Cincinnati Pit Crew (CPC) offers programs that focus on creating safe and humane communities through education and owner support. We believe that educating community members of all ages about responsible ownership, basic care, and safety strategies is an important part of our mission. Providing guidance, support, and training for individual owners creates a sense of community that fosters a culture of inclusion and creates a network of responsible dog owners in the Greater Cincinnati area.
What is a pit bull?
The term "Pit Bull" doesn’t describe a single breed of dog; it’s a generic term used to define multiple breeds of working dogs that were initially bred by crossing bulldogs with terriers. The core breeds include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but the term is now used to encompass a wide array of muscular dogs with short hair, many of which are mixed breeds with a similar look but a different lineage. Dogs commonly mislabeled as pit bulls include Boxers, Mastiffs, American Bulldogs and Plott Hounds, among others.
a Brief history of pit bulls in the united states
It’s believed that the first Pit Bulls were brought to America by English and Irish immigrants before the Civil War. In Europe, the dogs had a mixed history of being used as working dogs to protect the family and field, and misused for savage sports like bull baiting, which was outlawed in the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835.
When Pit Bulls came to the U.S., they were brought over as prized family possessions, and were typically general purpose herding and working dogs, earning their keep as hunters, herders, guardians and household pets.
By the early 1900s, the Pit Bull was one of the most popular breeds in the U.S., and had become a symbol of American pride. They were used in posters to recruit soldiers and sell war bonds, and a Pit Bull mix named Sgt. Stubby was the first dog to be awarded Army medals. He not only survived being wounded twice in combat, but also saved his entire platoon by warning them of a poison gas attack. Stubby went on to become an American celebrity, meeting three different presidents and becoming the mascot for the Georgetown Hoyas football team.
Pit Bulls were also embraced in popular culture, with respected companies like RCA and the Buster Brown Shoe Company using the Pit Bull as their mascot and in advertising. Petey, the beloved dog with the ring around his eye from The Little Rascals, was also a Pit. Popular figures from this era like Theodore Roosevelt, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Helen Keller were all proud Pit Bull owners. Because of their loyalty and temperament, they even earned the nickname “nanny dogs,” entrusted to watch over and protect children while parents worked on the farm. Pit Bulls were America's sweetheart breed: Admired, respected and loved.
what is breed specific legislation?
Breed Specific Legislation, commonly referred to as BSL, is generally defined as any ordinance that restricts the ownership of dogs by local municipalities or governments. BSL restrictions can include:
1. Liability insurance requirements
2. Muzzle and/or leash requirements
3. Special licensure
4. Required enclosures or signage
5. Complete bans
According to the Animal Farm Foundation, experts have proven that Breed Specific Legislation does not make communities safer for people or pets. It is costly, ineffective, and undermines the human-canine bond. Regulating breeds puts the focus on the dog, without addressing owner behavior and the owner’s responsibility to the animal and the community. In an environment of breed discrimination, the breed identification of a dog can have serious consequences with municipal authorities, animal shelters, landlords, and insurers, all of which will compromise the bond between a family and their dog. There is no evidence to support breed specific legislation.
For additional information on BSL and to access a map to find out if BSL exists in your community, please visit the Animal Farm Foundation website by clicking here.
humane education programs
good dog, good day
The “Good Dog, Good Day” humane education program focuses on the qualities of responsible dog ownership and safe interactions with dogs. Our research has revealed that many children in Cincinnati’s urban neighborhoods have developed a fear for dogs as a result of negative experiences with resident and stray dogs in their communities. The program aims to teach children basic care for and humane treatment of dogs as well as providing the opportunity for children to interact with a helper dog in a safe and controlled environment. This program is designed for children ages 4-10, or grades Kindergarten through 4.
The program will be initially implemented in Community Recreation Centers within the Cincinnati Recreation Commission network but may be expanded to daycare facilities, YMCA summer youth camps or library programs in the near future.
The Kennel Enrichment Service Learning program offers the opportunity for participants to work directly with a local animal shelter by creating handmade dog stimulation and challenge toys that give adoptable dogs a welcome distraction from the often chaotic shelter environment. Participants tour local shelter facilities, learn about adoption initiatives, and are able to give adoptable dogs a change of scenery in the play yard. The Kennel Enrichment Service Learning program is facilitated by a Cincinnati Pit Crew volunteer with support provided by local shelter staff. The program is ideal for youth and school groups, scouting troops, families, or neighborhood arts groups.
Cincinnati Pit Crew (CPC) offers a unique opportunity for Brownie Girl Scout troops to combine the “Good Dog, Good Day” program with the Kennel Enrichment Service Learning program to meet the requirements of and earn the Brownie Girl Scout PetBadge. Troops will visit a local animal shelter and receive a tour from the shelter staff, deliver handmade dog toys, and interact with adoptable shelter dogs. A small (per scout) fee may be associated with the scout program depending on availability of resources as well as the cost of the badge itself.