Many pit bull owners know its very difficult to find an apartment when you state you have a pet and its a pit bull. Even as bully owners, we fall into the same category of stereotyping that all dogs of this breed are bad by nature. This happens to be the main reason why we all, as a community need to come together, come out and support events and show the public how wonderful our dogs are. We can play a part in changing one mind at a time.
American Temperament Society did a study testing 400 pit bulls and found 86.8% showed low aggression. Coming in 2nd place overall as most tolerant breeds. First place being taken by the Labrador Retriever. Despite this study, Pit bulls remain with the worst rap. Currently there are no regulations to protect pit bull owners from housing discrimination . Many states laws would hold the landlord responsible if an incident involving a pet happened on their property. So somewhat out of fear, somewhat out of false knowledge, many homeowners will not entertain the idea of a pitbull, due to risk and liability, even if they will entertain the idea of a pet otherwise. Homeowners can legally refuse rental of their properties solely based on pets, this includes cats or dogs at their own discretion. So if you were faced with this decision and it came down to homeless or pet less, what would you do? One California family was faced with such a situation.
The Devia family, with two children and 2 pets were evicted from their home, and found that when they began looking for a new home to rent they were faced with No, and No, reason being their pit bull. The pit bulls name is Rocco. He was a lifelong pet, house-trained and sweet. Rocco had an incident on record of injuring another dog who had poked his nose through the fence of their yard. He took and completed a course at BAD RAP . The owners paid fines, and obtained a license and insurance for their pet. He never had another incident people or dog related. With this blemish on his records, the decision to dump their dog in a shelter meant he would most likely end up put down. The decision between dog shelter, or not have a roof over their head was a reality. They had to choose. They chose Rocco.
For the past year, the Devia family lives in their car, with their 2 dogs, Rocco the 7 year old pit bull, and Camilla (16), who is a lab mix. Their sons are currently staying with friends, but they have made a decision to stand firm that giving up their dog was not an option. They would rather be roofless then ruff-less.
Photo courtesy of BAD RAP