Despite their adorable faces, Pit Bulls are wildly misunderstood in today’s society. In the past, they were called “nanny dogs” due to their fierce loyalty and knack for interacting with children, but nowadays their reputation has sadly gotten intertwined with the cruel and violent world of dogfighting. Even Pit Bulls who have never spent one day fighting are still perceived as aggressive because of their breed and because of this unfavorable image, many of them end up in shelters for years without getting adopted or worse, euthanized. These poor pups are simply the victims of an inaccurate stereotype that has gotten out of hand.
Stella, the Pit Bull, for example, was seized in 2014 from her home in the UK under the pretense that she was a dangerous breed and should not be permitted the same freedoms that other dogs have. Following the ordinance of the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991, kennel workers were forbidden to touch, play, or allow Stella to exercise. And so, for two years she spent her days within a three-by-nine foot cage and even was put on death row by a judge who felt that the “vicious” pup could not function normally in society.
Stella’s guardian, who insisted that the dog had not had any bouts of aggression under his care, went to court 11 times in an effort to get Stella back. Judge Graham Cottle, who was overseeing the case, did not agree to this. Thankfully he did agree to one thing: a new caretaker who was well trained in caring for dogs could take over possession of the dog for a six-week trial – if the dog appeared to not pose a threat to the public, he would repeal the death row sentence.
Wheldon Law’s Dog Law Specialists oversaw the case and went above and beyond to make sure the Judge gave Stella a fair chance. They shared this photo of the Pittie during one of her court appearances on their Facebook page.
After six weeks, all of the parties rejoined in court and the new caretaker, Caroline Pharaoh, had some major news to report: Stella was behaving wonderfully! She was running around happily in a secured field, she was interacting well with other dogs, and she had showed no signs of violence, despite the traumatic experience being locked up in such a small cage surely must have been for her.
“We have to be satisfied that the arrangements are such that the dog does not pose a risk to public safety,” said Judge Graham Cottle, “We have heard from Caroline Pharaoh and we were all extremely impressed.”
After seeing adequate evidence that Stella did not pose any threat to public safety, Cottle overturned the destruction order and declared that Stella would be able to stay on a farm with Pharaoh and her family!
From the looks of it, Stella is very happy with the decision!
Stella is a prime example that shows dogs should not be grouped together and stereotyped just because of their breed. Every single dog is different and their personality is influenced by their surroundings and the type of care they receive from their guardians. If a dog is trained to be aggressive, they will behave aggressively. If they are brought up with love and respect, they will be affectionate and respectful. The sooner people realize this, the sooner the negative stereotypes of this breed will be extinguished.
All Images Source: Wheldon Law – Dog Law Specialists/Facebook