Vick Scandal Makes Finding Homes For Pit Bulls More Challenging

Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Imagine being unwanted because of something somebody else did.

That's how Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes at the Hawaiian Humane Society must feel. They're trying to find loving homes in the face of the disturbing Michael Vick dog fighting case.

Whenever there's a high-profile, negative case involving a certain breed, the Humane Society worries that more of those dogs will be turned in and fewer of them will be adopted.

Kuu Niko of Ewa is adopting a Pit Bull. She's naming the adorable puppy Bronx.

"People judge them as like, you know, mean dogs," Niko said. "But I think it just depends on the owner, like the way you train the dog."

Bronx is one of the lucky ones. The Hawaiian Humane Society expects to have some difficulty finding homes for Pit Bulls because of the bad rap the breed is getting following NFL quarterback Michael Vick's dog fighting scandal.

"It perpetuates a negative image about Pit Bulls in general, that they're aggressive, that they're the dog fighters, that they're the dangerous dogs," Alicia Maluafiti, Hawaiian Humane Society, said. "And it's just simply not true."

She says it all depends on how the owner raises the dog.

Adoptions counselor Kevin Martin is playing with three-year-old Jose.

"He came in on July 9th," Martin said. "So he's been here for almost two months."

He says Pit Bulls, like Jose, are often misunderstood.

"He's a really loveable dog. He's sweet," Martin said. "And I don't know, he just wants, his tail's wagging all the time. He just wants to have a good time, go out and play."

Shey is a three-month-old Pit Bull mix. Right now, the Humane Society says it has about 25 to 30 Pit Bulls just waiting to be adopted.

"Every animal that comes through the shelter, whether it's a cat or a dog, goes through an assessment, a behavioral assessment," Maluafiti said. "The dogs in the adoptions area are those animals that we've assessed to be adoptable."

The Humane Society says it always has more Pit Bull mixes than other types of dogs because you simply find more of them in Hawaii.