FARMINGTON – When you hear the term “pit bull” what comes to mind? Unfortunately, the staff at the Franklin County Animal Shelter said the majority of people they meet and talk with think only negative things when they hear that phrase.

They realize that there are a lot of scary stories out there concerning pit bulls so they can understand why someone might be hesitant to adopt one. But, in dealing with as many dogs as they do in a year, they said they know the truth isn’t that the dogs are all violent and vicious killers who could never be placed in a family environment.

Staff members said it can be frustrating when they try to talk with potential adopters about a dog and the adopter immediately dismisses the idea of adopting one, based solely on the fact that it is a pit bull.

If the public could meet some of the sweet, loving, affectionate pits that the shelter has taken in, the staff thinks they would change their mind. And that is what this pet of the week is all about.

It is a “group” feature, since the shelter has quite a few pit mixes in their dog room. Dogs like little “Mya,” a sweet 1-year-old brindle pit, whose owners dropped her off because they didn’t want her any more. She was so flea-infested that she had started to chew herself raw. Despite the fact that she was neglected by her previous family, she has nothing but kisses to give.

Or, they think maybe someone would like their boy, “Hamm,” whose name comes from the fact that he loves to “ham it up,” keeping the staff in stitches as they watch him play. Give him a soccer ball, they said, and he will keep people entertained for hours.

There’s also handsome “Tyson,” who owners used for breeding then considered him disposable.

And finally, there is bashful little “Tobi,” who was shy and scared when he arrived but now wants nothing more than to curl up in someone’s lap and receive a belly rub.

The staff asks the public to remember that a good natured, sweet tempered pit bull is never an “exception,” but almost always the norm.

New dogs at the shelter include a male beagle mix with a collar brought in from Jay, a female yellow lab mix brought in from Avon and a male black lab mix brought in from Vienna.

The staff also asks the public to keep the animals at the shelter in mind during this holiday season. Any donations that might make the holidays a little brighter would be welcomed.

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