Happy Pit Bull Awareness Day! My name is Trixie and my mom works for the Ardmore Animal Hospital. She found me on the Dodo – A social media group that features pets in need. I’m blind in one eye and missing the other, so of course someone had to fall for me! I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. The Pit bull laws are a tad harsh in the big apple. The New York City Housing Authority bans Pit bulls in any housing under its control. They also ban Dobermans and Rottweilers. Some of the municipalities even consider us a “dangerous” dog, which means stricter laws against us if we were to have an incident. Yikes!
My story goes like this – I was found at around six weeks old in a storm drain. My right eye was ruptured and I had a very low temperature. I was almost dead. A man found me and brought me to Sean Casey Animal Rescue, located in Brooklyn. A family who did volunteer work at the rescue was willing to foster me right away. I was fixed up, nursed back to health and feeling on top of the world. My foster mom had a few other dogs who I got along with very well. Shortly after they added a baby human to our pack, so of course they needed to find a place with more room. Their new apartment complex wouldn’t allow me to live with them because I’m a Pit bull… Shocker! Back to the shelter I went. I also spent some time with a handful of different fosters who were allowed to house me. Once I was with my last foster mom, Diana, I was featured on The Dodo and that’s when my “furever” mom and dad found me! They drove all the way to Brooklyn with their other Pit bull, Emma. She loved me right away at our meet and sniff. My mom and dad went home to “think about it” and without hesitation, they drove back up the following weekend to adopt me! Woohoo! The city of brotherly love welcomed me with open arms. There are restrictions here as well, but not quite as strict as New York. My mom says all pitties are welcome in her home, so I’m safe here. I love playing with my human baby brother, Dylan and my feline brother, Sid Vicious. Sid thinks I’m funny looking, but he secretly loves me. There isn’t much to be afraid of, really. I just want to sleep, eat and run in circles! My Pit bull sister, Emma, practically raised Dylan from infancy until toddler-hood. She slept by his side day in and day out and always shared her toys. She was a big red beauty. Sadly, she passed in December 2016 from lymphoma. Man, was she awesome at helping me learn my way around my new digs! She was also nothing to be afraid of… Unless you were a carpenter bee. She thought those guys were pretty tasty.
Enough about me, though. Let’s discuss the truth about my breed. A dog is usually classified as a Pit bull just from its looks. A stocky body, boxy head, broad stature. That’s a lot of breeds and that is why we always catch a bad rap. A Boston Terrier mix all the way to a Mastiff mix can be classified as a Pit bull type dog by shelters or law enforcement. So if any one of my fellow bully breeds does anything wrong, we are all stereotyped. Is that really fair? We are one of the most feared breeds, but I blame humans. We are used and mistreated because of our loyalty and eagerness to please. In reality, we are gentle enough to have once been considered a “nanny” dog. I try to take darn good care of my baby human brother. I do steal the occasional chicken nugget, but we typically rock at being gentle and caring. We are smart, loyal and LOVE to snuggle! We don’t want to fight. We aren’t born aggressive. We aren’t capable of locking our jaws. It’s not a natural instinct for us to attack. We aren’t sharks! Our bite force is actually the same as a retriever – about 235 pounds. The myth about having a 1600 pound bite force is completely false. We also scored higher on the temperament testing than most trusted family breeds. According to the 2008 testing of 218 dog breeds by the American Temperament Testing Society, the passing rate for the American Pit bull Terrier was 85%, American Staffordshire Terrier was 83.9%, Staffordshire Bull Terriers was 88%! Some breeds that scored lower than us include the Beagle, Border Collie, Dalmatian, Greyhound, Caviler King Charles Spaniel and Toy Poodles. Last year’s test results proved to be very similar.
There are just too many stereotypes and myths to count, but I can promise we aren’t what everyone thinks. There is an alarming amount of “Pit bull type” dogs in shelters all across America. Why are there so many of us? It’s not because we have behavioral issues. It’s because there are so many of us classified as “Pit bulls” and perhaps too many stereotypes going against us. Please don’t fall for them! We also end up in shelters due to a thing called “BSL” or Breed Specific Legislation. There are several cities that ban us because of all the misinformation and prejudice . Denver, CO. Miami, FL. Council Bluffs, IA. The list is endless! How do we stop these bans? Educate! Educate! Educate! Give us a try. Go to your local shelter and volunteer. Take us for walks and find out just how awesome and sweet we really are. The numbers are scary. Every year, 1.2 million pups are euthanized in shelters and 40% consist of Pit bulls. Yikes! Thankfully, we’re becoming more and more accepted and humans are becoming more aware of the stereotypes being only stereotypes. But, we still need more believers!
The younger generations find us to be trendy these days and I’m OK with that! Us pitties just ask that you make sure you can keep us for life, because the mixture of trendiness and BSL is what’s putting us in these shelters in the first place. I’ll say it time and time again, we aren’t the problem – The human that owns us usually is. That goes for attacks and the number of us, homeless. Please consider giving us a chance, even if it’s just fostering one of us. The less of us in shelters means the less euthanized. You may become a “foster failure” and fall head over heels in love with one of us! Be prepared for lots of kisses, snuggles and FUN if you adopt a Pit bull. And, beware that pitties are like potato chips… You can’t just have one!
Reasons to own a Pit bull:
1. We come in any color variety
2. We can make friends with just about anyone
3. We’re pretty darn intelligent
4. We’re warm on chilly winter days (we love to snuggle)
5. We are eager to please
6. We’ve got energy for running, hiking, or a day at the park
7. We can sub as a babysitter last minute (we were nanny dogs)
8. We’re pretty low maintenance
9. We’re great home security
10. We’ll love you until the end of time