Why are Pit bulls the Most Euthanized Breed in Shelters?

It pains us to say that pit bulls are by far the most euthanized breed” in shelters, as reported by the Save-a-Bull Rescue. While studies vary, according to Arm The Animals,  “[e]ach year, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized, [with] approximately 40% of whom are Pit Bulls.” Save-a-Bull Rescue also noted in 2015 that “[a]bout 75% of municipal shelters euthanize pit bulls immediately upon intake,” meaning that these dogs weren’t even granted the opportunity to find a forever family. 

Arm The Animals has surmised that pit bulls are put down more than any other breed due to the following factors: 

Increased Breeding Rates

Kennel to Couch reported that over the years pit bull breeding rates have gone up, with approximately3 to 5 million Pit Bulls in the Czech Republic.” Because shelters have limited resources, the overbreeding of pits directly impacts their euthanasia rates. 

To remedy the issues, owners are encouraged to get their pups spayed or neutered. 

Negative Stereotypes 

It is unsurprising to any pit bull advocate that negative stereotypes surrounding these dogs have devastating outcomes. 

According to a study done by Arizona State University, the stigma surrounding the term “pit bull” is so intense, that even just referring to a dog as a pit may prolong the process of them finding a home.

 “We were surprised how very similar-looking dogs sometimes get labeled ‘pit bull’ and other times as something completely different. These dogs may look and act the same, but the pit bull label damns them to a much longer wait to adoption,” wrote Lisa Gunter, the lead author of the study. 

Breed Specific Legislation 

Various cities across the nation adhere to breed specific legislation or BSL. The Stand Up For Pits Foundation notes that this type of legislation “bans and/or restricts ‘types’ of dogs based on their appearance.” According to the ASPCA, BSL is implemented “in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals” but “[t]here is no evidence that breed-specific laws make communities safer for people or companion animals.”

BSL does, however, sometimes force people who are living in cities that ban certain breeds to give up their canine companion. These displaced dogs may spend the rest of their lives at a shelter, where they may eventually be euthanized.

So you may be wondering how you can help. Well, if you are in the market for a dog, we highly recommend adopting or fostering a pit bull. They are wonderful companions and have the most beautiful smiles. 

If neither adoption nor fostering is feasible, we encourage you to take the time to be a vocal pit bull advocate on social media and in your everyday life. 

image courtesy of Barkpost.com


  • Treva Jane

    Laura- you are just wrong. Instead of blaming certain breeds- blame the humans who use these dogs for “income” and the buyers who use them to “look tough” instead of train them. I have a pit mix now and she the sweetest dog I have ever known. Do some research next time.

  • Laura McDonough

    Pit bulls and several other breeds have attacked people, mainly children some are family pets. These animals need to banned everywhere. I know of two women who were attacked and had to go to the hospital, articles in the news have also reported dog attacks. A danger to small children and a danger to the public. Pit Bulls rated most dangerous dogs.

  • Robin Haselow

    This is the first time I’ve joined the end on this conversation and Sandra I must tell you you sound like with your mentality you sound like you felt right into that category of yourself need to be euthanized you need to educate yourself true some might be due to DNA and that stands for all in any breeds it is in the upbringing makes me wonder who you’re up bringing to occurs with and what’s in your DNA you’re rude you’re ruthless and you are stupid and dumb so maybe you should be euthanized leave those Bull terriers alone they are the most loving dogs I know and shame on you but remember Jesus forgives all I say in the flesh unfortunateltly

  • Robin Haselow

    I’m a strong advocate for Bull terriers PD’s I refuse to use the term or refer to them as pitbulls as they do have a bad stigma unfortunately for those poor babies I have rescued for pennies in my life for 40 years the longest I owe what’s the Staffordshire terrier and she was beautiful and in my opinion due to my experience they are the most laid back and loving of that breed it saddens my heart that what I’m reading unfortunately ring so true and the ignorance in our society regarding the viciousness of pitbulls if you will it’s just so sad and it really angers me that people could be so I don’t want to say ignorant I dare to say stupid and selfish that’s not to educate themselves on that breed of dog for they are the lovingest dog I recently adopted a Dalmatian / Jack Russell from Florida due to a monsoon I have really had to change up on my style of discipline and teaching and training we are very very aggressive dogs and very very different mindset that that have been that of Katie’s if you will however I still love my animals I didn’t rescuing animals for 40 years and as I said the longest one I’ve had was 2 months shy of 15 years and it absolutely broke my heart to lose her I wish more people would get involved and educating themselves on any breed of animal any breed of dog and not to be so judgmental due to their ignorance I went to live in the trailer park in Florida they absolutely refuse to have pit bulls if you will in the trailer park and it said in the contract the verbatim especially staffordshire terriers that angered me so to the point where I had to go into the manager’s office and say something about him and enlightened them on they’re so wrong I I roll with a heavy hand in my discipline tactics with my panties if you will and I do it with love I’ve never had any of my rescues fear me or run from me I had one bite and was put down and that’s solely too because kids teeth are so much for such a long time she broke loose she was the most swimming dog and the city got a hold of her and sorry to say they put her down I tried my darndest to save her she was my first rescue and they took her from me and they hit her from me I found her and I asked my mayor for help he refused to help she was supposed to be released after being in 72 hours however they would not release her and they ended up euthanizing her it angered me so and it hurt my heart so that it’s forever imprinted in me I will forever forever be an advocate for Bull terriers and whenever I do hear the term Pitbull out there that is often used it’s usually used by a very ignorant very ignorant mentality and I definitely have to step up and educate them on the pitbulls if you wil

  • Trump

    How do you delete a comment???

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.