#PitbullDropOff shows people allegedly adopting then killing pit bulls for being ‘dangerous’


*Featured images are from Sophie Gamand‘s Flower Power series.

There’s a hashtag going around Twitter called #PitbullDropOff—some people are using it to promote adopting or buying pit bulls from Craiglist and other similar websites for the sole purpose of killing them. These people believe they are “saving lives” and doing their “civic duty” by euthanizing these dogs. Take a look at some of the posts below:

Pit bulls are probably the most misunderstood and maligned among all dog breeds. The fact that they have been abused and used in dog fights have given them the image of being vicious and too dangerous to be around humans, especially children. There are several myths about pit bulls, one of the most popular being that they have a special ability to lock their jaws, but these myths are false. As in all domesticated animals, these dogs only become vicious if they are raised to be that way by their owners.

In an essay for The New Yorker published in 2006, Malcolm Gladwell explained how pit bulls have been bred to be more aggressive:

“Pit bulls, descendants of the bulldogs used in the nineteenth century for bull baiting and dogfighting, have been bred for ‘gameness,’ and thus a lowered inhibition to aggression… Whereas guard dogs like German shepherds usually attempt to restrain those they perceive to be threats by biting and holding, pit bulls try to inflict the maximum amount of damage on an opponent.”

However, he also pointed out that most pit bulls don’t bite anyone:

“Of course, not all pit bulls are dangerous. Most don’t bite anyone. Meanwhile, Dobermans and Great Danes and German shepherds and Rottweilers are frequent biters as well, and the dog that recently mauled a Frenchwoman so badly that she was given the world’s first face transplant was, of all things, a Labrador retriever.”

Gladwell goes on to quote Carl Herkstroeter, then president of the American Temperament Test Society, as he talks about how pit bulls have good temperament.

“We have tested somewhere around a thousand pit-bull-type dogs. I’ve tested half of them. And of the number I’ve tested I have disqualified one pitbull because of aggressive tendencies,” Herkstroeter said. “They have done extremely well. They have a good temperament. They are very good with children.”

Another writer, Vicki Hearne, pointed out that pit bulls can be excellent service animals:

“There are a lot of pit bulls these days who are licensed therapy dogs. Their stability and resoluteness make them excellent for work with people who might not like a more bouncy, flibbertigibbet sort of dog. When pit bulls set out to provide comfort, they are as resolute as they are when they fight, but what they are resolute about is being gentle. And, because they are fearless, they can be gentle with anybody.”

People who have pit bulls took to Twitter and used the same hashtag to share photos of their loving pets:

Some people have pointed out that #PitbullDropOff is most probably just a hoax created by “fake edge boys trying to get likes”:

User @mylocalmango said that while it may have started that way, #PitbullDropOff is giving people ideas:

Several others echoed their support for pit bulls and called for action against those who are killing them:

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