Pit bulls have a misleading reputation

Photo: MGN

EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Pit bulls are back in the news after two separate incidents in the area in recent weeks.

But are these dogs getting a bad rep?

While it seems pit bulls are at the center of violent events, the founder of a pit bull rescue organization says they’re not to blame.

“If they think that a dog is a pit bull, they immediately think it’s violent,” said Cydney Cross, Out of the Pits co-founder.

It’s become a common belief; pit bulls are simply violent dogs.

“People think that they were bred only for fighting, which means that they would not be good with people,” Cross said.

Recent events in our area seem to fit that stereotype.

Just two weeks ago Amsterdam Police say one attacked an 8-year-old boy, injuring his neck, throat and his mom’s hand.

This past Monday night in Johnstown, police say an officer shot and killed a pit bull when he believed it was threatening him.

“You can’t take a whole nationality of people and blame them because somebody makes one mistake,” Cross said.

Cydney Cross of the rescue organization, Out of the Pits, said that’s the case with pit bulls.

While many people assume they’re bad dogs based on the news, she said it’s completely untrue.

“They are friendly dogs, yes, they are dogs that love people,” Cross said.

Statistics even show pit bulls have some of the best temperaments.

What gets them in trouble is the way they’re cared for.

“Dogs that haven’t been trained, that they haven’t been you know spayed, neutered properly, housed properly, socialized, they make choices that aren’t necessarily great,” Cross said.

Cross said to get rid of the bad rep it’s up to the owners to take responsibility.

“These dogs didn’t choose to live the lives that they’ve chose, humans put them in that position,” Cross said.

Some places have taken steps to restrict people from owning pit bulls.

Earlier this year a law went into effect in Montreal banning pit bull-type dogs.

But, don’t worry that won’t happen here, as New York State law prohibits communities from passing laws banning specific dog breeds.

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