15th September 2017
Dogs may be man’s best friend, but some dogs carry a heavy burden of stigma against their breed. Of the 725 dogs that passed through our doors, 30% were pit bull mixes. The term “pit bull” does not refer to a singular dog breed, but rather describes a group of dogs in the terrier family that have a stocky, muscular build, short hair, and wide faces. Here at HSSC, we are committed to serving all animals in need, no matter the breed.
Don’t believe the bull!
(adapted from bestfriends.org/pitbullmyths and aspca.org)
MYTH: Pit bulls are more aggressive than other dogs.
FACT: Nationally, pit bull terrier-like dogs pass the American Temperament Test at a higher rate than many other breeds. There is great variation in the behavior tendencies of dogs of any breed and any dog can become dangerous if they are intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.
MYTH: It is easy to identify a dog breed by looking at them.
FACT: 90% of shelter dogs genetically tested as different breeds than what they looked like. Without genetic testing, breed-specific laws in areas can unfairly discriminate against a dog based on how it looks.
MYTH: Pit bulls are more likely to bite than other breeds.
FACT: Neutering greatly reduces the chances that a dog with bite. Co-occurring factors include a lack of socialization, abuse, neglect, and tethering for long periods of time.
MYTH: Pit bulls have locking jaws that make their bites more dangerous.
FACT: They are not physiologically or genetically different from other dogs.
MYTH: Breed-specific laws keep neighborhoods safe.
FACT: Laws that ban particular breeds of dogs only create an illusion of safety. They tend to be ineffective and costly to enforce.
MYTH: Only bad people own pit bulls.
FACT: Millions of loving dog owners own pit bulls across the country. These dogs live with families and other pets and are service and therapy dogs. They only need a loving home and people to take a chance on them.