After spending some time browsing the pets section on Craiglist, I want to lay with my pit bulls and cry. It is incomprehensibly saddening to see the things people do to this misunderstood breed. Area shelters across the US are jam-packed with pit bulls. Backyard breeders with no regard for the welfare of these dogs continue to sell off dogs with their eyes locked on the bottom line. Ignorant breed “lovers” continue to perpetuate the numerous false rumors including their incredible locking jaws, rarity of certain colors, and inherently aggressive nature. So many dogs need homes, and so many dogs will never get that chance.
I am sick to death of hearing people tell me how vicious pit bulls are. I have never once worried about protecting someone from my dogs, but I feel compelled to protect my dogs from other people. I protect them from other pit bull “lovers” who are ignorant enough to think that their coat color, musculature, and intact reproductive organs make a difference. I protect them from uneducated fear mongers that would shoot them if they stumbled onto their property. I protect them from other dogs in public places, knowing that if their dog went after mine, it would automatically be my dog’s fault.
These dogs are not for everyone. The main reason I say this is because you have to learn how to handle prejudice. I can not begin to tell you how many times I have had rude, misinformed people say things to me when I have them out. You have to learn how to have a thick skin when you share your life with dogs that many people regard as trash. Landlords refuse to rent to you, pet stores will not allow your dogs inside, doggy day cares will refuse to let your dog play, kennels will simply not be able to “handle” your dog, and you are constantly scrutinized by other dog owners.
For people willing to deal with the prejudice and marginalization pit bull ownership often includes, you will find yourself surrounded by love, loyalty, and humor unmatched by many other dog breeds. I know I have stood on this pedestal once before to preach the wonders of bully breed ownership, but the devotion of these dogs to their owners really is their outstanding trait. Why do you think they can be trained to fight for their owners? Do you think a poodle would sacrifice its life for the will of its human? In the wrong hands this devotion can be deadly. When properly trained and nurtured by loving owners, pit bulls make excellent family dogs and companions.
All I really want to get across is this – If you are considering adding a four-legged family member to your clan, please consider adopting a rescued pit bull. Give one of these dogs a second chance at life, and they will be grateful to you for the rest of theirs.