A Shocking Number of Dogs in Shelters Are Misidentified as ‘Pit Bulls’

Using DNA analysis, researchers have shown that shelter workers frequently mislabel dogs as “pit bulls.” They say this is a serious problem given the social stigma surrounding the breed—which, technically speaking, doesn’t actually exist.

The new study, published in The Veterinary Journal, shows that animal shelter staff—and even some veterinarians—consistently misidentify dogs, particularly those classed as pit bull-type dogs. Much of this has to do with the fact that animal shelter staff are expected to guess the breed of dogs strictly based on physical appearance alone. And even when dogs are assessed at the same time, staff members often disagree on what breed it actually is.

“Unlike many other things people can’t quite define but ‘know when they see it,’ identification of dogs as pit bulls can trigger an array of negative consequences, from the loss of housing, to being seized by animal control, to the taking of the dog’s life,” said study lead author Julie Levy in a pressstatement. “In the high-stakes world of animal shelters, a dog’s life might depend on a potential adopter’s momentary glimpse and assumptions about its suitability as a pet. If the shelter staff has labeled the dog as a pit bull, its chances for adoption automatically go down in many shelters.”

There’s really no such thing as a purebred “pit bull,” which makes the findings of this study all the more problematic. The catch-all term “pit bull-type breeds” describes any dog derived from the heritage breedsAmerican Staffordshire terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier. The purebredAmerican pit bull terrier is also descended from these breeds, and is often included in the loose definition of “pit bull.”

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Source: A Shocking Number of Dogs in Shelters Are Misidentified as ‘Pit Bulls’

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About steventorresramos

I have over (24) years of Computer Aided Drafting & Design experience and over (16) years of IT experience. After graduating high school I attended a Technical College and earned an Associate Degree in Drafting & Design. I then enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico where I earned an A.S. in Civil Engineering Technologies. While attending the Univ. of Puerto Rico I worked as a freelance Drafter for a variety of architects and engineers. During my senior year I began to work for the firm Planning Management & Development in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Two years later I was offered the position at Mario Corsino & Associates, which later became InterGroup a medium size Civil Engineering, Architectural and Planning firm in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At InterGroup I became assistant chief drafter where I was responsible for 20+ drafters & civil techs, and this is also where I began my IT training. In 2000 I decided to move to St. Petersburg, FL where I was hired as CAD Manager at Advanced Engineering & Design a small Civil Engineering firm established in 1998. Currently still employed by Advanced Engineering & Design I’m now the CAD/IT Manager. I have also continued to expand my knowledge base in both the IT & CADD fields through continued training, certifications, and attending Autodesk University. I’m currently an Autodesk Certified Professional proficient in AutoCAD, Civil 3D and various other Autodesk products. I have been the President of the Tampa Bay Autodesk Users Group (TBAUG) since late 2007 and a member of Autodesk Users Group International (AUGI) since 1996. I have an A.S. Degree in Computer Networking , a Bachelors of Applied Science in Technology Management and currently finishing work on my Masters in Computer Information Systems. I’m a licensed drafter in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and a Microsoft Certified Professional. I hold certificates as a Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Server Administrator, Cisco Networking Associate Professional and Linux Administrator.
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