BY JUSTIN MINYARD
Stories of violent Pit Bull attacks are a mainstay on popular mainstream media outlets. And although the cluster of breeds that make up the Pit Bull classification does have a grain of violence embedded in their essence, they are not always the vicious animals some might be quick to deem them.
"They're just like every other dog," said West Point-Clay County Animal Shelter (WPCCAS) Director Lisa Henley. "A lot of it depends on what kind of owners gets a hole of them. You're going to get any dog that you put into it."
Henley said she was disappointed in the bad reputation that follows closely behind Pit Bulls. Individuals, she said, are all too often prone to hold misconceptions and sensational headlines as fact.
Citing a larger majority of stories as they pertain to Pit Bull attacks, Henley said the media sometimes has a tendancy to neglect some of the more positive stories regarding Pit Bulls.
"A lot of the times they get a bad rep because they are one of the most focal and popular breeds," Henley said. "People are quick to print things. ... (A Pit Bull attack) will probably make news quicker than any other breed. ... You don't hear about the good stories. There's no feel-good stories about Pits coming out, it's all the bad stuff, which only reinforces peoples' fear over the breed."
Henley added that there are good reasons to be wary of Pit Bulls, though. With a rotten background including dog fighting, neglect, or simply being chained to a pole, she said there is certainly going to be a stronger tendancy to commit to violence and aggression. With training, conditioning and studious research, however, Henley said a Pit Bull can come out like any other dog.
"It's all in control and in training," Henley said. " ... We see that in all dogs."
One of the bigger problems with Pit Bulls, according to Henley, is their sometimes violent nature. She said that when a Pit Bull either starts a fight, hops into one, or is the target of another dog, "they don't stop."
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