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As part of the City’s effort to move towards a no-kill status, Town Lake Animal Shelter has reconveyned its Pit Bull Task Force to address the staggering number of pit bulls that come through the shelter each year. At any given time, approximately one-third of the cages at As part of the City’s effort to move towards a no-kill status, Town Lake Animal Shelter has reconvened its Pit Bull Task Force to address the staggering number of pit bulls that come through the shelter each year. At any given time, approximately one-third of the cages at Town Lake contains a dog classified as a pit bull or pit bull mix. These dogs area also far more likely to be euthanized — in fact, last year 48% of the dogs put to sleep were classified as pit bulls or pit bull mixes.

In an effort to fight these staggering statics, the Pit Bull Task Force met at TLAC last night to discuss why so many pit bulls are ending up in the shelter and why so few are leaving with forever homes.

The stigma of pit bulls is undoubtedly part of the reason that so many remain in the shelter: people are simply scared of them. The task force hopes to change the stereotype that plagues the pit bull as a result of the abuse and exploitation they so frequently suffer, and replace it with the knowledge that these dogs are terrific, loyal companions, and family dogs. Unfortunately, these dogs often often attract the worst kinds of owners because of their strength — owners that abuse them, fight them, and use them strictly for protection.

Is there truth to these stereotypes? Are pit bulls inherently bad tempered dogs? Studies support that no, they are not. A recent study by the American Temperament Testing Society rated pit bulls temperaments at 83.9% — which was in fact higher than common family pets such as miniature poodles and collies! For more information on research and pit bull myth’s, check out this article from American Humane.

So how can you help these dogs find loving homes? Spread the word about the problem, spread the truth about this loyal breed, and participate in the Pit Bull Task Force the next time it meets at TLAC. You can also support the efforts of groups such as the ASPCA as they fight to end dog fighting. And, of course, the next time you are considering adoption, don’t walk so briskly past a kennel that holds a pit bull!