First it was Rottweilers, and then the witch hunt for German Shepherds, and now the media have raised their pitchforks and demonized the pit bull breed. Pit Bulls are said to be inherently dangerous with the lore of their strong locking jaws sending fear into the public. Though these breeds are no more aggressive than others, they are stronger and more powerful and have way more potential to injure and kill than smaller breeds. This is why a few untrained examples of these breeds are responsible for severe injury and even death from dog bites, earning them an awful reputation.
Pit Bulls are not to blame for their negative reputation based on their biological make-up. The misconceptions about this breed is due to their popularity among the “criminal elements” of our society, thus being used for dog fights and other acts of violence.
source: Huffington Post
According to What a Pittie, this breed is used for dog fighting due to their loyalty to the owner and strength. Many dog fighters also choose them because they are quick to learn, eager to please and easy to handle-- once a Pit Bull accepts you as their master, they willingly lay down their life to please you. These breeds have a massive sense of determination, so once they begin a task, they will not give up unless they can not physically continue or you step in to stop them. This breed is not inherently a monster, it is the owner or "master" who is.
So what problems do Pitt Bulls face? Well the first is the overcrowding of shelters because of the stigma and as a result, high euthanasia rates.
For shelters in areas where breed-specific laws apply, 40 percent of workers said they would purposefully identify a dog as something other than a pit bull. Even in places without the ban, where renters and homeowners might run into problems with landlords and insurance companies, shelter workers have an incentive to keep the title pit bull off of a dog’s tag. This is all to keep these dogs away from euthanasia and give them a chance at life.
In fact, banning potentially dangerous breeds to eliminate a few bad apples in the group has proven to be counterproductive. According to One Green Planet, owners don’t want to surrender their forbidden pets, so they tend to keep them in hiding while not giving them veterinary care and time outdoors. The resulting lack of exercise, socialization, and health care aggravate any aggressive tendencies-- thus continuing the vicious cycle at no fault of the dog.
So what can we do to help end the mass genocide of these inherently loving dogs? Put the responsibility of injuries onto the owners, who poorly train or care for their pets. The good news is that some states, such as Maryland,have passed the bill HB 73, into legislation. The bill holds owners liable for their dog's injuries, regardless of the breed. HB 73 also removes liability for landlords, unless the landlord knew or should have known that the dog was actually dangerous. Injuries committed while a dog is running loose will still incur owners' strict liability.
Pit Bulls, also known as "nanny dogs" are a wonderful addition to your family. Like all other breeds, they need love, training, proper vet care, and socialization in order to thrive. To learn more about adopting, rescuing or fostering a "bully breed", please contact our partners at Fresno Bully Rescue or visit your local shelter and help save these animals!