Why Adopting Your Pittie From a Reputable Source Is So Important

By Chris HigensPresident, Animal Welfare League

CHICAGO, Aug. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In 1903, the first ever American cross-country auto trip took place. Ken Burns, the famous documentary filmmaker chronicled this historic event in a film titled “Horatio’s Drive.” dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson understook this first drive along with Bud, his American Stafford Terrier.

It is quite fitting that the first dog to travel coast to coast by car in America would be an American Stafford Terrierbecause, as anyone who really knows this breed of dog will tell you, there is no breed of dog that more clearly personifies the American spirit of courage, loyalty and fidelity than the American Stafford Terrier or, what people commonly refer to as the American Pitbull.

The origins of America’s dog can be traced as far back as the early 16th century in England. And it is little wonder that reputation for courage, stamina and loyalty would earn them passage with colonists sailing on some of the first ships to the new world.

In America, domesticated canines had been around for at least 10,000 years and in fact, the Illinois area seems to hold most of the evidence yet found of ancient, domesticated canines than anywhere else on the continent. So, it is probably little wonder that researchers seeking to discover the origins of what would become the “American” version of the bull terrier would bring them to Illinois in search of genetic links that may present clues.

Like many common breeds today, the makeup of the American Pitbull is not fully agreed upon. All we know for sure is that the dogs that sailed from England centuries ago show little resemblance to their modern progenies. But while its looks, size and colorings may have changed, it is an undisputed fact that the soul of the animal lives on within the breed. The American Stafford Terrier is still regarded by many dog ​​breeders and lovers as the dog that comes closest to personifying the adage of being “man’s best friend”.

It is more than simply unfortunate — it is heartbreaking that the reputation of America’s greatest gift to domesticated canine husbandry has fallen into such ill repute. The American Stafford Terrier or Pitbull displays the perfect characteristics sought by pet owners. They are known to be loyal to the point of sacrificing their lives to save or protect their family members. They are intelligent and quickly learn the rules set down by their masters. They make excellent family pets and are great around kids. Being short-haired, they don’t shed as much as other dogs, and are easier to keep clean. While they are not considered large animals, their frame and physical presence still command attention from strangers, making them an ideal companion for walks along city streets late at night.

So why is it that this incredible American creation, this perfect companion so eager to love, protect, and fully blend in with any size family, has come under such harsh criticism of late?

Just like human beings, animals — even animals of the same breed and from the same litter — vary in many ways. They all have unique personalities and are subject to hereditary traits that may or may not be associated with the breed. Because they are living entities, every one of them can also be damaged through environmental exposures, disease, genetics, neglect and abuse.

This is why it is so important that people obtain their pet — any type of pet — from a reputable source. This is also why we at the Animal Welfare League don’t immediately put animals into the arms of people walking through our doors. We ask questions, we require applications, and we watch closely at how an animal reacts to a potential adopter. We have been criticized on social media for not immediately allowing people to adopt animals at our shelters. But people must understand that we are not in the business of finding animals for people, we are in the business of finding the right people for our animals. For more than 86 years, we have been putting animals and people together in relationships that, most often, we see blossom. We strive to find a home for all of the animals under our care but, unfortunately, there are times when we cannot allow an adoption because we feel that it is not in the best interest of the animal in question.

The bully breeds are no exception to this policy. Not every person or family can provide the right care for a large dog, a high-energy dog, or a dog suffering from anxiety or some other emotional problem. And it is because some rescues and shelters are too eager to close adoptions and keep their cages turning over that we see people being harmed by large breed or popular breed animals.

Pitbulls are getting a bad reputation not because they are a bad breed of dog. They are, in fact, a great breed of dog sought after by too many people that are simply not equipped to provide the handling and attention required of a highly intelligent and physically strong canine.

If you and/or your family are looking to bring some new love into the household, we would be happy to help you find the right animal. The bully breeds make great pets, but they are not for everyone. Stop by our shelter in chicago ridge and let us help you find your next big love that may, or may not, come in a big size.

“Where would they be without us?”

SOURCE Animal Protective League

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