Worcester County pit bull owners speak out

editor’s note: in light of tonight’s Worcester City Council meeting, some testimonials from pit bull owners:

My dog Angel

In September of 2008, we began searching to rescue a pit bull. We wanted to rescue a pit bull particularly because of the bad reputation they have gotten due to irresponsible ownership. I researched the breed and thought a pit would fit wonderfully with our family. We have two young daughters, seven and three as well as two cats. It took just a couple of weeks to find Angel, called Amy at Worcester Animal Rescue League. Angel was in isolation due to a case of kennel cough. I figured it was a perfect chance because not many knew she was even at the shelter unless they had searched the web like me. I called the rescue league and set up a meeting for the next day. When they brought Angel out, she greeted us with a wagging tail and unbelievable happiness. She didn’t jump on my children which was a great bonus! Angel was brought to the shelter as a stray so there was no detailed history on her. Since she did wonderfully with our girls, we asked if they could test her with a cat. She was brought inside to meet the resident cat and essentially paid him no attention at all. She was a match made in heaven for us. She was over 40 lbs but sat in my lap on the way home from the shelter.

Once Angel was home, we did notice a few bad habits, but I easily trained them away. Pit bulls are a very intelligent breed and very easy to train as a rule. She has proven over and over again to be the most tolerant animal I have ever seen. Our 3-year-old has a tendency to pull on her ears, lay on top of her and squeeze her in hugs very tightly at times. Angel has never made any attempt to bite or nip at her. In fact, she seems to enjoy the love and attention. Angel does not have much interaction with our cats as they seem to not be interested in forming a friendship with her. But she does not attack them or chase them. Angel is also a big hit at Sanders Street School in Athol where my daughter attends. I frequently take Angel to the school to pick up my daughter and it is not uncommon upon the children exiting the school to have six or even more children petting her at once. Again, she seems to love the attention. Never has she been aggressive toward a child, or even an adult, for that matter.

We are currently seeking another pit bull to rescue so Angel can have a brother or sister. Even though it is said that pit bulls are aggressive towards other animals, Angel gives all evidence to the contrary. She loves other dogs and is not aggressive with cats. But watch out squirrel and bird population! She loves to chase birds and squirrels. With early socialization, pit bulls can fit into any family. We honestly believe all pits should be given a chance to prove how much they can show you love and companionship!

Jessica Galvin

Athol

My dog Allie

I, like probably a good portion of society, had always heard very negative things about pit bulls. In actuality, I have never really known anyone who owned one before, so all I had to go by was what I had heard and seen on TV. My daughter and I were looking for a new dog and went to the Worcester Animal Rescue League to see what they had there. We had gotten a dog from there years ago and had very good luck. We walked around looking at all the poor dogs that had the misfortune of being there. My daughter saw a few dogs she liked, but we wanted to see all of the dogs before deciding. A majority of the dogs seemed to either be jumping around the cage as we passed by, or were barking and carrying on. We got to the end of the cages, and there was this beautiful girl just sitting there quietly just looking at us. We instantly fell in love. I really didn’t pay much attention to the card with her information on it. I just saw her name. My daughter and I took “Allie” outside and played with her for awhile and just loved her. Allie was so full of energy, happy to be outside, but also knew her commands and listened well. We were sold; Allie was going home with us. As I went through the adoption process, I was shocked to find out that Allie was a pit bull. I asked “Are you kidding me? This sweet, adorable girl is a pit bull?” I laughed at how stupid I sounded and off we went my daughter.

Allie has become a wonderful part of our family. We cannot imagine not having her. She is the most lovable, mellow dog. Allie loves to play, especially fetch, and you can’t believe how fast she can run. She listens well and follows commands. Someone, somewhere along the line forgot to tell her she isn’t human! Ha ha! She quite often thinks she is. I have to young grandsons, one who is one year-old, and my other one is four months old. Allie just adores the kids. I have never seen any dog so good with kids. She is very gentle with the baby, and lets my older grandson actually sit on her back. When people come over to our house and they see her for the first time, I laugh and tell them not to worry. The worst thing she will do is lick them to death. She loves everyone. We even have two cats and she gets along great with them as well. The three of them run around the house like it’s the Indy 500! Allie sleeps either in my bed or in my daughter’s; this is the part where she thinks she is human. She actually sleeps on the pillow if you let her. She will take over the whole bed. I can’t imagine not having Allie in our lives. She has totally changed any opinion of pit bulls. A friend of mine also has one, and his is a great pet. I would recommend a pit bull to anybody looking for a great family pet.

Laurie Hebert

Worcester

My dog Claude

I recently adopted Claude from the WARL … Friday the 20th, actually. We had our pictures taken the following day for an InCity Times article about pit bulls.

Claude seems to be settling in to his new home quite well. He’s so good!

It makes me sad to think of how he was “on the streets” this winter.

I can’t bear to think about it …

Heather Dudley

Worcester

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