Humane Society tries to change perceptions about pit bulls - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Humane Society tries to change perceptions about pit bulls

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's a campaign for the dogs.

"She's really loyal, she's fun, my kids love her," said Bruce Jackson, who owns a pit bull.

But not everyone is so quick to show their support.

"I'm not crazy about them. Too many accidents, they're aggressive with my little Misty here," said Regis Ouellette, who doesn't like pit bulls.

The Chittenden County Humane Society is on a mission to spread a positive view of pit bulls.

"Our goal with the campaign is really just to provide some education," said Robyn Santor, the humane society's canine supervisor.

One of the main challenges the Chittenden County Humane Society will face with this campaign is hashing out the myths and the facts about pit bulls.

"The idea that sometimes gets perpetuated is that these dogs have been bred over years to be very aggressive and that's just simply not a really valid statement," Santor said.

She says any dog has the potential to be violent, not just pit bulls. Another myth Santor wants to dispel is the idea of locking jaws.

"Which is actually a total falsehood," Santor said. "There's no anatomical build to their jaw that's different from any other dog. Their jaws do not have a locking mechanism."

Santor also says any dog could be a pit bull because a pit bull isn't a breed, it's just a look used to refer to a wide variety of breed mixes.

Michael Cianci owns a Great Dane and says he has no issue with pit bulls. But he says some pit bull owners can be part of the problem.

"They do attract not the most responsible owners, and they need to have very strict training as puppies," Cianci said.

The Humane Society says it can take longer to find homes for some pit bulls.

"We see them as our home pets, we see them as our family members, we see them as great members of our society," Santor said.

The Humane Society hopes posters and pamphlets can change minds about the dogs.

Santor eventually hopes to see changes made in towns and cities where pit bulls are completely banned.

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