October is Pit Bull Awareness Month! Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys began the occasion back in 2007 to raise awareness of the fact that pit bulls can be beloved pets. A New Orleans, LA vet discusses the controversial breed below.
The term ‘pit bull’ actually encompasses several different breeds, all of whom were descended from terriers and bulldogs. As the name suggests, pit bulls were originally used for sport fighting purposes. However, by the time of the Civil War, they were both working dogs and companions, and were used for herding and protection.
One thing to consider before adopting a pit bull is the fact that they are one of the most—if not the most—restricted breeds. They are illegal to own in several states, including New York, Arkansas, Ohio, West Virginia, Colorado, Missouri, Washington, Nebraska, and Texas. Many cities also have restrictions, as do individual landlords and HOAs. If you are renting and/or planning to move, this is definitely something to keep in mind.
Pit bulls do have a bad reputation, and that isn’t exactly unwarranted. They are responsible for more bites and attacks than any other breed. However, they are also abused more than any other breed. It’s also worth noting that the vast majority of attacks are from unneutered males. There are many sweet, friendly pitties out there who are beloved family pets! Of course, finding the right pooch can be tricky. Take your time, and make sure you pick a pup that’s right for your household.
When deciding whether or not to adopt a pit bull—or any other pup, for that matter—the main thing is responsibility. Even the sweetest pups can be driven by predatory instincts. You should never, ever let Fido run around off-leash. If you have a yard, make sure that you have very sturdy fencing, and that your pooch can’t go over, under, or through it.
There are many wonderful rescues that are working to responsibly rehome pit bulls. Villalobos Rescue Center is likely the best known in these parts. As you may know, owner Tia Maria Torres relocated the rescue here from California back in 2011, and has successfully helped dozens—if not hundreds—of pups find loving forever homes. That’s definitely worth celebrating!
Please contact us, your New Orleans, LA animal clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!