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June 13, 2012

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After much thought, I’ve decided to do this – to help these dogs. 

Pit bulls, pit bulls…roly-poly pit bulls…have there ever been any other breeds with so much negativity surrounding them? Hmmm…oh yes…dobermans…rottweilers…german shepherds…hmmm…chihuahuas (hey they get a bad rap too, because they are not for everyone, no breed is good for someone not fully committed to dog ownership) Did you know that the top two breeds most found in dog pounds? Pit bulls and chihuahuas. Why? Because they are popular. Popular with people for all the wrong reasons – hey they look cool, so let’s get one. What? You mean I have to take care of it now, even though the cute puppy is now grown up and I really didn’t want it to begin with? Ah heck I am just gonna let it run the neighborhood and cause trouble – or put it outside in the backyard for 12 hours at a time unsupervised – because I don’t have time for it anymore blah blah blah.

We’ve heard it all, here at PPI, for almost the past 20 years. One thread in common – it’s the owners who do not consider all facets of pet ownership who cause the problems. It’s the owners who think they are going to make money breeding (who wants that MESS in their house?) who cause the problems by putting more pups on the ground than they have homes for resulting in an overabundance of animals needing homes regardless of breed.

In the case of the bully breeds, this casual uncaring attitude is deadly. There are not enough responsible owners available for all the unwanted dogs. Those that are lucky enough to find their way to PPI at least have avoided a death sentence – but they wait…and waitand WAIT for a new leash on life. So what do we do? Turn them away? Refuse to take them in – even though they have great personalities, great temperaments – but are not for casual dog owners?

I will not tell you how old I am…but I will say this. I’ve had a pit bull in my life in one way or another since I was 12 years old. My parents bought me my first dog and it was a pit bull. When she died, we replaced her…with 5 dogs. All pit bulls. I still have all my fingers and toes. I currently have 3. I will own no other breed, as long as I am strong enough to handle a bigger dog I will own one. I am not crazy. I love these dogs. I am college educated and run my own business. I pay my taxes. I am a good person. I am a pit bull owner.

And I have a chip on my shoulder. I live in a non-pitbull friendly community. I have to explain myself all the time – but I am happy to do it, for these dogs. None of the hatred and fear sent their way is their fault.

Susan Tonielli, PPI volunteer, radio voice of “Who’s On Your Leash” on WCMY, Mondays @ 10:30





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