It would be an understatement to say that pit bulls have a bit of a bad reputation. Parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and other countries have enacted breed-specific legislation (BSL), which restricts ownership of pit bulls or bans the dogs outright. Some people argue that pit bulls are inherently dangerous or aggressive. But are they?
The United Kennel Club‘s position is that they “make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children.” They are athletic, intelligent, and enthusiastic animals. As with any dog, they need to be properly socialized and obedience trained; it’s when these two requirements are neglected by the human that the dogs may have aggression problems. They need owners who are attentive, well-informed, and—most of all—loving. (Do you have what it takes?)
Because of the common perception that pit bull-type dogs are dangerous, they are one of the hardest shelter dogs to find homes for. According to the ASPCA, pit bull mixes make up over 20% of the U.S. shelter dog population.
Here are ten pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes who are looking for homes, from shelters all over the U.S. (You can also use Care2′s Adoptable Pets page to find your perfect match!)
Young female. The Dog Shack, Forest Knolls, CA.
The shelter says, “If you like the bully breed energy, but cannot handle the normal size/strength, this is your girl.”
7-year-old male. Wish Bone Canine Rescue, Bloomington, IL.
His old owner reports, “He’s kind of a worrier but since he is learning that he is safe he has gotten better. His favorite activity is relaxing. I’ve never seen him show any signs of aggression.”
Young male (German Shepherd/Pit Bull Terrier mix). Fur Baby, Los Angeles, CA.
Senior male. Indianapolis Animal Care & Control, Indianapolis, IN.
5. Orphan Annie
2-year-old female. Kent County SPCA, Camden, DE.
Young male (Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix). Rebound Hounds Res-Q, New York, NY.
His foster mom says, “He really loves to be near people, and will be a very faithful companion. He can fetch a ball, sit on command and gently take food from you and will also allow you to take his bowl away peacefully. He especially likes to chase his tail, and sometimes he even catches it.”
13-year-old female. Darby’s Pals Rescue, Inc., Kaufman, TX.
The shelter notes, “Came to Rescue with front right leg amputated, though able to run well on 3 legs with no problems.”
8. Molly Weasley
Adult female (and Pit Bull Ambassador). Florida Big Dog Rescue, Plant City, FL.
The shelter says, “She’s had some troubles her life, and her careful demeanor shows wisdom beyond her years. This is a girl who’s been around the block a time or two and has had some hard knocks, but still has a cheerful outlook and a trusting soul.”
Senior male (Black Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix). Karin 4 Kritters, Greenfield, TN.
The rescuer says, “Jake was found at a deserted house out in the country, unsure of how long he was there, skin and bones. [As soon as we had room at the shelter], I moved him where he is today.”
The picture above is from when Jake was found, but since his rescue, he has become “fat and sassy!”
Adult female (Black Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix). Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, Delhi, NY.
Don’t forget: if you’re looking for a new animal companion, you can use Care2′s Adoptable Pets page to find your perfect match!