Welcome to the NYC Pit Bull Group! This group consists of NYC people who adore their pit bulls / pit bull mixes (staffs, rescues, etc) and want to get together once a week (or whenever you're up for it) for fun and play at local parks. It's a great way to meet new pals, socialize your pit bulls, share doggie advice and crazy stories, and play with our goofy, loyal, lovable, highly spirited dogs. One of the most important things is for the group to continue to try to get rid of the negative stereotype that has been unjustly placed upon pit bulls, and to fight BSL - Breed Specific Legislation. BSL is unfair to every dog, and it's irresponsible and wrong to punish a single breed. Between the stereotypes and the cruel legislation, pit bulls are being euthanized at horrifying rates throughout the country. Join the group to help change public opinion. And come look at pit bulls in need of foster or adoption! Our group welcomes those who support our cause, even if you are not a NYC resident, or don't have a pit bull buddy at your side. Your love of pits is enough to join the group.
URBAN MYTHS - "The Notorious Pit Bull" This short film shows the origins of dog fighting in our neighborhoods, and how the reputations of pit bulls were transformed from loving, family dogs to killers by the people who abused them. "This was the all-American dog for a long time. But somehow in the 80s, people decided that if they wanted a dog that people were afraid of, they were going to get the pit bull. Before that, it was the doberman and the rottweiler, and now it's the pit bull. And it's been going on for 20 years. It's the dog that the media's afraid of, that Joe Public's afraid of, so the people that want to have that image of some fearful beast at their side are going to get a pit bull. And it's been very difficult for them, for that reason."
******** WATCH PIT BULL VIDEOS ********
"Pit Bull Blues"
*You can download John Shipe's song "Pit Bull Blues" on itunes!
Click here - FOUND A PIT BULL? for info on what to do when you find a homeless animal, or are trying to find a home for a pet.
BEFORE YOU GIVE UP YOUR DOG, please realize that there are other options, and there are people who can help you try to overcome some of the problems you are having. The Animal Care & Control of NYC has a program that can help you keep your pet. Go to SAFETY NET PROGRAM
FAMOUS PIT BULL OWNERS: Did you know Helen Keller had a pit bull? He was her guide dog, and her constant companion. So did/do many others...Brad Pitt, Jon Stewart, Julian Schnabel, Madonna, Lily Allen, Charlize Theron, Fred Astaire, Patricia Clarkson, Michael J. Fox, Fiona Apple, Jessica Biel, President Roosevelt, 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin, Bernadette Peters, Janeane Garofalo, Humphrey Bogart, Rachel Bilson, Mary Tyler Moore, Lake Bell, Ken Howard (a pit bull saved his life), Jessica Alba, Sophia Bush, Mel Brooks & Anne Bancroft, Gabrielle Union, Kristen Bell, Jamie Foxx, Alicia Silverstone, Thomas Edison, Tila Tequila and Rachael Ray who is very outspoken about her love of pits. Of course Cesar "The Dog Whisperer" Millan owns a pack of pits. Carrie Fisher aka "Princess Leia" is a pit lover. Petey from The Little Rascals, one of the world's most famous dogs, was a pit bull.
Rachel Bilson with her pit bull Penny Lane
"Jon Stewart responded to Sarah Palin's question "The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?" by saying on his show - "One is unfairly maligned despite evidence showing they are no worse than any other dogs, while the other is an artificial demographic no better or worse than any other kind of mom."
Images of pit bulls were used on pro-American propoganda all over the world during both World War I and WW II because they were one of the most popular family pets. Pit bulls acquired the monicker "nanny dogs" because of their gentle nature and patience with children. Many pit bulls were given medals of honor in recognition of their bravery during the wars, as they helped capture suspects, and sniffed out bombs and drugs. For more info on pit bulls that are helping our communities, true heroes, you can check out POSITIVE PIT PRESS.
There are many pit bulls working as therapy and service dogs. They don't bite when bumped by weelchairs or walkers, because of their high pain threshold and stable temperament. They guide and care for those in society who need help, and they bring joy to people in difficult situations - at hospitals, nursing homes, for mental illness. FOR PIT"S SAKE And there is a program called "LawDogsUSA" that refuses to use any other breed of dog BUT the Pit Bull, for training "high quality narcotics, explosives and arson detection dogs" that are paired up with law enforcement. LawDogsUSA
Due to our own humans, some pit bulls have been used - beaten, trained, unsocialized, neglected, and tortured - into becoming more aggressive and unhappy animals, which is what accounts for their negative stereotype. This is animal cruelty and can't be tolerated in our society. For more info on the sad reality of pit bull cruelty at the hands of humans - click Pit Bulls on the Web But a warning - this site shows gruesome photos.
The Little Rascals with Petey
AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB (AKC) states: "From the past history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the modern dog draws its character of indomitable courage, high intelligence, and tenacity. This, coupled with its affection for its friends, and children in particular, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, makes it a foremost all-purpose dog."
UNITED KENNEL CLUB (UKC) says: "The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior towards humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable."
Being dog-aggressive and human-aggressive are two totally different things, and can't be lumped together. When people remind me 'pit bulls used to be bred for dog fighting' (when they're arguing their point that pit bulls are harmful to humans), I inform them that any pit showing signs of aggression towards humans was actually euthanized by the dog fighting community, which totally dispels that theory. There were always two dog handlers and a referee in the dog fighting pits. Even when the dogs were in extreme pain after being fought, they were put down if they showed any sign of aggression towards the humans around them. From Malcom Gladwell's article "Troublemakers" in THE NEW YORKER (Feb. 2006): "Pit bulls were not bred to fight humans. On the contrary: a dog that went after spectators, or its handler, or the trainer, or any of the other people involved in making a dogfighting dog a good dogfighter was usually put down. (The rule in the pit-bull world was "Man-eaters die.")" See Gladwell's "TROUBLEMAKERS", The New Yorker, 2-6-06
EASY WAYS TO HELP SHELTER ANIMALS
There are places you can visit - in-person and via the internet - that help animals. Your support allows these businesses and websites to continue saving the lives of other pit bulls and shelter animals. Visit Animal Rescue Site and click "Fund Food for Animals" once a day. Each click provides food for dogs and cats in the shelters. While you're there, click on the other tabs.. The Breast Cancer site pays for free mammograms, the Hunger Site for free food, etc.
Willie's, a Park Slope hotdog joint, designed their restaurant around rescued dogs. They put Patti Smith on their wall. Please visit Willie's to view the other rescued dogs (mostly pits) and to support Willie's efforts to collect donations for the animals. They're very dedicated to helping other homeless dogs find homes. Oh yeah, grab a yummy "dog" while you're there..I liked the carrot dog. But Patti would say 'go for the beef.' She downed her frank faster than a NY minute! Located at 351 Fifth Ave., near 5th St.
MYTHS and STATISTICS: Opposite of what some people falsely believe about a pit bull's temperament, Pit bulls pass the Temperament Test (ATTS) at almost the exact same percentage rate as Golden Retrievers, 83.5% for Pits and 83.7% for Goldens. They are one of the top breeds in passing the Temperament Test year after year. Border Collies pass at 79%, Chihauhas at 71%, and Daschunds (smooth coat, long hair) at a measly 66%. Pits also pass the Temperament Test at a higher rate than Beagles, miniature poodles, Airedales, cocker spaniels, and bearded collies, among many others. ATTS Carl Herkstroeter, the president of the American Temperament Test Society said in The New Yorker article: "We have tested somewhere around a thousand pit-bull-type dogs. I've tested half of them. And of the number I've tested I have disqualified [only] one pit bull because of aggressive tendencies. They have done extremely well. They have a good temperament. They are very good with children."
Do you know it's an urban MYTH that pit bulls have "locking jaws"? It is physically impossible for any canine to "lock" their jaws. Pits have the same kind of jaws as any other dog. From Wikepedia.org: "There is no scientific evidence showing them to have a stronger bite than any other large dog breed. This was proven in a court of law in the Tellings v. Ohio case and published March, 2006. The court in that case at the Appellate level, found that the pitbull dog is not inherently dangerous."
BITES and FATALITIES: Were you aware that when national animal groups conduct surveys each year of the number of bites attributed to each dog breed, pit bulls consistently come in way behind a vast number of other breeds including labrador retreivers and chow chows and cocker spaniels? No breed of dog is inherently vicious. Problems occur when owners fail to control, supervise, maintain and properly train the breed of dog they choose to keep. Of the 53+ million dogs in the U.S., there are approximately 12 fatalities each year caused by a dog (of all different breeds) attacking a person. Newspapers sensationalize stories in order to get higher ratings, so we THINK there are lots of dogs fatally attacking babies. It simply is not true. 25% of fatal dog attacks involve dogs that are chained/ tethered. Dogs should not be chained in the backyard all day. It causes frustration, which leads to aggression. Dogs are social animals and need to be socialized. Those that are not socialized often view humans - especially small children - as prey, because they were not taught differently. Also, 80% of all fatal dog attacks involve intact (unneutered or unspayed) dogs. That is one of the many reasons why neutering and spaying your dog is vital.
And again, from Gladwell's "Troublemakers" in The New Yorker: "The strongest connection of all, though, is between the trait of dog viciousness and certain kinds of dog owners. In about a quarter of fatal dog-bite cases, the dog owners were previously involved in illegal fighting. The dogs that bite people are, in many cases, socially isolated because their owners are socially isolated, and they are vicious because they have owners who want a vicious dog. The junk-yard German shepherd which looks as if it would rip your throat out, and the German-shepherd guide dog are the same breed. But they are not the same dog, because they have owners with different intentions." Randall Lockwood, a senior vice-president of the A.S.P.C.A. and one of the country's leading dogbite experts was interviewed in the article, and states: "A fatal dog attack is not just a dog bite by a big or aggressive dog. It is usually a perfect storm of bad human-canine interactions - the wrong dog, the wrong background, the wrong history in the hands of the wrong person in the wrong environmental situation. I've been involved in many legal cases involving fatal dog attacks, and, certainly, it's my impression that these are generally cases where everyone is to blame. You've got the unsupervised three-year-old child wandering in the neighborhood killed by a starved, abused dog owned by the dogfighting boyfriend of some woman who doesn't know where her child is. It's not old Shep sleeping by the fire who suddenly goes bonkers. Usually there are all kinds of other warning signs."
*** THE GREATEST RULE OF ALL - NEVER LEAVE KIDS ALONE WITH A DOG! ***
ARE PIT BULLS REALLY PIT BULLS? CBS NEWS: (July '02) ""Pit bull" is a bit of a misnomer. There really is no such breed. Generally, "pit bulls" are a cross between a "bulldog" breed and a terrier. They are also known as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Most "pit bulls" are not aggressive by nature. They tend to be gentle, playful and loving. However, there are those that have been bred and trained to be aggressive. Even then, they are more aggressive toward other animals, not people." It is the humans that make these dogs aggressive, through abuse and neglect, or through lack of training, socialization and irresponsibility. We need to make sure that the people who hurt these animals never get their hands on pit bulls - or any dog. And anyone who adopts a dog needs to learn how to train and socialize them, and needs to be educated on the breed and it's strengths and temperament. CBS News, "When the Dog Bites", 7-11-02
Pit bulls are misidentified by people all the time. Sadly, this misidentification has lead to the euthanasia and punishment of the wrong dog. People who see a big-headed dog, cropped ears, or a bulky body, will immediately think this dog is a "pit bull type" dog. Test your friends and family, and see if they can find the pit bull...Go here to - FIND THE PIT BULL
Think You Know What a PIT BULL OWNER Looks Like?
Then Test Yourself and Your Friends...
ANSWER: The people in the photos above are ALL owners of pit bulls!
Meet the Vicktory Dogs...Watch videos and read about the pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick's illegal and cruel dogfighting operation. 49 Pit Bulls, 200+ days in captivity. See the dog evaluations, the healing process, and all of the updates. A Second Chance for the Vick-tims
BSL = BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION
Studies prove BSL does NOT work. Punish the deed, not the breed.
"The Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan: ""My kids are around pit bulls every day. In the '70s they blamed Dobermans, in the '80s they blamed German shepherds, in the '90s they blamed the Rottweiler. Now they blame the pit bull."
Above, Cesar Millan with his late sidekick, the very cool pit bull Daddy.
REMINDERS: Just like you would tell kids, dont let your dogs take food from strangers. The summer of '07 proved scary for dogs frequenting the Chelsea Dog Run. Dogs were poisoned and killed after someone fed them methamphetamines (speed). This is not the first incident of dog poisoning. The Union Square dog run had several incidents where someone was poisoning tennis balls, and throwing them into the run. Keep a close eye on your dogs. Also, Pit bulls should NEVER ever be left alone outside, or tied up. Pit bulls do NOT make good guard dogs because they are too friendly towards humans. They are also one of the most sought after dog breeds (dogfighters look for pits to use in their dogfighting rings) and they are stolen regularly when tied up outside of stores because someone was "just running into the deli", or "just grabbing coffee." I've even heard stories about pits stolen around my relatively safe (and Disneyfying) neighborhood in Manhattan.
If you like the Warhol-esque collage of Patti above, go to Feron Productions and buy a canvas of your own. Use discount code "Pitbull"!
Join our group, post some photos of your pup, and stop by some weekly meetups. Looking forward to seeing you..
We welcome those who support pits, even if you aren't NYC residents or pit bull owners!
** NYC meetups for Pit bulls / Pit mixes (staffs, rescues, etc) every Saturday or Sunday throughout whole year. **
We meet at various parks and dog runs, dog-friendly restaurants, take walks along rivers and bridges, and through New York City neighborhoods. A great opportunity to socialize your dogs in a welcoming and helpful environment. Options abound for people with dog-aggressive pits who still want to get out and meet people, and get your dog exercise. We hold both on-leash and off-leash meetups, and a variety of events in many boroughs of NYC.
Chance to meet people who love their pits, want to have fun, & want to get rid of ugly untrue stereotypes surrounding the breed. Find tips that will aid in stopping unwanted behaviors, and get advice from other pit bull owners.
There are always adoptable pit bulls listed on our site. If you are interested in adopting or fostering a pit bull, there are so many dogs who need a loving home. Join our group to get info on becoming a foster parent. View tons of adoptable pit bulls that are availableTODAY!
FOUND A PIT BULL? Go to our "Pages" tab at the top of the site. Scroll down to find the link "Found a Pit Bull?" in red lettering. This section will contain info about what to do with a found/abandoned dog, or a dog that needs re-homing. You will find resources for contacting rescues / shelters about homeless pits. Access and print out an "Adoption Contract" which enables you to re-home a pit bull safely. Join the group to post the homeless pit bull on our site, and send an urgent plea for help to members. Also under the "Pages" tab - Find Spay/Neuter information including FREE clinics in your area, and the clinic schedules.
We promote responsible pit bull ownership in 4 Steps -
Spay/Neuter, Socialization, Training, Exercise
More reasons to Join:
- Message Board for discussion
- NYC dog events
- BSL (breed specific legislation) updates
- Trainers & obedience classes
- Help finding an apartment with a pit bull
- Health & vet care, Financial Aid
- Rescue and volunteer info
-Learn why a pit bull may - or may not be - the right dog for YOU
-Suffered the loss of a pit? Get help with the grieving process. Share your story, it can be permanently displayed on the site.
-Behavioral Issues? Discuss with members, get tips.
-Read about pits in the news!
Get advice from members, talk with trainers and owners with extensive pit bull experience. See stories, photos, and videos of pit bulls living the good life. Send me your adoption story, I'll post on site. Become a member (it's free).
Photo below is from our recent "Kong Stuffing Party" which took place on the last day of our NYC Pit Bull Group's kong drive for shelter dogs. We collected over 1,800 kong toys that were distributed to many shelters in NYC and surrounding areas. Read about what our group accomplished in The Daily News article about the drive...