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Finally! Some Good News for Pit Bulls and Their Guardians

Finally! Some Good News for Pit Bulls and Their Guardians

You don’t need to tell pit bulls (also affectionately known as pits, pitties or bullies) and their guardians that it’s a dog eat dog world. Pitties went from being America’s darling dog to vilified quasi-assault weapon status.

Thankfully, there is some great news to report: laws targeting pit bulls are softening around the country. However, pit bulls and their guardians still face many other battles. Despite countless stories of heroic pit bulls, many pit loving families have to make difficult choices.

Pittie Good News First

As reported in The Huffington Post, Lisa Peters, an American Kennel Club spokesperson, explained, “Lawmakers are realizing that targeting dogs based on their breed or what they look like is not a solution to dealing with dangerous dogs.”

Here are some ways the pit bull bias is changing:

– In the U.S., eighteen states do not allow breed-specific bans in their communities

– Six more states could soon follow

– Certain cities are reconsidering labeling pit bulls as “dangerous animals”

Emotions run deep. Pit bull lovers insist that their dogs are loving members of their families. Pit bull adversaries insist that “they are a volatile breed whose genetics drive them to kill more than two dozen people in the U.S. each year, many of them young children.”

Still a Battle for Pit Bulls

While public and legal perceptions of pit bulls may be softening, it’s still a fight. As reported in The Press-Enterprise, in Lake Elsinore, pit bulls and pit bull mixes will be required to be spayed and neutered. Households with pits will have to sterilize their pet by the age of 4 months; the first violation could cost guardians a $100 fine.

Battle for Pittie Guardians, Too

While it’s hard to be a pittie, it isn’t easy for pit bull guardians either. It’s not uncommon for pit bull owners to have to choose between a home and a family member. According to Mother Nature Network, “Landlords and property management companies are allowed to ban breeds they consider dangerous or aggressive. For them, it’s all about liability and making other renters feel safe.” Some residents like Carol Devia choose their dog. Devia and her family, including her teenage son, sleep in the family’s auto, and “[t]hey drive back and forth between wooded areas and parking lots where they can get Wi-Fi and cook.”

Housing issues mean that most pit bull owners will have to resort to obtaining an extra insurance policy for their dog so that liability is on the owner, not the landlord. Yet, as reported in The Huffington Post, getting insurance is a whole other battle. While there are some bully-friendly insurers, this is far from the norm. Bob Hartwig, Insurance Information Institute’s president, boiled it down to numbers. The average cost of a dog bite “‘is about 25 times what the average person pays for their annual premium.’” In 2012, insurers coughed up a whopping $500 million in dog bite related insurance claims.

The Good and Bad of the Bully

Some lawmakers may be giving bullies a break, but mainstream media didn’t really get the memo; they love to harp on the latest pit attack. While there are many attacks where pit bulls “maul“ a human, there are innocent pits, too. An innocent pit bull was shot in the face, and a Syracuse woman allegedly starved “her pit bull by leaving it chained to an attic pole in mounds of its own feces.”

Police officers in Arizona also shot a pit bull after they witnessed a dog fight, and they claimed that the dog “seemed” to attack two children. Yet, we know that police officers don’t always have the best track record in determining animal aggression. Ironically, a pack of stray chihuahuas (and other dogs) are free to roam another Arizona neighborhood where they “chase” and “act hostile” towards neighborhood children without being gunned down.

Pit bulls can be heroes, too. A pit bull mix recently saved her human pack by alerting them that a fire was ablaze in the home. There’s also an entire site dedicated to stories of heroic pit bulls — some pits have stopped home invasions, prevented abductions and sacrificed their lives for their guardian.

This “softening” attitude towards pits is long overdue. Bullies aren’t inherently evil. They are a strong breed that require dedication and discipline. While pit bull supporters like to throw out “blame the deed, not the breed,” the humans behind the deeds should sometimes share in the blame. One thing is for sure: whether the laws continue to soften or not, a pit bull’s love and loyalty for it’s guardian is always strong — sometimes at the dog’s own expense.

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Photo Credit: Reader of the Pack

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3:33AM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

One of these days, Pitt bulls will not be in the headlines any longer because another breed will take their place. My bet is on Yorkies!

My sister has 2 Yorkies, and they are mean little spits. My step son has a Pit bull and I love her to pieces!!

2:58AM PDT on May 12, 2014

Thanks

6:14AM PDT on Apr 3, 2014

thank you

6:22AM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

Great news!!!!!

3:10AM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

Yes,the Almighty Loyal,Loving,Playful,Protective Pit Bull ! How I Love these Dogs ! OMG,you have Pit Bulls? That's usually the reaction I get from people who don't know me ! My dogs were Rescued as puppies by Me,they are Family members,they will always have a Home with Me! They are Wonderful dogs who Love unconditionally ! My Female Maggie Saved my life when I was Very Ill,I will do everything I can to make sure her life is Protected,and she will live like a Queen! When treated with Love and Respect,and Trained properly every dog will have the Best life possible!

2:50AM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

Thank you very much !
Happy weekend !

8:53AM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

Hope this racism ends soon!

11:29AM PDT on Mar 23, 2014

I've met many pit bulls and pit mixes while volunteering as a dog walker/trainer at our local humane society, and every one was a sweetheart. There are 'bad' ones out there too of course but that goes for every breed ( including humans ). A friend of mine adopted a poodle that was so inconsistently vicious they couldn't keep him no matter how hard they tried to rehabilitate him.

4:22PM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

discrimination in any way is wrong

5:48PM PDT on Mar 21, 2014

...here's another shocker: Golden Retrievers.

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