I want to thank Kelly Ramos and the Humane Society of Fremont County for their excellent work they do to help the way to often misunderstood breed. Media portrays pitbulls as these vicious creatures and it frankly needs to stop. They are wonderful and very sweet and loyal dogs. I appreciate how the HSFC does a meet an greet with families and the dogs they may already own to make sure they all get along and are a good fit for adoption. There are way to many shelters that just just willy nilly place dog into families that don’t work out. I admire they have such a strict adoption policy. Keep up the good work.
Kelly Ramos, shelter manager, said one of the questions she hears most frequently is, “Why do you guys have so many pit bulls?”
Ramos said the numbers are high because the much-maligned dogs and Chihuahuas are the most overbred dogs in the country.
HSFC medical manager Adam DeWitt said some of the pits are strays and some are pretend strays. For example, someone recently brought in a female “full of milk,” he said. People will dump the mother as a “stray” and sell the pups.
“People bring them in and say they’re a stray because they don’t want to pay the fee” to surrender their own dog, DeWitt said. The fee is $25 for a spayed or neutered animal, $50 otherwise.
The bull breeds — and Ramos designated 12 — originally were bred to hunt bear, though the “lock-jaw” trait is a myth, she said, pulling out a list of five famous pit bulls: Bud, the dog that hitched a cross-country ride in 1903, Champion from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” Grunt from the movie “Flashdance,” Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated dog of WWI, and Petey from “The Little Rascals.”
“They used to be America’s baby sitters,” Ramos said. “They were always meant to be good with people. They’re people-pleasers.”
Pit bull owner Army Specialist Stephanie Wyma of Colorado Springs agrees.
“Pit bulls have a really bad reputation,” Wyma said. “But it’s how people train that dog to be. It’s up to the owners how to raise them.”
Wyma said she walked into the shelter last year and met Daisy, a 1-year-old white and brown pit bull with a long scar on her back from squeezing under a chain link fence.
“She just sat there and looked at me with her puppy-dog eyes” as if to say, “Take me home,” Wyma said. Already the owner of two other dogs, Wyma was required to bring those dogs to the shelter for what staff called a meet-and-greet to see how everyone would get along.
Ramos said pit bulls are the hardest dogs to place because of their reputation, and she blames the media.
DeWitt said he’s been bitten my many dogs while working for the shelter, usually smaller varieties. But he has never been bitten by one of their pit bulls.
For Ramos and DeWitt, the success or failure of a pit bull always goes back to the owner.
Most of the time meet-and-greet works out, but sometimes it doesn’t.
“I don’t like all people,” Ramos said. “I don’t expect dogs to like all dogs.” The goal is to set up both dogs for success.