People are sometimes surprised to learn that PETA supports so-called “breed-specific protection” for pit bulls—specifically, legal requirements that all pit bull dogs be spayed or neutered. In fact, PETA advocates for a ban on breeding all dogs, including pit bulls as breeding any dogs should be illegal as long as millions must be euthanized in animal shelters every year. But more than any other breed, pit bulls are in crisis and need help right now. They face systemic, relentless abuse and neglect. They are also the most frequently abandoned dog breed, and as a result, tens of thousands of pit bulls must be euthanized in shelters every year. PETA promotes the adoption of homeless animals from shelters, and we are not, nor have we ever been, in favor of taking pit bulls out of homes in which they are cherished as members of the family. Requiring that they be spayed or neutered means that fewer will be born into abusive, neglectful homes—it’s that simple.
They’re seen as macho status symbols—they’re taunted, abused, used as show pieces—and they pay a heavy price. Because there are breed-specific reasons why people abuse them, they also need to be protected for breed-specific reasons. Fighting pit bull protection measures isn’t helping pit bulls. Requiring that all of them be spayed or neutered means that fewer will be born into abusive, neglectful homes—it’s that simple.
PETA Helps Pit Bulls
These are just a few of the hundreds of pit bulls PETA’s fieldworkers have worked to help and get justice for in Virginia and North Carolina. But countless other pit bulls languish in backyards and back alleys across the country without any attention or exercise and are beaten to make them “mean”; thrown into fighting rings to encourage them to tear each other apart; electrocuted, drowned, or hanged for losing fights; and worse.
Some people who call themselves pit bull advocates cry, “Discrimination!” at the mere mention of breed-specific legislation. But would it really have been worse for dogs like Melissa, Diamond, Dallas, Angel, and Dynasty if they had never been born? PETA supports a ban on breeding pit bulls and pit bull mixes as well as strict regulations on their care, including a ban on chaining them.
Laws like this aren’t breed-specific “discrimination”—they’re breed-specific protection. They prevent pit bulls from being born only to be exploited, abandoned, and abused. And with 3 to 4 million animals euthanized every year for lack of a good home, there’s simply no reason to bring more dogs of any breed into the world.
If you love pit bulls, help them. Work for spay/neuter requirements and anti-chaining laws. Urge people who keep their dogs chained to let them live indoors as members of the family. And always report abuse and neglect. Pit bulls need all the friends they can get.