Have one living next door to me...sweetest dog ever!

Nicki S

Tuck, my pit mix, is 2yrs old. We rescued him from 11th hour rescue after he had been abanonded and left for dead when he was only 2wks old. 11th hour nursed him back to health and we took him home at 9wks old. He has changed our lives 100% for the better!! He's my best friend for sure. Always there when I need him. The friendliest, happiest, most easy going boy you've ever met. My nieces and nephews can take a bone right out of his mouth and he doesn't give it a sec thought. Pittbulls are the BEST!!!

Lynn Gubnitsky

He will be turning 4 yrs Nov 1 & is the joy of the house...because we can't let him loose to run (for his safety & the paranoia of others), he & we (husband Harold)get our exercise & fresh air on many walks per day...he & cat Lily vie for top spot next to Mama at bedtime....she's a very willfull domesticated stray, lazy about her own hygiene & allows Beau to clean her ears, disgusting but funny & necessary...he loves to learn, is so curious outside in nature, loves brussel sprouts & broccoli buds from the garden(to a fault), carries my check home in his mouth on our walk from my local P/T job ,because, of course, he gets a treat when we get to the house.....for 2 old people it was risky getting such a strong breed at this stage of retirement (after only cats for 30 yrs), but the benefits of having such a loving & smart creature as part of our lives make any training efforts all worth it...& because I take him around wherever he is allowed, the fact that his handsome self is very well behaved has impacted many who have had the pleasure of meeting him...socializing with other dogs & humans makes for a more balanced doggie...wish I could post a pic, but there is no option here....Lynn G

cecelia

We have 5 pits/pitmixes in our home. Moagley is 3 yrs old this month and weighs 73 lbs..he gets along with everyone including the cat, the rabbit and the chicken. Our two sister pups, Hazel and Daphne, are 10 months old and they are learning that the cat is the boss (at 16 yrs he should be!) and love to chase the chicken (we discourage)but not catch it. Our foster girl, Snickers, is a one yr old mix-rescued form the streets of New York looking for her own family. Snickers loves dogs, ignores the cat, loves kids, ball, frisbee, the hose, sticks- anything and everything!! Last but not least we have Lizzie. Lizzie is our 7-9 yr old PItbull rescued from the streets of New York as well. Lizzie struggles to accept other dogs but loves our kids, cat, etc. This breed amazes me with their resilience, intelligence, loyalty, love and yes, flatulence. Judge the owner not the dog. A well adjusted owner equals a well adjusted dog..period.

Amanda

I am the mommy of a 5 year old Pitt bull named Tyson! The stereotypes couldn't be more wrong about my gentle giant. I have two cats and Tyson is amazing with them. The cats sleep in the same bed and greet Tyson every morning he plays and loves them dearly. Vicious ? Definitely not the case I've never had a more loving and loyal dog! Pitt bulls are dogs who deserve a chance. They make wonderful companions and it's sad they have gotten a bad reputation because of a few careless owners. Bring a shelter Pitt home and give them a chance! My Tyson has definitely proven those stereotypes wrong!!

Leeann

so glad im fostering a pit i heard so many bad rep and there not even close my girl is the best no aggression at all, Maybe ill keep her :)

Deborah

I am Mom to 4 pitbull mixes (all brothers) rescued from our local shelter just prior to euthanization as 4 week old puppies. We got these beautiful, sweet babies because a shelter worker ignorantly put them in with another nursing dog and her baby (she thought it seemed "unfair" that one mother only had a single pup while the pitbull mom had ten to care for). Needless to say the foster mother attacked them almost immediately, and would have killed them if my husband -- a shelter volunteer at that time -- had not intervened just in time. He rushed all four of them to the vet. Two were injured - one badly -- so my husband brought them all home for me to care for them until they were well, a bit older, and we could find suitable homes for them. We really never intended to adopt them since we already had 7 dogs and 6 cats in our little family!!! (All rescues.) However, after a few weeks of changing poopy blankets and papers, wiping little butts and nursing them with a rabbit baby bottle 6 times each day -- not to mention a lot of snuggling and playing -- we knew they weren't going anywhere. We already had two shepherd mix brothers about 4 months older than these little guys (rescued from a McDonald's parking lot where they were begging and dodging cars!!!) named Romulus and Remus, so we decided to do a whole Roman legion and named our pitties, Tiberius, Brutus, Julius and Claudius. It sounds so funny to hear me holler out those names in succession when we are walking in the national forest next door and they sometimes roam out of sight. I always wonder what someone would think to hear all those latin names. But I digress...

One of our older female dogs, Boo -- an Australian cattle dog/border collie mix -- decided they were her puppies and would probably never have let us take them out of the house if we had tried. ;-) She took care of a lot of the puppy "messes" herself, just like a momma would, and groomed and coddled them endlessly. We started calling her Momma Boo (to this day -- they are 6 years old now -- they all still do what she commands despite the fact that they tower over her at between 80 and 125 lbs. -- and she is only a 35 lb. senior dog!) All the other dogs helped a bit too -- even the other two pups who weren't that much older -- so by the time these guys were a few months old, they thought it was normal to have several moms and a few dads.

I wish I could post photos here to show all my babies getting along so well. I take them all out together (think Ceasar Milan) for romps in the woods daily and they sleep together in beds here and there all over the house. They even eat side by side with no growling or fuss, and though we have admittedly had a few dog-dog aggression incidents over the years (mostly when they were still adolescents working out their places in the pack), for the most part, these guys are the happiest, sweetest- tempered and playful guys I have ever known. One of them -- Julius, aka Piggy Wigglebottom -- is so friendly that he wags his tail hard enough when he gets excitied that he knocks things over and sends everybody else flying out of range. He is the bottom-waggiest dog I ever saw! Our Tiberius shows he is part Great Dane, standing about 32" tall and weighing around 125 lb. (At least he did the last time we were able to weigh him on our bathroom scale with my husband holding him. He may weigh more now.) Yet, as huge and intimidating looking as he is, he is the biggest baby of the bunch, and will sit with his mouth drooping and head on paws sulking forever if we don't give him loads of hugs and kisses whenever he "calls". I love them all dearly. I wish everyone could see these big, bad pitbulls slobering all over us, each other and our cats like giant puppies. I think people would have to alter their opinions.

One sad note: Their mother and 6 siblings, were killed about a week after we took these four home -- we were unable to find homes for them, hard as we tried, and our local shelter is a kill shelter that only holds dogs for 10 days, and makes no attempt to find them homes or track down owners. Also, we live in SW Missouri, where dogfighting and puppy mills are so rampant that state and local ordinances prevent pitbulls from living in the city limits without such ridiculous restrictions that no one will have them (except illegally). There are so many of these wonderful dogs going to gas chambers daily that it really just makes me sick! I always regret that we didn't get them all, but with 7 dogs already, we knew that we really could not take in more and give them the care they deserved. It breaks my heart to think of them.

PLEASE! If any of you are thinking about getting a dog, please, please, please go to your local animal shelter and adopt a deserving shelter dog! There are so many of them waiting and wanting so much only to be loved.

Darlene

I rescued a Pit Bull five years ago. My family and friends were very upset and told me to find a home for her...My husband fell in love with her in 2 days and we found her a home...our home! I had never been around pit bulls before but was told she was good with kids and other dogs. I had both. The people who had her were moving and she was going into the Humane Society within a few days. I had never even met her when I met with a friend in a parking lot and put her into my car. She laid down across the front seat and rested her head on my lap the whole way home. She is one of the sweetest dogs I know. I will be a pit bull advocate for the rest of my life. I have transformed many peoples minds about this wonderful breed!

Sandy & Joe Molock

We had a male pit bull mix (don't know what with) and he was the sweetest, most gentle dog. He was so smart, he showed me where his collar had come off under the shrubs in the back yard. We had him for 13 wonderful years and still miss him.

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