I’ll admit it. I WAS afraid of Pit Bulls. Before I got involved in animal welfare, I was scared to death by Pit Bulls. All I ever heard in the news was the “horrifying facts” that these dogs are killers. Sensationalism and ratings boost. That’s the truth! Nobody talks about the fact that more people are injured or killed by those adorably cuddly Golden Retrievers each year. Nobody talks about how those cute little pint-sized dogs bite people each year. Why not? It’s not good for ratings.
When I started working at an animal shelter, my first instinct around the Pit Bulls was to run for my life. Total fear. Total crap I soon learned. It didn’t take long for me to realize that they are just big mush piles of love, like any other dog. They love to go for walks, they love tummy rubs and they love to play. I met so many of these dogs and really came to learn to love the breed.
The truth is, ALL dogs are capable of biting or injuring a person. And all people are capable of injuring another person – and probably biting too, but that’s another story. Just like kids, if you don’t teach dogs rules for their behavior, don’t be surprised by how they react.
Condemning dogs because of their breed is unfair to the breed. And this goes back to the media point. When a Pit Bull does something wrong, it makes the headlines. When a Pit Bull does something good, it usually gets buried in the news. So what, you might say? This negative publicity leads to dogs being banned from living in certain apartments and even certain states! In many places, if a Pit Bull is surrendered, the dog is euthanized just because it is a Pit Bull. That’s like saying, “We should euthanize all animals named Lucky”. What?!?! It truly is the same idea.
So I invite you to keep an open mind about this beautiful breed. The first step is to meet one. Do you have someone in your neighborhood with a Pitty? Ask the person if you can pet him or her. Notice I said ASK FIRST. That’s true with ALL DOGS!!! Some dogs are not comfortable around strangers and it has nothing to do with their breed. So ASK FIRST! Next step, go check out some of the beautiful Pitties at your local shelter who are looking for a home. They’re no different than any other dog looking for a forever home. Just remember that. They want to be loved too.