Christiansburg-based Mountain View Humane offered $20 spay/neuter packages for pit bulls and pit mixes Tuesday. Each package also included a rabies vaccination and microchip, and all 20 available spots were filled quickly.
The group’s director says it held the special in order to help the stigmatized breed, which is more likely to end up without a home than other breeds.
Some studies suggest nearly half of Americans would not feel safe having a pit bull in the house.
Roanoke opinions seem equally split.
“I think there are very few dogs that are inherently aggressive by nature, but if you’re in the wrong environment, then almost anything can happen,” said Brad Allen.
“I think a pitbull, if you train it right, is okay,” said James Burnette.
“I think the dog’s a great dog, until it takes your face off. Some breeds are probably more prone to do that than others,” said James McMahan.
“I think the owner is a resemblance of the pet itself. If it has a good owner, it’s probably a good pet,” said Angelique Adams.
Official counts differ, but the breed is banned in a number of cities, countries, and even airlines.
Mountain View Humane Executive Director Sylvie Peterson doesn’t buy the hype.
“If you look at the number one aggressive dogs, they’re not going to be pit bulls,” she said. She adds that a well-trained pit bull is as safe and loving as any other breed.
“The number one way to prevent homeless pets, to prevent pit bulls / pit bull mixes from ending up in shelters or even being euthanized, is by preventing the unwanted litters from happening in the first place,” she said.
Peterson says, thanks in part to a grant, her group hopes to make the event an annual tradition.