History of APBT

Pit Bull Cruelty
In recent years, pit bulls have gained more than just a foothold in the public awareness. Unscrupulous breeding and negative media attention have resulted in many apartment complexes, neighborhoods and even counties imposing bans on the breed, citing them as "inherently dangerous" to the public.

But did you know that pit bulls, despite the fact that they were originally bred to fight with each other, were also bred to be trustworthy and friendly to people? These dogs actually earned the nickname "nursemaid's dog," because they were so reliable with young children.

Today, however, the breed often attracts the worst kind of dog owners--those who are only interested in them for fighting or protection. It's a shame what has happened to this loyal and affectionate breed-but as the pit bull population has increased so rapidly, shelters are now struggling to deal with an overflow of image-plagued, hard-to-place dogs. And despite its illegality, people are still training and breeding pit bulls to participate in dog fights in cities and towns across the country.

History of the Breed
Pit bulls are descendants of the original English bull-baiting dog-dogs who were bred to attack bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. They were taught to hang on without releasing their grip, until they were exhausted from fighting and from loss of blood. Although animal baiting was banned in the 1800s, people decided to try fighting their dogs against each other instead.

As the "sport" of dog fighting developed, enthusiasts bred a lighter, more athletic canine. These dogs made their way to North America, the ancestors of today's pit bulls. The problems started when these dogs gained the attention of people looking for a macho dog-and to meet their demands, unscrupulous and uncaring breeders are producing puppies that are not only aggressive to other dogs, but to people, too.

In the Fighting Ring...
Although illegal in all 50 states, organized dog fights still secretly take place in many parts of the country. In some urban areas especially, dog fighters have formed a strong subculture. Dogs who fight are conditioned to never give up when they are fighting, even if it means that they will be badly hurt or even killed. Other species are victims of dog fights, too-it's not uncommon for trainers to teach their dogs to fight using smaller animals such as cats and rabbits as bait.

While some might typify dog fighting as a symptom of urban decay, not every dog fighter is economically disadvantaged. Participants and promoters come from every community and background. Licensed veterinarians are often well paid to care for dogs at fights, and audiences may include lawyers, judges and teachers.

Unfortunately, a new element has been introduced to the world of dog fighting in the past two decades. Fights have become informal, street corner and playground activities. Stripped of the rules and formality of the traditional pit fight, these spontaneous events are triggered by insults and turf invasions-or even the simple taunt, "My dog can kill your dog." Many of these participants lack even a semblance of respect for the animals, forcing them to train wearing heavy chains and picking street fights in which the dogs could get seriously hurt.

At the Shelters...
In March 2000, the ASPCA asked representative U.S. shelters about their experiences with pit bulls. Thirty-five percent take in at least one pit bull a day, and in one out of four shelters, pits and pit mixes make up more than 20 percent of the shelter dog population. New York, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix and Honolulu each saw 3,000 to 7,500 pits turned in during the previous year. One shelter staffer recounted hundreds of abuse cases that came through their doors-pit bulls who had been burned, beaten, and fought with.

According to the shelters surveyed, a third do not adopt pit bulls out-some because it is against the law to have them in their communities, and others are concerned where the dogs will ultimately end up. Sadly, in these cases, the dogs are euthanized.

Thinking About Adopting a Pit Bull?

- Aggression to other dogs is a serious issue with this breed. Early socialization is essential for pit puppies, though your best efforts may not override a dog's genetics. Regardless of early experience, some pits will become dog-aggressive when they reach maturity. A pit bull who doesn't like other dogs cannot be let loose in dog runs or other public places. Some are also dangerous around cats, so please choose carefully if you have other pets.

- Due to their strength and exuberance, pit bulls are best placed with families with older children.

- Pit bulls are enthusiastic learners. They enjoy trick training and many graduate at the head of their obedience classes.

- As a pit bull owner, you are likely to experience breed discrimination. Legislation may prohibit you from living in certain communities, and homeowners insurance will be harder to find. Before you adopt, call your local City Hall or animal shelter to find out about your local laws.

- Hardy, tenacious dogs, pits are moderately active indoors and extremely active outdoors. Be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes twice a day engaged in aerobic-level activities with your dog.
[powr-paypal-button id=17f91db4_1494471874]
Back to the top