ASPCA Launches Adopt-A-Bull Contest

Pit Bull

The ASPCA will launch an online contest in February for the “perfect pit bull and adopter match”: the ASPCA’s Adopt-A-Bull Contest, sponsored by Animal Farm Foundation.

Entries will be invited from both shelters and the public (who can nominate the shelters they adopted from), and will focus on adoptions of American Pit Bull Terriers and dogs that appear to be predominantly of that type, that have taken place through shelters using the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match program. The ASPCA Meet Your Match program is a scientific, research-based adoption tool aimed at creating better matches between prospective pet parents and animals based on accurate behavior assessments for the animals and understanding an individual adopter’s lifestyle and expectations.

“The ASPCA’s Adopt-a-Bull Contest is a great opportunity not just to highlight the positive attributes and merits of the American Pit Bull Terrier, but the importance of making good, long-lasting matches between pets and people,” said ASPCA President & CEO, Ed Sayres. “Every animal has the potential to thrive in the right home and the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match program continuously fosters the kind of successful matches beneficial to every party involved: the adopter, the animal and the shelter.”

The contest will run four times through the year, with one winner announced for each quarter. Each winner will automatically be entered into a contest for the grand prize. The grand prize winner will then be selected in 2009 via an online public vote. The prize package for quarterly winners includes a $4000 grant for the shelter, and an ASPCA Collection gift package for the winning pit bull-adopter match. The grand prize shelter winner will receive an all expense paid trip to New York City in April 2009 to participate in the ASPCA’s third annual ASPCA Day celebration and a $5000 grant for their shelter. The grand prize pit bull and adopter winner will receive a photoshoot with a professional photographer and a bronze of their pet.

“Animal Farm Foundation is pleased to sponsor the Adopt-a-Bull contest because the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match program promotes matches based on individual personality, instead of color and breed,” said Animal Farm Foundation President, Jane Berkey. “We are confident that the contest will promote great family matches for dogs that appear to be predominantly American Pit Bull Terriers.”

Berkey added, “Pit bull dogs are just dogs. Four legs, two eyes, and one heart.”

Photo: Bad Rap

12 Responses to “ASPCA Launches Adopt-A-Bull Contest”

  1. Dianne says:

    I love this idea. Check out my link to BADRAP.

  2. Denise says:

    Its the its the people that make or break this breed in most cases. The dogs are the innocent ones. I am so happy about this idea I think its wonderful.

  3. Don Earl says:

    I agree.

    A lot of positive benefits could come from better programs to educate the public on responsible pet ownership.

    I don’t believe dangerous breed designations are unwarranted. Let’s face it, many of these breeds are bred specifically for agressiveness, with pit bulls being at the top of the list on that account. Anyone who knows their history knows that’s true. While Michael Vick is viewed as the anti-christ in modern times, his dogs were the ultimate result of a centuries old breeding program to develop fighting dogs.

    For a person who wants a lap dog to fetch sticks, and doesn’t have a fenced yard, a pit bull is about the last breed they should consider. On the other hand, it doesn’t take too much reading on these boards to find people who love and truly understand the breed, and all the responsibilities that go along with owning them.

    I think it’s a great idea to have a system to match potential pet owners to the right pet, and educate the public in the process. If someone pops up and says, “I want home security and something furry to pat once in awhile.”, suggest an alarm system and a guinnea pig. Everyone will be a lot happier and fewer innocent people will be attacked.

  4. EmilyS says:

    Don Earl, my pit bulls are lap dogs who fetch sticks.

    There are many places you can learn that pit bulls were (originally) bred to fight other dogs. And ALSO bred to be very submissive to people which makes them fabulous pets in the right hands (which is not different from ANY dogs).

    Funny how people like you always talk about some negative aspect of pit bulls, which you only know about from the media, but always leave out the positive parts.

  5. chris says:

    I agree with you EmilyS.

    You can take a Poodle and turn him into a mean fighting dog if you treat him to behave that way.

    You can also take a Pit Bull and turn him into a loving lap dog.

    To those who dont know any better or just listen to the media shouldnt assume that all Pits are all fighters.

  6. Don Earl says:


    My next door neighbor had a pit bull and I visited him often. A very nice dog at home. One day it got out of his yard and was on the verge of attacking a couple that had come by to visit me. I got between them and the dog and got everyone to slowly back into the house, while the dog crouched, snarled and went into its pre-attack lunges.

    Anyone who thinks this is typical of poodles and labs is a halfwit. Comments about how easy pit bulls are to handle by the person who raised it from a pup are about what you’d expect from the typical owner whose dog mauls a 4 year old. They don’t have a foggy notion what their dog is capable of when out of their sight and assume it will act the way it does at home while roaming the neighborhood.

  7. Diane says:

    “They don’t have a foggy notion what their dog is capable of when out of their sight and assume it will act the way it does at home while roaming the neighborhood.”

    Perhaps they shouldn’t let it roam the neighborhood then?

  8. Tammy says:

    The history of the pit bull far predates the time when bans on bull baiting caused blood sport fanciers to turn to fighting dog against dog. The very name “bull” or “bulldog” gives us the clue as to what the original purpose of this breed was.

    Far back into history - too far for us to see - man had bred dogs for gripping large game like boar and bear. From these dogs developed the Butcher’s Dog, or Bulldog. The bulldog was an animal from 35 to 80 pounds, long of leg, sturdy in body, athletic, with a strong head and muzzle. The pit bulls of today descend directly from these animals.

    crossposted from

  9. Don Earl says:

    RE: “Perhaps they shouldn’t let it roam the neighborhood then?”

    I lived there for about 5 years. As far as I can remember, that was the only time his pit bull got out of his yard. He really was a good neighbor and a very considerate pet owner as far as keeping his pet confined to his yard, keeping barking problems from being a problem, and he kept the dog indoors at night.

    Unfortunately, one time is too many with pit bulls. Among other things, my place was across the street from a neighborhood playground. In the situation I mentioned above, it was really pure, dumb luck the encounter was with someone not afraid of dogs, instead of a child or someone likely to trigger an attack reflex by running. As it was, I was probably lucky to have been able to difuse the situation, and I still resent that it was necessary in the first place.

    It could very easily have ended up being one of those sad, stupid stories where a child is dead with its throat torn out, and the dog owner is telling the press about how nothing like that had ever happened before, what a great family dog it is, etc..

    I also knew a couple that had a dog that was quite possibly the most friendly dog I’ve ever met. I don’t remember the breed. It was on the smaller side of medium sized, white, and had a short legged, sheepdogish flavor to it. The little fellow didn’t have a mean bone in its body and flat out loved everyone, which was evidently a temperment characteristic of the breed.

    IMO, that’s where the whole pet matching thing makes a ton of sense. A pit bull isn’t right for everyone anymore than a cockapoo is right for everyone. There’s no shame in not being the perfect pit bull trainer and owner, with a large fenced yard, but it is a shame if that person ends up getting a pit bull anyhow.

  10. straybaby says:

    “with a large fenced yard,”

    you do NOT need a yard to have a pit bull or any other breed of dog. :) you just need to be willing to give whatever type of dog it’s proper exercise. sometimes a yard is a bigger problem for a dog than the lack of one ;) i live in the city in an apt with a Dalmatian. lots of dals, sporting breeds, pit bulls etc in my ‘hood and none of us have yards. we just do what it takes to keep the dogs happy.

    i’m glad the ASPCA is doing this. we have many young pit bulls just waiting to curl up on a couch next to their new families :) i’ve met a ton of them in the shelters here that would be great family dogs. most want nothing more than to be able to adore you 24/7 ;)

  11. Lis says:

    Don Earl, within living memory the pit bull was a totally unexceptional and unremarkable American pet dog. If you didn’t want a hunter or a herder, and didn’t want a “little” dog, you very likely had a pit–precisely because they were great with people, and could go anywhere with the kids when kids were routinely roaming all over town.

    No one tsk-tsked over the dog in the Little Rascals movies, because everyone knew it was “just a dog.”

    No, pits aren’t right for everyone. They need good leadership and good exercise, and they have a somewhat greater tendency than other breeds to be dog-aggressive. But that’s no different, really, than Labs being hyper during their adolescence, and potentially seriously property-destructive if they don’t get enough exercise. With every breed, you need to be aware of the breed tendencies, and with every dog, you need to be aware of its individual personality. There’s nothing espcially difficult or problematic about pits–at least, pits that haven’t been bred by the criminal or criminal-feeding element that breeds for aggressiveness, or trained by people who want dangerous dogs and make their dogs dangerous by their treatment of them.

    Your neighbor’s dog was probably spooked by being out of the yard alone and encountering unfamilar people without its owner present–an unfamiliar and therefore unsettling experience.

  12. angela says:

    This is great news. Thank you ASPCA and Animal Farm Foundation!

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