- According to the Humane Society of the United States, pit bulls are the “most abused, misunderstood dog breed”, comprising an estimated 70% of dogs housed and euthanized in urban animal shelters (HSUS).
- Pit bulls were known in the early 1900’s as “nanny dogs” because they were tolerant and gentle with children. Helen Keller’s dog, “Sir Thomas”, was a pit bull, and so was “Petey”, the canine mascot of the Little Rascals (Yahoo! News).
- “Pit bull” isn’t a breed; it’s a label used to describe multiple breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bulldog (ASPCA).
- Breed-specific policies (including shelter euthanasia) and legislation (bans) focus on a dog’s looks, rather than its actual breed (as determined by a DNA test). People generally misidentify a dog’s breed 75% of the time (Denver Post). (Would you know a pit bull if you saw one? Click to play “Find The Pit Bull”.)
- Boxers, Bullmastiffs, and Bulldogs are commonly mistaken for pit bulls (ASPCA).
- Pit bulls have an 86% American Temperament Testing Society passing rate. That’s higher than miniature poodles (77.9%), beagles (80.3%), or collies (79.7%) (Chicago Tribune).
- Pit bull bites draw more media attention than bites by other breeds. In a four-day study of dog-bite reportage, the National Canine Research Council found an anti-pit bull media bias. Each of three separate fatal attacks by non-pit bull breeds was mentioned only once or twice in local papers. Comparatively, one non-fatal pit bull attack was covered over 230 times in national and international newspapers, and on major television networks including CNN, MSNBC and FOX (ASPCA).
- Pit bulls do not have locking jaws. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia reports no difference between pit bulls’ jaws and those of other breeds (The Pit Bull Placebo).
- A study by Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic found the bite pressure (PSI) of a pit bull is less than that of a German Shepherd or Rottweiler (The Pit Bull Placebo).
- As terriers, pit bulls bite and hold, whereas other breeds bite and release repeatedly. Dog fighters created bite sticks to disengage pit bulls quickly and efficiently. These sticks are ineffective and dangerous when used with other breeds that snap erratically (Pit Bull Rescue Center).
- Nearly 50 dogs from Michael Vick’s “Bad Newz Kennels” were released to sanctuaries to be rehabilitated. Despite abuse and torture, some have been successfully adopted (NPR).
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