Should People be Allowed to Keep Pit Bulls as Pets?


  • Author Olivia Meadow
  • Published March 5, 2024
  • Word count 789

Should people be allowed to keep pit bull dogs as pets legally? Personally, I believe that pit bulls should be allowed to be legally kept as pets, but others may argue against me. I argue that people should be able to keep pit bulls as pets.

Not all pit bulls are bad.

In a blog (1) I read, one paragraph said: “... It wasn’t until the latter part of this century that pit bulls began to acquire their bad rep.” As you can kind of tell, this means that pit bulls have not always had a bad reputation, and used to be thought of as very good dogs. They were bred to be hunting dogs, and throughout their journey of survival, they began to gain a bad reputation due to the media and humans making them look evil. In Florida, in 1990, pit bulls were banned, and they made a comeback in 2023. For the first time in 34 years, pit bulls were made legal to keep as pets again.

The reason these dogs were banned was because of an attack on a young girl named Melissa, who was attacked by a pit bull in 1989. There were also other dog attacks, but the news media focused mainly on the pit bull attacks. Melissa went through many plastic surgeries because of this attack throughout the years after this attack. However, not all pit bulls should be blamed for the actions of only a handful of this species of dog. Needless to say, not all pit bulls are ‘vicious’ or attack people, and personally, most of the pit bull dogs I have met were very sweet dogs. But, should all pit bulls and their owners be punished for the actions of a different pit bull?

The media manipulates people into thinking pit bulls are evil!

“ News outlets… erroneously report dog attacks… even if it is later revealed that the dog was not in fact a pit bull… the idea of the pit bull as a dangerous breed is reinforced in the public eye.” Quoted an article that I read (2). This quote explains pretty well itself, but in other words, this means that not all attacks are as bad as the news media exaggerates it. The media has also lied about the type of dog in dog attacks and left out other information (such as the ‘victim’ teasing or aggravating the dog) to villainize the pit bull and trick the people into thinking they are really evil.

People use the excuse of pit bulls being bred as fighting and hunting dogs to say that when they attack, it's just in their nature, but really, it's not just all that. Untrained pit bulls have been known to attack, but trained pit bulls have also attacked. People and the media villainize pit bulls, saying that it is always the fault of the pit bull when it attacks, but some cases have been a pit bull defending itself when it has been mistreated. In some cases that a pit bull was suspected to have attacked, it could have been another dog -such as the commonly confused with pit bulls- a boxer. Other dog attacks were not just all pits. Some news people actually changed up the story or blamed a pit bull for the attack, instead of another dog, like a German shepherd, or a Labrador. Labrador dogs are close in the number of attacks that pit bulls have, but news media dismisses those to keep up the ‘good’ reputation of the Labrador retriever.

So, should pit bulls really be illegal to keep as pets?

In my personal opinion, no. Just because one pit bull attacked, does not mean all the other pit bulls should be put to blame. Others that may argue against me might say, “pit bulls are vicious and will attack more people” but, that is not true for all pit bulls.

In the school that I go to, my peers and I surveyed teachers, staff, and other peers in our school about this. We asked, “Should pit bulls be legal to keep as pets?” and out of the thirty-seven people we surveyed, only four people said they should be illegal to keep as pets. The other thirty-three people we surveyed said they should be legal. The majority of the people we surveyed were not against pit bulls, and most of them did not own a pit bull. As you can see from this, our school would most likely vote for keeping pit bulls if our town had ever decided to vote if we should keep pit bulls or not.


1 - “Pit Bulls Haven’t Always Had a Bad Rep” by Pitbull_Lover on Blogspot

2 - “ The Media and The Pit Bull “ by James Cross

I am a 12-year-old writer who loves animals and writing!

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