Making Dog Breed’s Owners ‘Responsi-Bull’

20070413-200848-pic-774260955_eTwo years ago, a Poulsbo woman suffered the worst pit bull dog attack in the area in recent memory. The incident even spurred some changes in the area’s laws, and the pit bull’s boxer-mix’s owner, was charged with a felony.

UPDATE: The dog was assumed at the time to be a pit bull. It was only later found to be a boxer-mix, though it was possible to have had some pit bull in its family tree.

Many dog lovers out there were quick to comment at the time with a simple catchy mantra: “Blame the deed, not the breed.” And this April, four animal welfare organizations are partnering for the “Responsi-Bull Project.”

You’ll have to drive to Tacoma, but that may be well worth it to “…Encourage responsible pit bull ownership, and ultimately lower the euthanasia rates of this breed currently facing an epidemic of homeless,” according to organizers.

It’s a three part program that includes free spaying and neutering, a free “responsibility” workshop, and free obedience classes.

Here’s more from the organization’s release.
“In the early 1900’s, the American Pit Bull Terrier was so respected for its loyalty, intelligence and determination that the U.S. military chose an image of this iconic breed to represent our country on war posters. Today, due to irresponsible owners exploiting the very characteristics that once made pit bulls an All-American breed, they have become the most abused and misunderstood dog breed in history.

Despite their top-rated temperaments or their once respected status, pit bulls have become the breed of choice for many irresponsible people, and consequently are flooding animal shelters. An estimated 1/3 of dogs entering our shelters are pit bulls or pit bull mixes, and 90% of those dogs will not find a home.”

Part I: Pit-Fix

Beginning April 6th, for a limited time, owners of pit bulls can have their dogs spayed or neutered free of charge at the Coalition: HUMAnE Spay & Neuter Clinic in Tacoma.  To schedule an appointment email or call (253) 627-SPAY.  Email preferred.  A picture of your dog must be emailed to or mailed to the clinic to schedule an appointment – Space is limited. The clinic is located at 2106 Tacoma Avenue S., Tacoma, WA 98402.

Part II:  Pit-Ed

Do you want to combat the misconceptions about the pit bull breed?  Worried about the Breed-Specific Legislation changes proposed in the Puget Sound? Tired of seeing people shy away from your beloved pit bull? Learn the “do’s and don’ts” of owning this amazing breed and help restore its family dog image.  Attend a FREE Responsible Pit Bull Ownership Workshop hosted by BullsEye Dog Rescue on Sunday, April 19th from 2-4 p.m., held at Positive Approach Dog Training located at 1501 S. Center St., Tacoma, WA 98409. Space is limited so register now by contacting Lorrie at

Part III:  Train-A-Pit

Positive Approach Dog Training and BullsEye Dog Rescue have teamed up to offer a four week basic obedience class for pit bulls that is FREE to those who complete the class. You will be asked to pay a $40 registration fee and every week you attend you will receive $10 back.  Attend all 4 classes and the class is FREE (normally a $150 value.) Classes will be offered Saturday evenings from 2:30-3:30 p.m., 4-5 p.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m. starting April 25th. Don’t miss this great opportunity to teach your dog new tricks! Contact Lorrie at <>  to register. Space is limited and the workshop is required to receive the free training classes.

To learn more about the program and its sponsors, BullsEye Dog Rescue, Coalition: HUMAnE Spay & Neuter, Pawsitive Alliance, and Positive Approach Dog Training, please visit

7 thoughts on “Making Dog Breed’s Owners ‘Responsi-Bull’

  1. If I’m not mistaken, the dog in the Poulsbo attack was not a pit bull but was a boxer. I agree that calling the dog a pit bull probably attracts more readers but is the story totally true.

    1. Larry,

      You bring up a good point. The original reports on the incident were that the dog was a pit bull. Here’s a paragraph from our final story:

      “While it had been stated in police reports that (the dog) was a pit bull, (its owner) and her attorney say he was actually a boxer mix — though they add it was possible the dog had some pit bull in him. The victim of the attack had requested that Law not own a pit bull or a pit bull mix in the future, and prosecutors included that in the plea agreement, according to Barbara Dennis, Kitsap County deputy prosecutor.”

  2. This is fabulous! Being the owner of an adopted female (and spayed) Pit Bull, I can tell you first hand IT IS NOT THE BREED. She is the sweetest, kindest and most devoted dog I have ever owned or been around. It is tragic what publicity and abuse has done to the reputation of these dogs. For anyone who doesn’t believe that, I suggest you buy, rent or otherwise tune in to National Geographic’s premiere episode of DogTown: “Saving the Michael Vick Dogs.” If this doesn’t bring you to tears and forever change your opinion of Pit Bulls, you have issues!

  3. “Today, due to irresponsible owners exploiting the very characteristics that once made pit bulls an All-American breed, they have become the most abused and misunderstood dog breed in history.”

    In fifty plus years of different breed dog involvement I’ve only been bitten twice and by the same dog – a standard poodle – not his ‘fault’ that my fingers were in his way.

    My sister as a child was once badly bitten by a cocker spaniel… who ran out on the road she was walking to attack her. It turned out the dog had a history of biting kids.

    Many things can cause a dog to bite, things that may have nothing to do with its breed…
    Sharon O’Hara

  4. “Many things can cause a dog to bite, things that may have nothing to do with its breed…”

    Good response Sharon. Other than Pit Bulls being ugly, if you treat them right they are just like any other dog.

  5. people stop giving our beautiful dogs bad names im on my second pit bull hes 7 months old and the koolest dog around hes very gently and nice any dog no matter wat breed it is and scare people and many people freak out over stupid crap too lol stop giving our dogs bad names its all in the way u treat ur dog and take care of them i have two dogs and there both beautiful dogs and wonderful and playful and gently and so on so stop wat ur doing ur only hurting things for every one

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