7/26/2010 Update:

Pit Bull owners encounter problems in Hoboken…

Updating this general Pit Bull story from last fall – it seems that if you own one, your choice of living arrangements in Hoboken is slim. Many buildings now have rules against Pit Bulls. Other than finding a brownstone or non-managed dwelling – what advice do you have for Hoboken411 reader Beth who sent this letter in?

Are you an unfit renter if you own a Pit Bull?

“My husband and I have been volunteering our free time for the past 10 months at a local shelter in Jersey City. We spent time walking, training and socializing dogs so that they become more ‘adoptable’. After months of helping out, we fell in love with a sweet, timid pit bull terrier named ‘Honey’ whom we eventually rescued and brought into our own home. She had the initial ‘rescue’ anxiety, shadowing us for a couple of weeks, but soon relished her independence and was happy and content to be home in her new environment.

I’ll cut to the chase: our lease is ending soon, and my husband and I are looking for apartments. Little did I know, that my sweet, 40lb lap dog of a pit bull, whom I call ‘mouse’ because she’s as quiet as one, is unwanted and discriminated against by almost every major leasing/management company in the city of Hoboken.

“Breed Legislation,” they call it. I call it Breed Discrimination.

After a few Web searches, turns out that Curling Club, Grand Adams, Shipyard, all Applied buildings, Archstone, Observer Park just to name a few will not have our monthly rent check, because of our rescue dog.

I cringe when I hear people playing into the whole media thing about how pits with negligent owners ‘maul’ or ‘attack’ someone. I agree that there are horrible people out there that do not properly keep after their pits. Any kind of animal, I don’t care what breed, will act out improperly if not given the proper care, attention and discipline by a caring owner. Pits are very powerful and need to be trained and socialized by responsible, loving people. Unfortunately there are many pit owners out there who acquire these dogs for the wrong reasons, further feeding into the bad rap that people who don’t know the breed well, like to share and use as grounds for breed discrimination legislation. As one of the many Pit lovers out there, I say with a heavy (and exhausted) heart, that I do not believe there is any legitimate reason that my own dog (and in turn my husband and I), are discriminated against when it comes to looking for a new home. ‘Mouse’ loves children, the elderly, doesn’t chew, jump, bite, even avoids the couch where she knows she isn’t allowed. I heard her bark once and it was at a fly on the wall.

I can’t help but think about my last residence, last year at 333 River Street, before we had our dog. Our neighbor had a fluffy yappy purse-sized dog whom loved to chew the interiors of the apartment into saw-dust, unwravel the bedroom carpet, and wake up neighbors in the wee hours of the morning with its high pitched bark. Another neighbor had a toddler who complained of being followed and bitten by the fluffy furball in question. But friends, that’s ok, because the dog isn’t a pit bull, right? I just found out that 333 River Street is one of the most recent management companies in Hoboken to enact a breed restriction within their contracts. Funny, because at least my dog would never chew the inside of their apartments. Good luck with that, Applied.

I find it very ironic that my husband and I, as outstanding citizens of Hoboken, are devoting our time and love to this once abandoned animal, and now are seen as unfit rentors within the city. Which, is completely full of bully dog breed owners. Where are they all living?”

Any advice?

See original story about Pit Bulls getting a “bad rap,” after the jump!

Pit Bulls get bad rap!

11/5/2009:

Pit Bulls (and Pit Bull Mixes) have long had a “bad rap,” from glamorized stories of vicious attacks, to being trained in improper ways. While many responsible Pit owners raise their dogs in a healthy, positive environment – there is still some debate about a specific genetic component of the breed that cannot be undone.

A conversation has come to surface recently, suggesting that once the “door has been unlocked” in a particular Pit Bull – regardless of how normal the dog’s temperament is – that perhaps the dog in question avoid the relatively small dog runs when other dogs are present. Upon hearing of a surprising & unfortunate incident with a friendly and well-liked rescued Pit-mix, Hoboken411 reader Leslie reached out to a friend, Maire, who is a very well informed and responsible rescue pit owner (With a lot of open space in CA vs. the limited parks in Hoboken) asking, “Should we welcome into small Elysian off-leash dog run an otherwise friendly little pittie girl who snapped, attacking another dog?”

pit-bulls-get-bad-rap-marie_monte_badrapshirt

How to handle the Pit-Bull problem?

“My friend Marie, who lives on Treasure Island in SF Bay with her gorgeous and smart Pit buddy, Monte, advises …

“Ummm… dog parks… sigh.
Small dog park… bigger sigh.

Unfortunately due to the politics involving Pits, I wouldn’t recommend a dog park for political reasons, above and beyond the behavioral issues.

The ‘problem’ is other breeds often start things, but a Pit will finish it. You can’t ignore the breed’s genetic make up, which many Pit owners do. It is for this reason, I don’t recommend dog parks, let alone a *small one,” to Pit owners. (Arrggghhh… too many clueless owners who think it is the place to give their dogs a taste of freedom, before they have a decent recall/basic obedience.)

If you see [the aggressive Pit] there again, I’d mention the issues with the breed, politically, and that it might not be good idea to take his/her dog to a dog park.

I’d also question the age of the dog as being a possible reason for a ‘change’ in behavior. As Pits mature, they can become Dog Aggressive (DA) which does not correlate to Human Aggressive (HA). If the dog is about 3 years old, its owner may notice a change from Dog Social to DA.

I’d be concerned that the dog now knows what an adrenaline rush feels like… It can take only one good fight/hit to create an addict.

Here’s some info:
pbrc.net/socializing.html
badrap.org/rescue/dogpark.cfm

And if the owner says he/she plans to keep coming to the dog park, show him/her this: pbrc.net/breaksticks.html and ask him/her to have one in their physical possession if they plan to have their dog at the park. It might save a life.}

Marie”

In summary, though I’ve never felt threatened by our local rescue Pit friends, thought Marie’s advice was sage nonetheless, especially since Marie is such a fan of and good trainer of Pit rescues.

What are your thoughts about Pit Bulls these days?

Hoboken NJ

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