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The Truth about Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:00pm

“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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Joe

I love my pit bull and don't get people's horrible perception of them. I was raised in a household with multiple pits and I never once got bit or attacked by any of them. Best dogs in the world hands down. "There are no bad dogs, just bad owners" so all of you mis informed people you shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

Paul Darden

It is a shame that the Pit Bull breed gets such a bad rap, when they are wonderful dogs. I have a 7 year old, beautiful, Pit Bull, named PAL. When I got Pal as a puppy, wanting a masculine, boy dog, I had decided he was going to be my Buddy or my Pal. I took the U out of my name and he became PAL, and has been that over these years, my family. He is brown with a white chest and loves to play with other dogs, my having a little Yorkie as his companion, her name Buffy.

Felice

I rescued my pit about 10 years ago. She was about 1 year old at the time. I have to admit at the time when she was given to me by a friend to help find her a home that I wasn't too keen on pit bulls. No one wanted her and I've never had any experience with pit bulls. The only thing I knew was the negative stuff I read or saw in the media. Needless to say that I fell madly in love! She is the sweetest, most friendliest dog I have ever owned.
Every time I see someone walking a pit bull I make it a point to go over and play with them. I have never met a mean one. I have been chastised at work and by acquaintances for owning a pit bull. When they see me, they ask me about her and they are almost disappointed that I haven't been mauled so that it can prove their stereotype. I'm so tired of fighting the stereotype. I even invite these people to my home to meet her and maybe change their mind. They look at me as if I have 3 heads when I ask. I wish people would get to know these wonderful creatures. I will fight tooth and nail to change the image of the wonderful, beautiful and magnificent pit bull.

DONNA

My son has a pit bull that was abused. He came to his yard was flea bitten skinny and terrified. He has had him for 7 years now and he is the sweetest dog alive. When I go to their house, he puts my hand in his mouth and leads me over to a chair where I can sit and pet him. They have two small children and he loves them both and is very protective of them when strangers are around. Pit bulls have gotten a rotten deal. The public needs to be educated about them. Thank goodness for the ASPCA and for places like Best Friends Animal shelter.

Chris Callis Burks

In honor of the two pits that changed my life I would like to tell about my experience for National Pit Bull Awareness Day. My first experience with a Pit Bull was with Buddy. My partner and I had just moved into a rental home with Hairy, our Sheltie mix that we had adopted from the Humane Societ three years before. Unknown to us, the new home came with a black and white pit bull living in our fenced in back yard. At first I didn't know what to do because I, like so many others, had heard horror stories about this breed of dog. In my heart, I knew I could not just let this dog waste away from starvation in my back yard so I began feeding him and providing fresh water. At first he was very standoffish, lending to the fact that something very tragic had happened to this animal. In time I grew his trust and he mine, and I eventually named him Buddy. Upon doing research, I found that in the state of Tennessee, at the time, there were no Pit Bull resucues and the ones in surrounding states required animals to be spayed or nutered before they would accept them for addoption. We paid to have Buddy nutered so we could begin trying to find a place to have him addopted through. We ended up moving to a new rental house within a few months after this and we took Buddy with us to a new back yard in which he flourished. Our Hairy got along great with Buddy. Everytime I saw Buddy run free in the back yard I could just hear music in my head which brought a smile to my face. This was the funniest dog I had ever seen and to watch his actions with our Hairy was priceless. You have to know our Hairy is a pretty dog (not so bright) and I used to laugh and laugh when Hairy would just sit in the back yard staring up at the sky and Buddy would come barreling around and knock him over. Over time, unfortunately, due to some health complications we had to put Buddy down and it was felt through the whole family. I missed him, Hairy seemed depressed and always looked for him in the back yard when we would go out. For Valentines that next year we adopted Jasmine from the Humane Society, a Collie/Shephard mix that matched perfectly with Hairy.

We had Hairy and Jasmine for a couple of months and I was walking them one day in the park next to our house when all of a sudden I saw this white streak running around the parking lot trying to get into peoples vehicles. Upon closer inspection I noticed it was a solid white Pit Bull puppy probably about 3-6 months old. After having had Buddy I new it wasn't a good sign to see such a young pup running around free in the neighborhood in which we lived so I got her to follow us home. Great, we had become a 3-dog family instantly. That first night she was just so pittiful because she was white with gray looking mouth and eyes. We kept her warm, gave her food and water, and the next morning she had turned pink and white. Over time we nurished her back to health and she grew. Having found her in Shelby Park, we named her Shelby. Shelby and Jasmine would play in the house, moving furniture when they got rambunctious. Jasmine wasn't to happy about sleeping arrangements though because Shelby slept in the bed as well and had to be touching me as we slept, so for the whole time we had her I didn't get much sleep because I had a white Pit Bull attached to my hip in bed.

I knew that eventually we would have to find Shelby a home because we didn't have time to spend with such a high energy dog. I had learned that she would never come when I called her unti one day she was ignoring me and I stomped on the floor and caught her attention. That's when we learned she was deaf which endeared her even more to our hearts. From then on I knew how to get her attention. We began the process of finding a rescue that could take her. We had her spayed, caught up on all shots, and had her micro chipped. We finally found a rescue just north of Atlanta that had an opening. It was hard to let her go but we knew that she would eventually go to a new home. The rescue had her less than a week before she found a new home. Our last update then was that she had an older brindle colored Pit Bull brother called Goliath and she was in the process of learning sign language.

For anyone that doesn't know anything about this breed of dog, you need to educate yourselves on them. They are so misunderstood and bring such joy to your life. They are quirky and so much fun to watch when they are loved and feel safe. If anything every happens to our Hairy and Jasmine, which eventually will, we will be rescuing a Pit Bull as our next loved one.

As we always tell everyone, it's not the breed, but the owner who we blame. It's just like children, it's all in how they raised.

Dawn corby

I rescued Sheena from Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts on 10/30/09 at the young age of 11. She was unfortunately surrendered by her sole guardian with great reluctance. You see, he had been her guardian all her life and even kept her when he was homeless. The worst part is that when he found a place to live they wouldn't let him have his dog. So when saw her on petfinder and knowing her breed and age, I felt compelled to adopt her. I was looking for a companion for my Boxer X, Jake after losing our Rottie. Let's face it, because of their faulse reputation, people aren't exactly knocking down doors to adopt pits. She has been the best girl. Loves my Jake, my two children ages 7 and 5 and our 3 cats. As a dog trainer of 17 years, I constantly tell anyone what great dogs they are and Sheena is proof. She is a wonderful dog that is so worthy of the reputation I give her and not the one the ignorant people of the world give her. Not to mention all the great pits I have trained over my 17 years. It is the people that own the pits that make the 5:00 News that should be given the needle, not the dog. IE. Michael Vick.

Dawn

I am the very proud mommy of a sweet, beautiful and lovable pitbull named Sasha. She has brought so much love and joy into our lives since we adopted her from the shelter 7 years ago. She is the best dog and I am so lucky to have found her.

Joy

I am the proud "mom" of a beautiful Remy Martin pit bull named Remedy. She came to me at 8 months old because her owner could no longer keep her. I have 2 dachshunds and 3 cats and she has gotten along with them since she came home with me. The 3 share the bed with my husband and myself. Remedy just turned 4 this past April and she is a great dog
I am so glad I decided to take her home. She is my husband's special girl, even though I feed her and baby her, she is a real " girlie girl" and adores her " man". We feel blessed that she came into our lives and would feel lost without her.

Janet

We rescued a pit bull that was on death row. He is the best dog ever! So sweet & lovable.. Loves people & kids. Very smart! My Lab & pit play together, run in the yard, etc. They are very misunderstood dogs & the owners should be punished for a bad dog not the dog breed! Any dogs can be vicious, it's usually all in the owner's training!

Corinne

I got Mooch through a friend of a friend. She had a rough 3 years of life before she rescued me. She lived in an abusive home and had been hit by a car. She became my best friend. I suffer from migraines and when I would have one she would stay by my side. If I was sick she would check on me frequently. She loved her cat babies and would cuddle with them frequently. She adored children and became known as the "police dog" of the dog park. When fights would break out she would break them up. It was the funniest thing to see. She would see something about to happen or happening, run over and just start barking at the bad "kids" until they stopped. I have a giant Pit Bull sized hole in my heart these days as I lost my wonderful baby girl to cancer just last December. She taught a lot of people that Pit Bulls are not the mean steryotype that has been built up. I love you Moochie.

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