What is a pit bull?

    The term “pit bull,” is not a breed, but a category of types of dogs that fall under the pit bull classification. The common misclassification of the breed is dangerous in that it generalizes certain traits or features of a dog and labels them as pit bull even though they may not be pit bulls at all. So what is a pit bull?

    Pit Bull Rescue Central (PBRC) is a resource-based organization that provides helpful educational information for owners of pit bull breeds or for those wanting to learn more. They offer clarification of the term “pit bull:” “Pit bull” is NOT a breed. It's a generic term often used to describe all dogs with similar traits and characteristics known to the public as "pit bulls." When we use the term “pit bull” here, it should be understood to encompass American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and mixes of those breeds.

    It's becoming common to see among renters that pit bulls are being denied homes as they are too much of a liability. Even at New Leash On Life, we have experienced some of our greatest adoptable pit bull dogs missing out on loving homes, even to the surprise of the adopters who were unaware of such regulations, due to breed restrictions. PBRC continues with their stance on breed specific legislation (BSL): Breeds and mixes are hard to identify and often dogs are mislabeled and destroyed based on paranoia and prejudice and also punishes those that are good canine citizens. Many breeds function as assistance dogs for handicapped owners, search and rescue dogs, drug-sniffing dogs, police dogs, etc. and drives them out of the community.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association and several state veterinary medical associations oppose breed-specific legislation for just this reason.

    So what can you do to help alter the fate of the pit bull breeds? Talk with your local legislators to express your concern regarding breed restrictions. Without our voice, pit bulls will continue to experience discrimination and fear from the general public and will continue to face the highest euthanasia rate amongst shelter dogs in the U.S. Their fate is in your hands!