When one hears the term pit bull, many things may come to mind. For some people, fear may come to mind as they remember a frightening encounter they had with one of these dogs, or they may simply fear them based upon stories from the news media or family and friends. Other people may be curious about the dogs and be unsure about their notorious ‘vicious’ qualities. Then there are the pit bull lovers: people who know a lot about these dogs, their history, and who strive to educate others about them.
Negative perception concerning pit bull dogs has caused many cities and municipalities to put restrictions on their ownership or outright ban ownership of these dogs altogether. This approach does not typically address the real problem, which is lack of knowledge concerning the dogs and responsible pet ownership. Responsible owners of powerful dogs such as these understand the need for early socialization and training of their pets and how important it is for them to be in control of their dogs at all times.
It is unmistakable that pit bulls are popular dogs in Lee County, FL and throughout Southwest Florida. Visiting a local dog park and dog beach will undoubtedly allow people curious about these dogs the opportunity to see how friendly and social they can be when cared for properly, but many people do not know what a pit bull really is.
The term pit bull is often used as a breed designation, but this is incorrect. There is no such breed called a pit bull. Rather, this is a term that refers to several terrier breeds, most notably the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Some areas also include the Bull Terrier and American Bulldog in their list of pit bull-type dogs.
The public’s perception of these dogs along with ownership restrictions and their increase in popularity also means that area shelters typically have an abundance of pit bull-type dogs, some of which may never get the opportunity to be adopted into a proper home where they can get the socialization and mental stimulation that they need.
Anyone interested in adopting a pit bull-type dog can check out the following shelters for currently available dogs.
Animal Refuge Center, Inc.
18011 Old Bayshore Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33917
Gulf Coast Humane Society
2010 Arcadia Street
Fort Myers, FL 33916
Lee County Domestic Animal Services
5600 Banner Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33912