Charlotte, NC - Novant Health decided it will not ban pit bulls from serving as therapy dogs. The company had been considering a ban on pit bulls visiting with sick patients because of the negative stereotypes that are associated with them.
In a draft copy of a proposed rule change at Novant Health, it is written that "pure bred or mixed bred pit bulls are subject to negative public image and are prohibited."
Pit bulls and other dogs often serve as "therapy dogs" -- visiting sick patients.
After FOX 46 aired its exclusive story about the potential policy change, Novant Health released a statement about their decision to keep their policy the same. A spokesperson wrote, "Novant Health will continue to allow certified dogs of all breeds to serve in pet therapy. Periodically, Novant Health reviews its standing policies to ensure they stay current and are following best practices. After input from team members, a suggested change in the policy to prevent pit bulls from serving as pet therapy dogs has been removed. The policy was in a review period and never in force with that language."
"Pit bulls in general, they get such a bad wrap, all the stereotypes," owner of a pit bull service dog Amber Lube said." Any dog can be a mean dog if you train it to be a mean dog."
According to dog trainers Fox 46 spoke with pit bulls were, initially, bred to fight, and in some isolated cases, they still are being bred to fight. There was an alleged dog fighting operation busted outside of Charlotte in Huntersville last week.
"They do have a higher bite rate and when they do bite they're good at it unfortunately," dog trainer Frank Pendleton said.
Pendleton trains dogs for a living at The Dog Knowledge in Charlotte. Frank owns a pit bull and says they're his favorite type of dog, but sometimes they can be aggressive.