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« Very Good Sentences - On-Demand Pet Surrender | Main | Thoughts on Wisconsin AB487/SB450, maximizing lifesaving, and grandstanding »

November 30, 2015


pit bull friend

Beautifully said, Brent! I've thought about this many a time. The week I spent at the Best Friends camp at Tylertown changed my life. It also changed the life of the pit mix I brought back with me, who is sleeping on his bed right next to me. I am grateful to have had the chance to get to know & love pits.

Margo Gresham

My first experience with Pit Bulls was in the aftermath of Katrina when I spent four months rescuing in Louisiana. I am admittedly a "crazy cat lady" but I love all animals and will help any animal in need. In Louisiana nearly every dog was at least part Pit. During my time in Louisiana I handled hundreds of these dogs without a problem. I discovered that most had the sweetest temperament and just wanted to be loved. The only dog bite I received during my time there was from a Min Pin. Luckily he was short enough that his teeth only made it into my boot and not my leg. So yes, because of Katrina I became a Pit Bull lover and advocate of the breed.


Great story Margo -- and I think a fairly common one. And I think a lot of minds got changed for the better in the months that followed Katrina.

PB Friend -- thank you as well. I'm glad you all got to change either others' lives together.


In 1989 I graduated from an accredited Vet Tech school in Wisconsin. I never had dogs growing up and knew very little about dogs in general Which, in the long run served me well, as I was fortunate enough to work for a private practice Veterinarian who taught me how to read dog language. I didn't start with a preconceived notion that I knew about dogs because I owned them "all my life". I remember being nervous about someday having to work with the "vicious" Doberman. This, was due to media and how they were often portrayed as guard dogs. The first doberman I encountered, quickly put those fears to rest. In 1992, I went to work for a high kill county shelter. When I left in 1995, we were working with rescues etc to bring those numbers down. This is where I met my first Pit Bull type dog. I really had no idea what a pit bull type dog was, though when I first saw him, I immediately thought of Petey, even though this one was brindled. My kennel manager feared if we identified the dog as a Pit Bull, he wouldn't have a chance. Which completely puzzled me; what did it matter? He was a complete sweetheart, loved everyone,including other animals. People would fear him because of their use in illegal fight rings. A fear, which had proven to be unfounded. This dog showed no signs of being used in such a manner. He was identified as a staffy. During my three years there, from 1992 to 1995 we likely had roughly 200 pit bull type dogs pass through the doors. I wish I could tell you how many were adopted, I simply don't have that stat. But I can tell you this, in my three years at this shelter and 6 years in private practice, I have never been threatened by a pit bull type dog. The first time I met a pit bull, stands out in my mind, as way back then they were irrationally feared. I now own two, both rescues and I also advocate for the breed type. Red, my red nose (kind of looks like the one in the pic, sand the white stripe) was the center of BSL in Muscoda, WI. His previous owner and I went before the village board and was successful in getting the law overturned. Due to unforseen circumstances, the young man had to move back with his parents, due to finances. As a result I took Red, planning to only foster him, now a year and a half later he is a permanent family member. :)

Alexis M.

I'm late to the discussion- but started looking at this because when I was looking at the Katrina stories (prompted by the recent Louisiana floods), I noticed that almost all the dogs left behind were pits. I have my own (truly my best friend and my children's nanny- herself rescued from a fighting ring) and was thinking it's because pits are disposable dogs to many people who own them just to look tough, or for amusement.


Thanks Alexis for reading. I think it would be inaccurate to think that most people who own pit bulls view them as disposable. I think most love them, but often because of restrictions (rental housing, insurance, community) about owning them, they often aren't left with a lot of options for their pets -- particularly if limited income/resources limits the ability to move easily.

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