Community | Pints for Pitties
By: Ashley Solis
Pit Bull type dogs have had a bad rap in recent years. People believe that Pit Bulls have jaws that lock, are mean and vicious and are unpredictable around children. It’s no wonder that these pups are being euthanized at shelters at an alarming rate. Recent studies estimate that up to one million Pit Bulls are euthanized each year in the United States. According to animalpeoplenews.com, only one in 600 Pit Bulls will be adopted into a forever home. Fortunately, there have been numerous organizations dedicated to educating the public about the reality of these dogs.
One local non-profit, Pints for Pitties, is dedicated to advocating for Pit Bull type dogs through fundraising, re-homing and educating the public. Pints for Pitties partners with local breweries and beer festivals to raise awareness and money for their cause. I had an opportunity to interview, Founder and President, Brittany Gomez about Pints for Pitties.
Q. What inspired you to start Pints for Pitties? Also, how long have you worked with Pit Bulls?
Brittany Gomez: In 2011, I finally caught up with technology and got my first iPhone. After using apps like Facebook and Instagram I discovered that there were so many Pit Bull groups and support pages. I learned about rescues, non-profits and events. It was great! At that time I had my first Pit Bull for a little over a year. It was the Pit Bull community that inspired me to want to start an organization of my own.
Also, at that time, I was bartending at a beer and wine bar. I got really into craft beer and that whole culture, as well. I thought of how I could use my experience to influence people. That's what inspired me to combine my love of craft beer with Pit Bulls, and Pints for Pitties was created. I have been working with Pit Bulls since 2010 when I adopted my first dog.
Q. What are three common misconceptions about Pit Bulls, and what is the reality of those misconceptions?
Gomez: My biggest pet peeve is when people say, "Is she/he pure pit?" when asking about my dogs. I sometimes spare people of the ‘Pit Bull is not a breed' speech. The point of my organization is to educate, so nine times out of ten, they get the speech.
The term Pit Bull is used to describe American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American Bulldogs, and just about any muscular, short haired dog with a big head. A more appropriate term to describe a Pit Bull would be "Pit Bull type" dog. The website thelazypitbull.com has a link to test your skills on breed identification.
Another misconception is that Pit Bulls that come from a shelter (or stray) are dangerous because their past isn't known. Pit Bulls are very forgiving and are eager to please their human. Pit Bulls that have encountered the worst of humans can be rehabilitated into loving family dogs.
Although Pit Bulls’ stature makes them look like good guard dogs, while some may be, Pit Bulls are not good guard dogs. Pit Bulls love people and may even welcome a stranger into their backyard or home.
Q: What are the main reasons that Pit Bulls end up in animal shelters? They seem to disproportionately make up large portions of the dogs being euthanized.
Gomez: The main reasons Pit Bulls end up in shelters is because of over breading/lack of spay and neuter and breed specific legislation. Pit Bull puppies are cute, but all dogs grow up. A lot of people like the idea of a dog but wont take the time needed for training, attention and exercise that a Pit Bull needs. Pit Bulls can act up when they're bored. A person who is uneducated about Pit Bulls may deem the dog a bad dog and take that dog to a shelter because they don't want to deal with bad behavior.
Also, most housing management companies will not allow "aggressive breeds" in their housing. While somebody may want to adopt a Pit Bull, they might not be able to because of housing or insurance restrictions. A lot of people move into housing that doesn't allow Pit Bulls, and their Pit Bull ends up in a shelter. We like to advocate for spaying and neutering as well. Spaying and neutering one dog can eliminate hundreds of unwanted puppies.
Q. What should people who are interested in adopting Pit Bulls know before they bring one of these dogs into their home?
Gomez: Pit Bulls need a lot of love and attention. Pit Bulls bond very deeply with their human family members and are not for people or families who are not home often. Pit Bulls can be stubborn. A Pit Bull needs a very strong minded owner who has patience.
Q. Do you feel that there has been a shift in awareness about Pit Bulls?
Gomez: I hope so! All Pit Bull advocates work really hard to help their communities understand these dogs. At every event I have done, I get at least one person who says that because they attended the event their mind has been opened up to learning more about Pit Bull type dogs. To me that's a shift in the right direction.
Q. What are the best ways that people can get involved with your organization?
Gomez: We can be contacted through our website pintsforpitties.org. I welcome anybody to stop by one of our events, and share your interest with us. We can use all the help we can get. I would like to thank my current volunteers for all their support!
Q. What are the upcoming events?
Gomez: May 30th we'll be at The Upland Animal Shelter’s Adoption Faire at Memorial Park. We're planning a "Dine to Donate" event with Golden Road in June. We attend The Inland Inspired Market in Rancho Cucamonga every second Saturday of the month. A lovely gal named Christin runs The Inland Inspired Market. She and I are going to collaborate for an exciting event coming this summer.