Groups Try to Change the Image of Pit Bulls

April 14, 2011 Updated Apr 15, 2011 at 8:05 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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April 14, 2011 Updated Apr 15, 2011 at 8:05 AM EDT

City of Batavia, N.Y. (WKBW) -- Vicious maulers. A danger to everyone. Pit bulls have been used for dog fights and by gangs to guard drug houses. But, as Joyce Clark walks her daughter's dog along a quick street in Batavia...this pit bull mix is a world away from the breeds stereotype.

"People have just grasped on to the fact that these are mean dogs and really they are not," Clark said. Joyce also owns a pit bull mix. Her daughter's dog Cassey was found abandon and in poor health in a warehouse in Buffalo. Cassey has been living with her new family for almost two months.

"I think people hear the word pit bull and they think that it's automatically just this mean fighting machine. And, they don't ever take the time to go to a local shelter...go to a local rescue...get to know the breed...get to see how intelligent they are..how loving they are..now much they just want to be part of a family," Clark added.

For Joyce and her fellow bully breed lovers...raising awareness is a difficult task. For every 700 pit bulls and pit bull mixes that end up in shelters.... "699 will not ever find their forever home. Only one of those dogs will. Unfortunately the other 699 will be euthanized, solely because of their breed," Clark said.

Over the next few months different community events will be held to try and change the perception that people have about the breed. "Given the right training...proper socialization...they can be the most loving, loyal pets you could ever want," Clark remarked.

You can get more information about the upcoming events, by going to our web site, www.wkbw.com and clicking on news links on our home page.