Saturday, April 11, 2009

Abused Dogs :(

Kat left me a comment asking: "I have a question about chemical burns on dogs. Specifically Pit Bulls. I've noticed that a few Pits up for adoption have chemical burns on them. What's up with that? Sorry for the off topicality but I thought that you might know if you foster dogs."

Rosie, my Mom's Boston Terrier came to play with my "vicious pit bulls" this weekend so here are some pics too...

I don't profess to be an expert by any means but do have my own opinion...Pit Bulls are awesome dogs that used to be the most popular family dog in the US. And while many were fought they were not regarded in the bad light they often are today. In the past when engaging in dog fights once the winner was clear the fights were stopped and the dogs went back home with their owner as a treasured member of the family. They were not trained to be tough or abused as they were bred and no human aggression was tolerated. Dog aggression is common even today in the pit bull but if they showed any aggression to a human they were put down because it was not tolerated. They were loving, loyal, eager to please pets that loved to be with their people. That is true today too.
Some of these same traits that made them the best family dog ever - loyalty, smarts & trainability, a desire to please and courage - also attracted the bad people to them. There is big money in dogfighting and as a result many people get them for the tough guy image without understanding the breed. They are often chained in the yard and not properly cared for. This breed especially longs to be with their people. They often are neglected and seen as disposable. Alot of people breeding them today have no idea what they are really doing including those bred to fight. Gameness is often talked about but what it means is determination & courage...this translates into never give up or hardheadedness. It makes them great in a fight or doing a job but can frustrate the idiots into abusing them more too. And since these dogs are mose likely to be owned by abusers they are ore likely to be abused.

Pitbulls are often gotten to be guard dogs too, which is laughable. Sprout would kiss the person coming to steal my stuff and as a breed they are often easily stolen for that reason.

They are prone to animal aggression - that's what they were originally bred for - but that's not true of every individual. Pit bull owners are held to a higher standard of dog ownership and should strive to have their dog represent the breed in the best light.

To answer the question on why they are abused more I think there's more than one answer...Often the "ghetto pits" are the ones neglected and abused. With good medical care and love most can turn into wonderful family dogs, though not all will do well in a multi-dog home. Because dog fighters are more likely to own pits they are more likely to be abused in the name of breeding, toughening them up or whatever. Often a female that's proved herself in the ring will have her teeth pulled so they can breed her with a male of the same nature without her hurting him...She's only used for breeding then and retired from the ring. There's even a set up for the females to be raped without the male getting injured.

I never set out to own a pit bull. Layla was supposed to be a Mastiff/Boxer mix...You can see she's not. She was 8 weeks old and I fell in love. She does chase small animals, hates strangers and is very picky about which dogs she chooses to hang with. With her, I must be more careful but she is a love and is very loyal and protective of her family, even when there is no need...My Sprout was found wandering the streets with his broken chain attached to his neck. He had a skin infection from neglect, no hair on his tail, sores from laying on the concrete, overgrown nails, a bad knee and was half the weight he is today. I met him in a small room at the local pound after the officers tried to steer me away from him. I asked for clippers and a brush. I did his nails for him and brushed him while I tried to get him to show me his real personality and fell in love. I had the ex bring the kids by to see how he'd react and fed treats while taking them away and giving them back. He went home with me that day. He is now in perfect health and I love him with all my heart. He is the reason I foster. I could not give him up for love or money!

I don't recommend all these guys for inexperienced dog owners, because like children they need a firm but gentle hand. If you want to learn more or see cool pics check out these links:
So, no straight answer here, but I hope you see it in there...I don't get the reasoning of an abuser, but these guys are easy prey which abusers tend to seek. I hope I never truly understand.


  1. Thanks for the info. I've been babysitting a pit bull puppy lately and she is the smartest, sweetest dog I have ever met. She loves everyone and every dog she meets. She is three months old now and I absolutely love the dog. I was predjudiced against the breed but she has completely changed my mind, so now I'm paying more attention to the. I looked online last night for info on the fighting and saw the most horrible pictures of how these dogs are abused. Its sick and terrible what people do to them. I am looking into fostering pits, but I have an old cat so thats an issue.
    I think people pour acid on them to make them meaner. Absolultely horrific.

  2. They are sweet and even with your kitty you could foster. We do, but they have to pass the cat test. Each pup is unique. Sprout passed it and Layla was so little she did. Kudos for you for considering it.

    The acid, yes, I believe some are accidents not treated, some are "punishment" and some are just sickos who get off torturing animals.

    These guys have sensitive skin too typically and not as much hair so they are more easily irritated and their sweet souls make them easy targets. :(

    Sorry for sucha long post...The heights can be dizzy-ing when you're up on a soapbox. ;)

  3. This post reminds me of my American Bulldog. I've taught her how to act mean for show, but in reality, she too would kiss an intruder. My boxer is a completely different story; she acts tough and is dangerously tough.

    Great post :)

  4. We are HUGE pit lovers at my house! Though we do not have dogs of our own, we have a friend who has three pits, and they are sooooooooo sweet! Another friend of mine has a pit mix and he too is the sweetest of the sweet! It makes me so sad to hear of mistreatment with pits.