April 30 marks National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. The history of the annual event is a little murky but seems to have been inspired by Adopt A Dog Month, which takes place in October and was established by the American Humane Society 40 years ago.
Here at The Gentle Pit, we encourage potential pup parents to adopt, not shop. If you are wanting to add a furry friend to your family, there’s no better day to visit your local shelter than National Adopt A Shelter Animal Day.
There are so many benefits to adopting rescue dogs. For one, you could very well be saving a life, especially if you are adopting from a kill shelter. According to the American Kennel Club, “each year” about 3.3 million precious pups are placed in U.S. shelters. Unfortunately, over 600,000 of those dogs are put down. Dogs who are considered pit bulls -- American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and American bulldogs -- and pit mixes are among the most euthanized animals in shelters. While it is difficult to determine the exact number, it is believed that pits make up about 40% of euthanized shelter dogs. It seems that this is primarily due to the negative stereotypes surrounding the breed. In 2016, the Washington Post reported research from Arizona State University found that “the negative pit bull label influenced dogs’ chances at adoption.”
“We were surprised how very similar-looking dogs sometimes get labeled ‘pit bull’ and other times as something completely different. These dogs may look and act the same, but the pit bull label damns them to a much longer wait to adoption,” explained Lisa Gunter, lead author of the study.
Any pit parent can tell you that these dogs are incredible. They are sweet, smart, and have amazing smiles. As cheesy as it sounds, when you rescue a pit bull, they are rescuing you.
If you are able, please consider celebrating National Adopt A Pet Shelter Day by adopting or fostering a pit bull from your local shelter.