SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Bradshaw Animal Shelter is desperately trying to find homes for nearly 200 dogs. But 60 percent of them are pit bulls, a breed that’s a difficult sell to many prospective dog owners.
“It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, we see more pit bulls than we do of any other breed,” said Janna Haynes, a spokesperson for Bradshaw Animal Shelter.
The shelter is packed to the brim with dogs forced to share crates. But the big problem is that too many people looking for dogs hear the words “pit bull” and run the other way.
“They think they’re mean, they think they may be aggressive!” said Dawn Capp, the director of Chako Pit Bull Rescue. “The biggest hurdle in getting pit bulls adopted is the stigma.”
That includes parents worried about their small children near the dogs and apartment buildings that ban the breed. But Capp says the best way to move past it is to spend one-on-one time with the dog.
“And they realize all those ideas they had about pit bulls turn out to be not so true!” she told CBS13.
Haynes says the shelter’s high pit bull numbers are partially due to irresponsible owners.
“The breed, in general, is overbred,” she said. “They’re under-spayed or neutered!”
But another factor is the shift towards choosing medical rehabilitation over putting dogs to sleep.
“We’re saving more lives than ever, but that means there are more lives than ever waiting to be adopted,” Haynes said.
She’s determined to keep training the outside eye to see what pit bulls really have to offer on the inside.
“We really encourage people to look at the personality of the dog, not the breed and see what the right fit is for your family,” she told CBS13.
For anyone who has concerns about adopting a pit bull or any dog, you do have the option to foster the animal for a trial period.