Ending Discrimination: New Partnerships to Help Pit Bulls

Once described by many as intelligent, athletic, loyal and lovable, the esteemed opinion of pit bulls has gone downhill in part due to widespread myths that the media has been quick to pick up on and help perpetuate.

Unfortunately, the bad reputation has led to a host of problems for not only pit bulls that find themselves in need of a home, but for owners who find themselves having trouble finding places to live that will allow pit bulls or battling breed specific legislation to save their four-legged family members.

Best Friends Animal Society recently launched Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls, a program designed to “encourage responsible pet ownership, increase adoptions, reduce euthanasia and improve the public’s perception of pit-bull terriers and similar dogs,” that is being supported by Best Friends and a $240,000 grant from PetSmart Charities.

“In addition to this program helping to save lives of adoptable animals, I would really like for people to realize that pit-bull terriers are just dogs, like any other dog,” says Jamie Healy, manager of Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls.

“They’re fun-loving, loyal goofballs that have the same basic needs and require the same responsible ownership as other dogs do.”

After doubling the number of dogs adopted and increasing the save-rate from 51 percent to 71 percent through a partnership with Salt Lake County Animal Services in 2009, five new shelter communities have been added to the program.

Participating shelters now include the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care and Adoption Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California; the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter in Baltimore, Maryland; the Washington Humane Society in Washington, D.C.; Hillsborough County Animal Services in Tampa, Florida; and the County of San Diego Animal Services in Carlsbad, California.

Each of the shelters will have community coordinators who will help with education, training, fostering, adoption and spay/neuter efforts, among other tasks. Volunteers, or “Pit Crews,” will also play a big role working with both the dogs and the public. 

“This is very beneficial not only in helping the dogs become more adoptable, but it also allows the volunteers to get to know the dogs’ personalities, which also helps them promote the dogs to potential adopters and find the perfect match,” says Dana Keithly, local coordinator at the Rancho center.

Visit Best Friends to learn more about their pit bull terrier initiatives and follow the Pit Crews on Facebook: Rancho Cucamonga, Baltimore, D.C., Tampa and San Diego


Related Stories: 

Pit Bulls Have Better Temperament Than Average Dog

Study Shows Pit Bull Ban Does Not Stop Dog Bites

Paralyzed Pit Bull Mix Inspires Others



Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/just_steph/


William C
William C20 days ago


W. C
W. C21 days ago

Thank you.

Julia R.
Julia R4 years ago

So Opinion A, would just like to conclude by saying that you could do a list on any dog breed like the one that you’ve done above- including golden retrievers and even labs and make it look as bad as the one you just did against pit bulls when you’re obviously prejudiced against pit bulls?! You also haven't provided any detailed information about these incidents so we cannot come to any fair conslusions based on such scant information. And what makes most of your tirade against pit bulls really questionable is that the article you allude to on http://www.care2.com/causes/heres-what-pit-bulls-are-really-bred-to-do.html#ixzz2PWwe9frG presents pit bulls in a very good light! But by your purposeful manipulation of this article- to make it appear otherwise- you’re trying to use it to corroborate your prejudice view of pit bulls rather than state the facts as they are in this article! Your ramblings do not fit with the above article and therefore, it adds nothing to this discussion and therefore they're highly inappropriate as well.

Julia R.
Julia R4 years ago

Because Opinion A is presenting only a few negative reports about pit bulls and you could do this about any dog I feel that his comments are so inaccurate that they warrant a response. He isn't presenting a balanced view which would actually have many more positive statements to make about pit bulls than negative ones if he really could free himself from his prejudice long enough to become better informed about this breed!

Here are the real facts that this person Opinion A is distorting: "Some of these myths include the beliefs that pit bulls have locking jaws and are more likely to bite than other breeds. To clear that first one up once and for all, pit bulls do not have any anatomical mechanism that would cause or allow their jaws to lock. No dog does. And while pit bulls still get a lot of bad press, they’re no more likely to bite someone than any other breed."

"The American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS), an organization that promotes uniform temperament testing, has found that the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier all had a higher than average passing score, which is 83 percent, and did better than many other breeds, including Golden Retrievers, when it comes to stability, aggression and friendliness, among other traits."

Even the AVMA has stated that despite the stigma, when it comes to pit bull type dogs “controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous.

Julia R.
Julia R4 years ago

I'm so glad to hear that Best Friends Animal Society has recently launched new partnerships with shelters to help end pit bull discrimination and inhumane BSL which is based on many myths about pit bulls that the media has helped to wrongly label and perpetuate about pit bulls!

Once described by many as intelligent, athletic, loyal and lovable, the esteemed opinion of pit bulls has gone downhill in part due to these widespread myths which are simply not true! It is high time that this dog be recognized for all of his wonderful attributes and innate lovable nature and stop negatively stereotyping the pit bull for false information and preconceptions which aren't based on truth!

Amandine S.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this article.

Opinion Ated
Opinion Ated4 years ago

Labrador seriously injured by pit bull, yesterday, April 02 2013


City worker bit by three pit bulls April 02 2013


Little bit in the face by pit bulls a few hours ago, April 03 2013


Where are all of the other abused and inbred dog breeds doing this kind of crap?

john hall
john hall4 years ago

Fi T. Pitbulls are misunderstood because people are to damn lazy to actually research or go find rescues to find out more about the breed . Thug's , gang bangers and people like Vick have hurt a great breed and good owner's and reswcue's are falling behind trying to get the word out about how good pitbulls really are .

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Why are they misunderstood?

Kelly R5 years ago

I want to start a rescue for Pitties. I love them soooo much They are incredibly intelligent, loving, loyal and wonderful. They actually were called Nanny dogs at the beginning of last century. It was only when worthless, waste of skin, pond scum started fighting them that they were labeled as vicious. Go to any shelter and spend time with them and you will fall in love with them. If you do get one though, know they need about two hours of exercise a day. Talk to your vet on the special needs of the Pittie. When you do you will Not be disappointed with your Pittie or Pitties