For years, pit bulls have been getting a bad rap in the U.S. By many, they’re perceived as vicious, dangerous, and even blood-hungry beings and they’re often believed to be born fighters and naturally violent, aggressive, and mean. These statements couldn’t be further from the truth though, and Elle the Pit Bull proves that.
Elle, a five-year-old pit bull, was just recently crowned this year’s American Hero Dog by the American Humane Association for her work as a therapy dog.
The adorable pit works in an elementary and middle school in North Carolina. Her guardian, Leah Brewer, started a program called “Tail Waging Tales” with Elle to help children practice reading and strengthen their confidence, reports TODAY.com. Elle sits with students as they take turns reading aloud for around 20 minutes.
“She provides confidence for students and a comforting ear,” Brewer told TODAY.com.
More than one million public votes and input from a panel of animal advocates and celebrity judges helped propel Elle to the top of the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog finalist list.
Over 141 dogs from across the nation were nominated for the Hero Dog awards. Eight finalists, including Elle, emerged from this long, amazing list. Other finalists included a three-legged dog named Cassidy who visits children with disabilities at rehabilitation centers, and SB Bronz, who helps his 14-year-old guardian with seizures. A complete list of 2013 finalists can be found here.
“The dog community is trying to grapple with issues around what to do with breeds that have some bad reputations, “ said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association. “This is a fantastic awakening to see a pit bull win.”
All dogs nominated for the awards are winners in our book. Congratulations to all and especially to Elle, who is helping to debunk myths about one of the world’s most misunderstood dogs!
Find out more about Elle and her work on her Facebook Page.
Image source: Elle the Pit Bull Facebook Page