Washington Animal Rescue League tries to revamp image of pit bulls

Workers with the Washington Animal Rescue League are trying to counter the bad reputation of the pit bull breed with an initiative to encourage people to adopt the dogs.

Leilani is a three-year-old female pitbull and at the center of the push to get the controversial breed back into loving homes.

“In every city, pit bulls are the victims, victims of abuse of neglect of the way we treat them of overpopulation,” said Gary Weitzman of the animal rescue league.

To keep the dogs from becoming overpopulated themselves, the league is waiving the $150 adoption fee and offering training classes at a discount over the Fourth of July weekend.

The league is hoping to rehab the image of the breed, which they say have been tarnished by reports of recent pit bull attacks.

The perceived bad reputation is something pit bull owner Darius Baker encounters all the time when out with his dog buddy.

“They're probably the most misunderstood out of all the breeds of dogs for the most part their behavior is just like any other dog, they just have that stigma about them,” Baker said.

That stigma is what Anne Eigeman expected to see from the pit bull living in her apartment building.

“Initially I was maybe little hesitant around them because I had heard they could be more aggressive than other dogs, but I’ve found that not to be a general rule,” she said.