Dogs are man’s best friend, loyal companions who are always there for their owners. Yet this image of unconditional love and companionship does not apply when most people think of pit bulls. Most see pit bulls as vicious beasts that would rip the life out of you in an instant. This is far from true and the nonprofit rescue organization New York Bully Crew (NYBC) is doing everything it can to spread awareness and help get this breed out of the doghouse.
Pit bulls, as a breed, are not violent. Volunteers at NYBC can attest firsthand that pit bulls aren’t bad at all. “Pit bulls are judged unfairly,” said Bully Crew volunteer John Votta. “It’s people’s actions and malicious intent, the nefarious reasons why the dogs are bred and trained to be aggressive.” Votta, who has been working with the organization for five years, said the pit bulls are powerful and excited animals that want to please their owners. If the reward is for behaving aggressively, that is how the dogs will behave. “All dogs are animals and all dogs have the potential to bite, the same as a little terrier or chihuahua; they are all capable of aggressive behavior,” said Votta. “Pit bulls are just as capable of being a loving and caring dog as any other breed.”
It is NYBC’s mission to stop the abuse of pit bulls and bring new light on the breed.
Votta explained that there are more pit bulls in the shelters because they are overbred; they are the breed of choice for dogfighting.
“The St. Bernard and the rottweiller are equally powerful and protective, but are not the breeds of choice for dogfighting,” he said. “The shelters aren’t full of these kinds of dogs because they are not overbred.”
Educating the public about the pit bull breed is another way NYBC is spreading awareness that these are dogs as gentle as any other. “You teach your dog to behave or misbehave the same way you teach your child to behave or misbehave,” said Votta. “There is no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners.”
Located in Patchogue, NYBC has been rescuing pit bulls since December 2010, when by chance, a friend of founder Craig Fields asked him to foster a dog that needed rescue. Fields already had pit bulls of his own, so this fostering was second nature. It started with saving one pit bull and grew from there.
The stereotype surrounding pit bulls makes it difficult for the breed to find loving homes, so volunteers at NYBC work hard to end this negative stereotype. They rescue pit bulls from abusive environments, bring them back to health and give them a second chance at life. They take pride in finding responsible, loving homes for their rescues.
Those who are unable to adopt dogs, but want to help in some way, can volunteer to take the sheltered dogs out for walks and play with them while the dogs await adoption. Volunteers are needed every day, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
It is never too late to help these animals. Spread the word and help end the stereotype of this loving breed. Visit www.nybullycrew.org
or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Written by Jessel Medina and Christy Hinko. Medina is a professional communications major at Farmingdale State College.