The Truth About Dog Breed Discrimination

When people think of dog breed discrimination, they often think of pit bulls. The term “pit bull” is most often used today to describe a dog of a certain appearance.

Dogs that are referred to as “pit bulls” or “pit bull mixes” commonly have breeds in their lineage such as Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog and Bull Terrier. Such dogs are the target of breed discrimination and breed specific legislation in many states. Such legislation makes it easier for shelters to dispose of these animals.

Many times, however, these dogs are just mixed breeds that have none of the aforementioned breeds in their lineage. We at VOCAL believe that each of these dogs should be assessed as an individual. While we appreciate that people choose specific dog breeds as pets based on their temperament and disposition, we think the Animal Farm Foundation says it best in regard to “pit bulls”:

“Since ‘pit bull’ is not a breed of dog recognized by any kennel clubs and there is no agreed upon definition for what a ‘pit bull’ is, it is impossible to apply breed traits to the genetically incoherent group of dogs… A label will stick with a dog for the rest of its life… [and] can mean discrimination, losing its home, or even death.”

With that said, the most highly euthanized type of dog in American shelters is the dog labeled as the “pit bull” type dog. These dogs account for more than 25 percent of all animals killed in shelters. This is a result of over-breeding, dog discrimination, lack of training and irresponsible ownership in general.

This is where VOCAL’s spay and neuter program could help with this issue and also help Marion County become a “no kill county.