Best Friends Blog

A myth buster of a day

The Best Friends Neighborhood Pit Bull Day that took place this past weekend in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and New York portrayed a series of simple truths that put the lie to the stereotypes that drag down these beautiful dogs and their people.Best Friends Neighborhood Pit Bull Day

Myth one: Pit bull terriers are inherently aggressive and unsuited for socializing with other dogs or taking out in public.

The truth is that over 1,000 dogs, mostly pit-bull-type dogs, gathered and mingled with other dogs and people without incident. Yep, all those pitties and no problems.

Myth busted!

Best Friends Neighborhood Pit Bull DayMyth two: A very well-known animal rights organization with a bad attitude regarding pit bull terriers has gone on record as stating that nice families (whatever they mean by that) rarely visit shelters to adopt pit-bull-type dogs. That unqualified nonsense is the basis for their position that pit bull terriers who enter shelters should not be offered for adoption; rather, they argue, they should be killed.

The truth is that each of our events was attended by scores of “nice” families and their happy, social pit bull terriers. The families enjoyed a day in the park and posing for portraits with their pets. The truth is that pitties make great family pets, and, in the tradition of Petey, the famous “Little Rascals” pit bull terrier, have been known in the past as “nanny dogs” due to their gentle and devoted behavior in family settings.

Best Friends Neighborhood Pit Bull DayMyth busted!

Myth three: It’s difficult to convince pit bull terrier owners, especially those in inner-city neighborhoods, to get their dogs fixed.

The truth, as evidenced by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Pit Bull day, which was held in South Los Angeles, near the L.A. Forum, is that if you provide free or affordable spay/neuter services that people can access in their communities, the lines of pitties and other pets will go around the block. Ninety-five dogs were spayed or neutered at the South L.A. venue, and, because of the overwhelming demand, many had to be rescheduled for follow-up service. Two hundred and fifty dogs are now securely identified with their people’s information, and we ran out of microchips! The truth is that every time we offer such services, the local demand exceeds the capacity of the mobile clinics.

Myth busted!

Best Friends Neighborhood Pit Bull DayIt is clear and incontrovertible that a little goes a long way, and people, regardless of what they look like or where they live, love their pets, pit bull terriers included, and want the best for them. If we can bridge the gap of affordability and availability, we can do a lot to save lives and improve the well-being of animals in the communities that need it most.


Francis Battista
Co-Founder, Best Friends Animal Society

  • rose_m

    Thanks to a rescue I started fostering a dog in such a bad condition it was not recognized what breed he was. He turned to be a staffie and made me swallow my words “never a pit”. Even worse, I am now known as the pit lady, and have converted many to become pit lovers. 

  • Best Friends isn’t one to point fingers (but I am!). To be honest BOTH PETA and HSUS advocate putting down pitties to leave room for “more adoptable” dogs.  They are notoriously poor BSL and anti-pit.  Save anything you would have given to these organizations and support Best Friends.

    • SilverFlame819

      Well, the HSUS is also sponsored by PETA… Or they used to be. So that would be why HSUS has the same types of rules… PETA funds them, and to keep funding, you do what the sponsors want!

  • Vicky

    Never had a problem with a pit but took my lab to doggie agility class and had a Papillon run across the room to bite him, then the little ankle-biter kept trying to attack him while I used myself as a human shield.  The owner thought it was funny and only intervened when I threatened to punt the thing like a soccer ball…

  • Danaclocke

    I adopted my pittbull mix about three years ago when she was 6-8 months old.  I was a little concerned because of her age, that she might have issues or be hard to train, because I have two kids as well.  She turned out to be the most gentle, lovable, loyal and (by far) the smartest dog that I have every owned.  I am thankful for her every day!

  • Linda

    I volunteer at my local animal shelter walking dogs, we have many wonderful pit bull dogs that find wonderful homes. I adopted 2 myself.  Linda.

  • Lois McCoy

    Super article!!! as a Mom of APBT’s for almost 29 years I totally agree with everything positive you said about this wonderful breed. God bless you all in the work that you do! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Kelly Newfield

    karma rescue attended the neighborhood pitbull day and we have lots of great photos of the event on our facebook page.  it really was heartwarming to see the families and their dogs.

  • Susie Jensen

    I would like to know what “animal rights org” also. They can’t be serious.Really.

    • Maria N

      PETA and HSUS

  • A. M. Trigiani

    The “animal rights org.” that wants all pit bulls eradicated is PETA.

  • butch


  • Sfisk1

    There is a lot of ignorance out there about pits, but when most of the folks with pit fears who have never been exposed to them meet ours they love them and see them is lovable goofballs.  Keep up the good work of getting the message out — with time some great progress in pibble perceptions will follow.

  • Alta

    I have had many kinds of rescue dogs over the years – but by far the BEST TEMPERAMENT of any dog that I have ever know is that of my [now ]12 year old pittie. I adopted him from the SPCA when he was 8 months old. He loves everybody and every thing. He loves kids even though I don’t have any and he wasn’t raided with kids. He doesn’t even chase squirrels! He avoids dogs that are acting aggressively and when other dogs have become aggressive and bitten him – drawing blood – he simply moved away from the offender without retaliating. Did I mention that he is as beautiful and loyal as he is sweet?! Everybody who meets him loves him and thinks he is wonderful. I tell everybody that he is the pit bull good will ambassador – and that we are doing our part to try and help rehabilitate the reputation of this much maligned breed. I cannot imagine life without him….

    • cvalley

      Your dog’s demeanor is largely due to you.  The world needs more people like you!

    • creature lover

      I absolutely love pit bulls and would love to bring one in to my home, but am not able due to financial reasons. We have 2 large cats (Maine Coon) and one little orange tabby I rescued several years ago. If my finances improve, I hope to add a dog or two to the mix.
      You are a special person, and, I am so happy there are people like you out there. Pit bulls do not deserve their reputation, particularly when you realize the reputation was created by people, not pit bulls. I have never once hesitated to approach any canine, unless they gave me clear signals that I made them nervous or uncomfortable. I think that if more people spent a small amount of time studying canine behavior, any number of attacks could have been averted.
      As a former Operating Room Nurse, I saw many dog bites that caused enough damage to require a trip to the Operating Room, and, the majority of these patients admitted they ignored clear signals that the animal was not comfortable with their approach.
      I am dismayed at PETA’s stand on pit bulls, no more donations from me.

  • Claire

    The pitties put on quite a fashion show too!

  • Cathy_V

    Great article …  can I ask what is the “animal rights org” that believes that pit bulls should be killed rather than adopted out …. I want to make sure they are NOT on my list of charities. 

    • Andreamauer

      PETA… They tried to put down dogs from Katrina and the Vick dogs.

      • Barbara

        Hi Andreamauer

           I did not know this about PETA I thought there maine concern was for all animals and here Iam a member for years,  I will write the CEO about this and tell her just what I think about this.  Thank you for that information Barbara

      • Advocate for All

        You are correct about the efforts of PETA.  It is sad that an organization that is so aggressive in protecting certain species is not willing to fight for the lives of all.  They are very aggressive and have harmed humans in the process.  They need to take a step back and revisit their mission, reevaluate their methods, and ask what is it they want to accomplish.  I will not support their inhumane efforts.

    • Heheisel

      Andreamauer is right, it’s PETA.  They’re also against TNR and no kill shelters.  (It’s right on their website if you want to check it out.)

    • KrazyKaty

      its PETA

    • Mikimber

      That’s exactly what I came on here to ask.  And I see that someone has responded PETA.  You know, I’m getting more and more disillusioned with them as time goes on. Every time I turn around they are spouting more insanity.  ARG!!!! 

  • Diane

    Have you ever looked at a Pittie, and thought OMG. I do ever time I see one. They are the most beautiful dogs around. Having had only one, which just turned 13, has been a so much fun. She welcomes all with a bark and then licks, which will push you across the room if you let her. More people need to give these dogs a chance

  • Clean141

    At one time pit bulls were called nanny dogs.

    • Lois McCoy

      As long as I’ve had this breed (almost 29 years) I’ve never had one that was aggressive or hard to deal with) the only thing they’re guilty of is wanting to please their human. I’ve had several thru the years and would not trade any of them for anything else. I don’t know what I would do if they passed any laws that forbid me to have one. I think I’d just have to move. They’re wonderful with children.

  • june coulthard

    I love this and i hope that many other’s will read this and help to make a difference!! All us Pit’s ask for is to just love us , feed us and we will be your best friend and give you unconditional love, we promise you that!!

  • Dallas

    Francis, as always, you say it bluntly and eloquently.  You’re still my hero.  🙂   Dallas

  • Great blog.  Great dogs.  These dogs are so persecuted they need everyone doing what they can to protect these dogs on a daily basis. It will get better for them, as long as we all do what we can to show the world what great dogs they are and that the dog was never the problem in the first place.  It was the human behind the dog and dog fighting of course.  

  • Ucmeyet

    I believe that with consistant views and positive views like these, things will come around. Pits are very loyal, loving family pets, and deserve so much more then what humans have done to them. Thank you for this article and I do hope it gets the attention the pits so deserve. Below in 2nd pic is a pup we rescued from a very neglectful home. But she is the sweetest thing you would ever meet, loving all people and any other animals.

    • Great message.

    • Troot10467

      that is SO true………I love my pit and I fight for the breed.

  • Anonymous

    Also.  I just read the Vicktory Dogs, The Little Engines That Will Facebook page.  There was a BSL alert about halfway down.  The City Council in Fairburn, Georgia is trying to bring up a ban and BSL at their November 14, 2011 city council meeting.  There is a link to the BSL alert article and it says you can contact the city council online by sending an online comment.  Even if you do not live there please send a nice note as to why BSL does not work and why it is not fair.  I am sure that would be helpful for these dogs, as long as the comments are logical and polite.  

    • Victoriapec

      what does BSL stand for?

      • Akrobin

        Breed Specific Legislation- very sad to think of how many wonderful, adoptable, loving dogs could get caught up in laws that ban or prohibit just because of breed. It sounds like dog “racism”. 
        When adopting a dog, I had to choose one that didn’t even look like a pit-mix because I rent my apartment. They won’t let any pit or put mixes into the complex.Which is really sad. They needed to “ok” my dog before I could add him to the lease.
        When I own a house, I’ll adopt a pit! They DO have the best smiles!!

        • Margykr

          no they don’t. ever see a border collie?

      • Heheisel

        Breed Specific Legislation

      • Heheisel

        Breed Specific Legislation

      • Anonymous

        BSL is Breed Specific Legislation. That means laws aimed at specific breeds – usually “pit bull type” dogs.
        Jon Dunn
        Best Friends Animal Society

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful.  Just love the pictures.  I just love the whole idea.  These dogs deserve only good things coming their way.  

  • Wren

    Thank you for standing up for such a great bread of dog.  I find that these dogs lovable.  The best thing I love about this dog is their great goofy smiles.  I have always loved them and that they get a bad rap.  Some people shouldn’t own any dogs, it isn’t the dog… is the owner.  I have seen more nippy small dogs than the pitty.  The reason they get that bad rap is because they are used for fighting, and trained to be agressive.  That isn’t the dogs fault, it is the owner.

  • Lovefelines2003

    Wonderfully said, Francis.  Thank you!

  • MaCee Payne

    I absolutely love this blog post. It is so sad to me that these sweetest dogs get such a bad rap. I have heard such great things and wonderful stories about Pit Bulls and it is so devastating that people are blinded by their fear of them. Thank you for writing this.