The Needless Fear of Pit Bull Breeds by No Kill Allegany

This article is worth a read, as it’s well-researched and provides compelling data points to counter the documented media bias against pit bull type dogs. We’ve worked with hundreds of pitties during our combined 11 years of extensive shelter volunteering, and found them to be consistently affectionate, easy to train and good-natured. Please don’t buy into the hype surrounding these dogs; they are individuals and should be evaluated as such.

Campbell presents a 2008 report on media bias by the National Canine Research Council. In their study, they compared the type of media coverage given for dog attacks occurring over a four-day period. On the first day, a Labrador mix attacked an elderly man and sent him to the hospital. This story was covered once in a local paper. On the second day, a mixed-breed dog fatally injured a child, in which a local paper ran two stories. Day three consisted of a mixed-breed dog attacking a child, sending him to the hospital. This story was covered once in a local paper. On day four, two pit bulls broke free from their chains and attacked a woman and her Chihuahua, sending the woman to the hospital and leaving her dog uninjured. This story was reported in more than 230 articles in national and international newspapers (Campbell). Clearly, the dogs that are not considered dangerous (Labradors and mixed breeds) were not hounded by the media to the same extent as the pit bulls were. Media stories about pit bulls can instill a sense of fear in the public, and this prevents the breed from being accepted by society. This can further prevent abandoned pit bulls from finding homes, which will result in innocent dogs ending up in shelters that may operate like the previously mentioned Memphis animal shelter. Not only does the negative portrayal of the pit bull compared to other breeds make it difficult for pit bulls to find homes, but it also makes it difficult for pit bulls that already have homes to live freely.”

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