Pit Bulls More Popular in the Tri-Cities

Pit Bulls More Popular in the Tri-Cities »Play Video
TRI-CITIES -- Pitbulls have a bad reputation as an aggressive breed. Despite this, KEPR has learned the dogs are becoming more popular than ever in the Tri-Cities.

Trisha Linder has been a fan of Pit Bulls since she was a teenager. She now runs a pitbull rescue group out of her Richland home. Richland is the only spot in the Tri-Cities where you don't need a permit to own a pit.

"They are an aggressive dog. They're bred to be an aggressive dog. You just have to know the breed and know how to train them and raise them. It's hard to find them homes when Pasco and Kennewick don't allow them. It's really hard," says Trisha.

The calls are pouring into Tri-Cities Animal Control about unregistered pit bulls, abandoned pit bulls, and some with injuries. The dogs are often dumped by their owners, especially after staged fights.

Trisha tells KEPR, "Pit bull fighting is around here, people just don't know about it."

Trisha can only hold five dogs at her home at a time and the dogs are filling up Tri-Cities Animal Control. They often take up 60 percent of the shelter's space.

Animal control chief, John Brown, says this affects more than just him. He explains, "That means we we don't have a lot of room for other dogs that are out there. With the pitbulls, they just keep coming in, and we only have so much room."

Trisha responds, "It's upsetting because I know there's a dog suffering out there that needs shelter, that needs food."

The shelter recently hired two more officers to help with the mass of calls about strays, and make vicious dogs a priority.

So while they may be feared by many, they're still popular, and still bred, leaving the need for new homes for all of the Tri-Cities' pits.

It costs $25 to get a permit to own a pitbull in Kennewick or Pasco. Despite the efforts of the shelter and rescue groups to do away with the permits, the cities don't plan on changing the rule anytime soon.