There are millions of American Pit Bull Terriers living as beloved family members across the United States.  Here are just a few families who have found that these wonderful dogs fit their lifestyle.


Hector was one of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick's dog fighting ring.  The Yori's adopted Hector in June of 2008.  In his first year with the Yori's, Hector passed his Canine Good Citizen test, his Therapy Dog test through Therapy Dogs International, and his Temperament Test through the American Temperament Test Society.  Hector proves every day that we shouldn't judge dogs by where they came from or what they look like.

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Emma was found collapsed on the street by a Good Samaritan.  The litter of puppies she had recently given birth to were nowhere to be found.  She was skinny, missing fur and covered in scars.  She had obviously lived a very sad life.  The Good Samaritan, Patricia, and Lori of Downtown Dog Rescue nursed poor Emma back to health.  Then her mom, Jennifer, found her.  She has gone from a sad life where she was used as a breeding machine to the good life of a beloved family pet!  She shares her home with a cat, TC, and enjoys adventures with her mom.  Jennifer has helped her work through her shyness so that she can see the world as a wonderful place and not the scary one she spent her first few years in.  Her before and after pictures say it all.  This is one happy dog - and a very happy mom who loves her!



Lux aka Lucky was living in a backyard in Lancaster. His owner never let him in the house and planned to use him to breed. The scars on his face look like he had been in fights but i don't have any way to tell for sure. His owner lost his home to foreclosure and could no longer keep him. Through a mutual acquaintance he contacted me to rescue Lucky rather than take him to a shelter. It was right after Hank (my golden retriever) died and my whole family and other three dogs were so heartbroken that we jumped at the chance to save Lucky. Lux, as he is now called, is the most gentle, loving dog. He gets along perfectly with my dachshund, chihuahua, and bassett hound and loves every dog he meets. He was never let indoors at his previous owner's house and yet he magically turned out to be fully housebroken after the first night. He had serious heat rash when he came to us but is now fully healed. He's a happy, healthy, loverboy who loves hiking, jogging, giving kisses, sleeping in my bed, snoring, eating bagels, and letting kids climb all over him. I couldn't ask for a better dog, he made our family whole again.



Last year, we found ourselves in the path of an extra-large pit bull. He looked friendly, so we held our ground and got him to follow us home. Animal control told us he wouldn’t last long if no one claimed him, so we took him home and tried to find his owners ourselves. We were unsuccessful, which is fortunate because he showed many signs of abuse: he was flea infested, had a broken and bloody tail, a protruding rib, and signs of being hit hard over the head. He was terrified of dogs behind fences and had high anxiety when walking on a leash. Our vet thought he might have been a “bait dog.” Despite that, he was remarkably friendly with adults, gentle around kids, and playful with other dogs. We got him fixed up over several vet visits and tried to adopt him out, but after a few weeks we decided to keep him ourselves. 

Today, Surrey is a joyful dog, remarkably smart, eager to please, and he loves everybody. His anxiety has improved dramatically with proper, rewards-based training. We cannot leave the house without someone complimenting his good looks. He goes on pack walks with his trainer and when he comes home he becomes very animated as if he’s trying to tell us all about it. He loves pie, and will attempt to steal it before going for turkey. He enjoys playing his dog puzzle, and sitting in laps.



A little over a year ago, my husband and I met two wrinkly little 10 week old pit bull puppies who were up for adoption. My husband liked the hyper little girl puppy, but I was drawn to the mellower of the two. I sat next to him and he crawled into my lap, wrinkles and all. He is now a year and 4 months old, and still tries to crawl into my lap. The difference now, other than his size, is that he patiently waits until I give him permission. With consistent, calm, and positive leadership, Bentley has become a dog who is everyone's friend. Kids at the park love to throw the ball for him and other dogs like to play "chase" and "tug" with him. He is used for behavior consultations with other dogs at his doggy daycare because of his calm and friendly temperament. We are so proud that Bentley is a member of our family. He is truly an ambassador to the breed.


Jaxon  is a 2 year old pit bull.  I rescued him off the streets. He wandered into my yard, bruised and very skinny.  After trying to find his owner for a few weeks, no one came forward to claim him, so he was mine. I was already very attached to him. He is my angel, and he has saved my life 4 times in the 2 years I have had him. I have a very rare breathing condition that causes me to stop breathing completely when I'm asleep or unconscious. I have passed out 4 times at my house and all 4 times he will paw me, lick my face, and roll my head side 2 side, or bop me with his muzzle until I regain consciousness, he's my guardian angel in fur. I love him more than anything in this world.



Wallace was adopted from the local shelter so he wouldn't be euthanized.  Utilizing his extreme drive and desire to work, he has made a significant mark in the disc dog world.  From unwanted shelter dog to National Champion disc dog, Wallace proves what is possible of Pit Bulls in capable hands.  See Wallace in action here.  Be sure to check out ALL of his videos!


My brother and I went to a local rescue organization seven years ago specifically looking for a pitbull mix. The breed’s intelligence and loyalty was eye catching to us. When we took Harley out to the play yard, we immediately knew he was perfect for our family. Playful, smart, energetic, yet gentle.  We cannot imagine our lives without him. Harley impresses everyone he meets.   My brother-in-law never had dogs growing up and was hesitant to have a pet. Harley changed his opinion on dogs through his lovable personality. Harley is gentle with everyone he meets regardless of their age and size. He’s probably one of the best cuddlers I know!  He loves playing fetch and tug-o-war with his toys. Harley is the epitome of the phrase, “Enjoy life!” He’s also protective of our home and lets us know whenever a stranger is nearby by barking. He is everything my family needs in a dog.  I’m so proud to say that Harley has changed people’s opinions on the breed in the positive direction. It’s not rare for me to hear people say, “I wish my dog was more like Harley.”



We were hiking in Griffith Park when we noticed a skinny, stinky dog walking toward us down the road. We noticed that the dog was a pit bull, and not knowing anything about the breed, we were wary.  The dog eventually neared us and nudged at Molly’s hand. Molly lured the stray dog to the car with a muffin, and the dog eagerly climbed into the back seat.  We noticed the dog was a female, and she was in heat.  She drank about two liters of water and then asleep with her head on Molly’s lap.

We hurriedly tried to decide what to do with this dog.  We had wanted a dog for years, but it never seemed to be an appropriate time to adopt one.  On this fateful day, we decided that we could not turn this dog away if, in fact, she needed a home.  As we were driving home to our apartment (that explicitly did not allow pets), we decided we would post ads online to see if anyone had lost this dog, we would surrender her to a shelter (as is the law with stray animals in Los Angeles county), and if no one claimed her we would adopt her and name her “Atlas.”  “Atlas,” because this dog looked as though she had the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Anthony dropped Atlas at a shelter on Tuesday morning, and was told that if no one claimed her we could adopt her on Sunday.  The next six days were miserable, as we crossed our fingers that no one was looking to adopt a young, non-spayed female pit bull who was in heat.  Sunday came, and we rushed to the shelter to adopt out beautiful dog.  Atlas was mirco-chipped, spayed, and given all her necessary shots in short order.  We took her home and since then we have learned a massive amount about pit bulls and how to present Atlas as an ambassador for the breed.

In 2008, Atlas was diagnosed with a transmissible venereal tumor (TVT).  We thankfully found the Vet Cancer Group in Culver City, CA, and Atlas’ tumor was successfully treated with chemotherapy.  TVT is a rare condition that usually affects feral (non-spayed or neutered) dogs in undeveloped areas.  This situation gave us some insight into where Atlas might have come from.  Through the generosity of local organizations, friends, family members, Pit Bull Rescue Central, and anonymous online donors, we were able to afford Atlas’ much-needed chemotherapy treatment.  She is now recovered from her bout with TVT.

Atlas has proven to be a fast learner, and understands many spoken and signed commands including sit, come, wait, roll over, speak, and spin.  She loves meeting new dogs and people, and is well-behaved in all settings.  Atlas’ latest playmates include a Rottweiler named Roman and a small mixed breed rescue named Brando.  She enjoys hiking and camping (she has her own backpack and is able to responsibly hike off-leash), and is learning to swim.  Atlas is an energetic, funny, and loyal dog who wants nothing more than to be close to other dogs and humans.  She is doing her small part to change the public’s often negative perception of pit bulls, and to remind people of what wonderful family members pit bulls are.