Have Pittie – Debunking Pit Bull Myths
Published on June 20, 2013 by Scott Rudeen
Pit bulls have a reputation for attacking humans, which has resulted in breed specific legislation and higher insurance premiums for homeowners with pit bulls. However, Tracy Madison from Have Pittie, a nonprofit rescue, argues that pit bulls are safe. Andrea Robison, a veterinary technician degree student at Broadview University-Layton, asked Tracy to speak on campus at a public education presentation to debunk the myth that these are dangerous animals.
Andrea has taken an interest in pit bulls and connected with Have Pittie for her service and applied learning project in her Applications of Veterinary Clinical Skills class. As part of the project she decided to advocate for pit bulls by bringing awareness to students on campus and to the community.
Tracy herself had heard many breed stereotypes and was scared of pit bulls as a whole. After exposure to other pit bulls that were raised by responsible, caring owners, Tracy soon realized her love and passion for them. She even brought her service/therapy dog Tacoma, a pit bull. Tacoma is the perfect example of pit bulls having a sweet and caring temperament, making him an ideal therapy dog.
Here are some facts and myths about pit bulls:
Fact: Pit bulls have become companion animals for political leaders and military soldiers after rehabilitation from neglectful owners. During the presentation Tracy spoke of the Michael Vick pit bulls that were seized from the football player’s dog fighting ring. Many of the dogs were rehabilitated at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, and were adopted by their new forever homes.
Fact: Pit bulls are very muscular and stoic, which makes them great candidates for search and rescue dogs.
Myth: Pit bulls have a “locking jaw”. Although they are strong dogs, pit bulls have the same jaw anatomy as other dogs and do not possess a locking mechanism for when they bite. She also found information that PSI (pounds per square inch) bite range in pit bulls is actually lower than some other breeds of dogs.
Have Pittie is a nonprofit rescue group operating out of Park City, Utah, founded in 2009. The mission of the group is to find forever homes for homeless pit bulls and to educate the public on the breed, spay/neuter practices, training issues, and what it means to be a responsible canine owner.
Although Have Pittie does not have a facility to take pit bulls in, they use their Facebook page for others to post information for pit bulls needing new forever homes. Have Pittie also provides low cost spay/neuter and training events throughout the year. To fund these events, Have Pittie works off of the kindness of others and their donations.
Written by Lindsay Yonetani, veterinary technician instructor