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Pit Bulls: What's Hype, What's Not

Do pit bulls get a bad rap? Experts weigh in.

Looking Ahead

Awareness about pit bulls is growing and more are being adopted, says Stacey Coleman, executive director of the Animal Farm Foundation Inc., a Bangall, N.Y. pit bull advocacy group.

“It has gotten much better for the dogs,” Coleman says. “People have seen that these dogs are out there and deserve help right now.”

Of the 51 pit bulls seized from Vick’s kennels, about 17 have been adopted. About a dozen of those adopted dogs have passed their AKC Canine Good Citizen test and several have become therapy dogs.

Among them is Hector, a dog that is covered with physical scars but is "just great with other dogs, great with kids, and great with people,” Gorant says. Hector frequently visits hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

If there’s an upside to the Vick case, Gorant hopes it helps sway public opinion because it helps people see pit bulls as victims. But he admits, there’s still “a long way to go.”

“On any given day, probably 10 people get bit by a dog,” Gorant says. “But it’s only news when it’s a pit bull.”

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Reviewed on June 08, 2012

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