They have blocky heads. They slobber. Stand-up bat ears, floppy-crinkled ears, and oddly cropped teeny ones sometimes frame their smushy, expressive faces, tongues lolling to the side of their big, wide smiles. They are sweet, sensitive, and slick. Sometimes couch potatoes, they also exhibit drive and energy, and they love to lean in to legs and bury their heads in friendly laps. The ones I have befriended have been equal fans of butt scratches and belly rubs.
I’m talking about pit bulls, perhaps the most pervasive breed in Bay Area shelters. Look through the Adoptable Dogs section in this issue, and you will see many that reflect the characteristics of this often misunderstood dog. They are called many names—American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Terries, American Pit Bull Terriers, and American Bullies—but most often, plain, ol’ pit bull is enough to conjure up myths and truths.
This month, Bay Woof invited Mike St. Pierre to share information in Shelter Zone about the good work Adopt-A-Bulls is doing in Stockton, where he is the Adopt-A-Bulls advocate. Meet four cutie pies hoping you can provide them a forever home were featured in print in this month’s Doggie in the Window.
In the Bay Area, BADRAP is a truly amazing pit bull champion. The nonprofit sheds a light on this special breed, through outreach and education as well as by finding homes and veterinary services. Co-founder and Executive Director Donna Reynolds penned this month’s Good Dog! column, emphasizing the need for proper dog socialization. Reynolds also tells readers about Good Samaritans in the community, explaining how their selfless work in times of crises has made a difference in the lives of many lost or stray dogs. BADRAP offers programs to enable these people to do such work.
St. Pierre, Reynolds, and many others are working hard every day to save the lives and improve the maligned reputations of these dogs that many people only think they know. Get to know a pit bull today. You’ll be glad you did.
Main article photo by: Allison Fraser Photography