I must respond to Dorey Munch’s vilification of the pit bull. While it is true that historically they were bred for fighting, it is also true that the dog had to be docile toward humans, otherwise it could not be handled by the owners during a match. Aggressive dogs are usually the result of abusive and irresponsible owners.
Please get a copy of “Pit Bulls for Dummies” (yes, the yellow and black book,) to get the full picture of pit bull history. Once dog fighting was outlawed, these dogs had a chance to shine for their heart and loyalty. By the early 20th century, pits were becoming famous for good things — “Stubby” was a therapy dog for hospitalized soldiers during World War I; Petey was the circle-eyed dog from “Little Rascals;” Tige was Buster Brown’s faithful friend. I collect Victorian era art of pit bulls and children — they were known as the “Nanny Dog.” And Rachael Ray’s beloved “Isaboo” is a pit.
Check the rescue group website outofthepits.org to see pit bulls serving as Therapy dogs today, along with a wealth of other accomplishments. My husband and I have rescued two abused pits, both happiest cuddling on the couch. They are extremely intelligent and loyal.
The occasional attacks by pit bulls of bad owners get far more press than attacks by other breeds. I thank advocates like Sarah Cummings who stand up for this special breed, trying to educate those who perpetuate the negative stereotyping, showing how pits can become wonderful members of the family.
We are taught not to judge people by their skin color, yet people continue their canine prejudice against this noble breed based on its appearance.
The real issue is about shelter overcrowding. Getting pets spayed/neutered will relieve the overpopulation problem confronting shelters for all breeds.