Pit bulls are not a vicious breed of dog

Cheyenne Fitzgerald, Staff Reporter

The pit bull breed has had a negative reputation for a long time now.

They are seen as menacing and aggressive animals by society.

It may have started because the history of the breed was known for being lead fighters in dogfights however, I have been spending a lot of my time around dogs that have been in those fights.

I currently live with two pit bull who were adopted, one of which was a bait dog before being brought into Coles County Animal Shelter.

The other is a 5-month-old who was adopted at 6 weeks.

Both female dogs play with each other and get along better than I do with most people.

The dog that was previously used for bait shows no signs of any extra aggression, even when provoked while playing with the puppy.

When I take them on walks, people who are passing by tend to shy away from the usual reaction of asking to pet or play with the dogs.

I will never understand the discrimination.

Many people will bring up the pit bull attacks that are still being documented today however, I would like to bring up the just as common attacks that are involving dogs of other breeds. On Tuesday, a 5-year-old out of Low Hill, Wolverhampton in England was attacked by a neighbor’s Mastiff that got loose during the afternoon.

The dog also bit the child’s mother who was trying to protect herself and her 3-year-old daughter who was standing nearby.

Another attack happened in Southern California when an Akita attacked a 3-year-old boy in a hardware store leading him to receive 50 stiches on his face and then taken to a children’s hospital to stay overnight.

In personal experience, I had a friend whose labrador attacked their mother one morning by biting her in the face.

The point is that the problem is not the breed; it is the specific dog.

There is no way to accurately accuse an entire breed of being aggressive, it is merely a circumstantial and case-to-case basis type situation.

As I am typing this column, I have my “menacing” pit bull lying across my feet taking a nap.

The reputation this breed has taken on has also made it hard for them to find good homes once they have been saved from homes that were mistreating them.

The previously mentioned bait dog was adopted right here in Coles County at the Coles County Animal Shelter.

The shelter is between Mattoon and Charleston, and it is always looking to have volunteers who will come during the week Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  It opens at 7:30 and volunteers are welcome to come in any time until 3:30 p.m. to take the dogs out of their kennels to play with them or walk them.

The shelter is currently housing two pit bulls that are both 12 weeks in age and will be eligible for adoption Friday.

There is another pit bull who is currently not eligible for adoption that was brought in with bad wounds that will need a home in the near future, and her name being Tiny.

These dogs have the same ability to have heart and tenderness as any other breed does, and the reputation needs to be shattered and replaced by the truth.

All pit bulls are not out for the attack; the ones I have met will only attack you with their kisses and love.


Cheyenne Fitzgerald is a senior journalism and psychology  major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]