In November 2014, I adopted a three-month-old Pit Bull who I named Fire. I will never forget the day I saved her life. She was shivering in a small and bare 4x4 metal wire cage at the shelter. I could not believe someone abused her and left her for dead. She had tears dried up on her face, kennel cough, and her paws were crooked most likely due to past abuse that was exacerbated by the metal wire flooring she was caged into. I went to the shelter with the intention of adopting a small hypoallergenic breed that is fairly common here in America. However, as soon as I laid eyes on this absolutely beautiful yet mistreated Pit, I knew she was the one.

Fire was one of the lucky few. Unfortunately, "Each year, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized, approximately 40% of whom are Pit Bulls . This means that nearly half a million Pit Bull-type dogs are killed in shelters annually. Of all the common dog types to appear in shelters, Pit Bulls are by far the most likely to be euthanized, while they’re only the third most likely to be adopted." While this statistic may make you shed a few tears, there is hope. You can share this article with others to spread awareness of the most common misconception about the lovely Pit Bull breed. Here is the most common misunderstanding about Pit Bulls:

Myth: Pit Bulls are inherently vicious!

I've asked many veterinarians and Pit Bull owners about the breed in addition to my own socialization with other Pit Bulls. The general consensus has always been the same. Pit Bulls are one of, if not, the most affectionate and loving dog breeds! The main reason people wrongly believe that Pit Bulls are aggressive and dangerously violent is that they are one of the most abused breeds in the nation. According to the Humane Society , of all the reported animal abuse cases in the US, "64.5 percent (1,212) involved dogs (25 percent of these were identified as pit-bull-type breeds)." Because of the breeds stocky build and strong jaw structure, abusers take advantage of this characteristic and misuse the Pit Bulls for dogfighting and cockfighting. Animals, specifically Pit Bull's, who are aggressive are so due to chronic abuse and cruel mistreatment done to the animal by the abuser. Any animal can be trained to behave violently by administering much abuse and mistreatment to it. It is the responsibility of the owner to nurture, love, and properly care and tend to their animal. In the case of Pit Bull dogs, just like any other dog and animal, if you treat it right, with respect, love, and care, they too will respect, love, and care for you in return. Pit Bulls are naturally very loving and affectionate contrary to popular belief.

Sadly, "Only 1 in 600 Pitbulls will find a forever home." However, there is hope. It is story's like Fire's (pictured below) and Blossom's (pictured above) that will hopefully inspire all of us to not only change the way we often misperceive Pit Bull's, but even save a Pit Bull's life. By sharing this article, reporting a crime of animal cruelty, donating to the Humane Society, the ASPCA, or PETA, and/or even keeping these Pit Bull's in your prayers, you can help save a Pit's life. Thank you!