KALISPELL — October is Pit Bull Awareness Month, so MTN News reporter Maren Siu met with Coleen Hilton, owner and operator of Paws Of Perseverance Bully Breed Rescue.
Hilton said, "October is Pit Bull Awareness Month. I actually disagree with that because it's an oxymoron. So when you throw Pit Bull and awareness together, that to me is a negative association."
"From a training standpoint, why should you have to be any more aware of a 'bully breed' than you would of a German Shepherd?"
Aggressive, scary, and dangerous are some words often associated with Pit bulls - but Hilton is trying to change those negative associations.
Hilton says Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers are some that qualify as bully breeds .
She started her non-profit after seeing a pattern at adoption centers. Many times dogs that were bully breeds wouldn't be adopted as quickly.
"I noticed those are the breeds that are staying the longest. We're talking six, eight months to a year," explained Hilton.
Hilton is dedicated to train and change the way people perceive bully breed dogs, and then seamlessly integrate them into a new family.
"We actually have started to turn around the view in Montana where a lot of dogs are, 'Oh you know, I want a family dog,' or what we would call a domestic pet. A lot of these guys they have that potential," said Hilton.
Since Paws For Perseverance has been running, Hilton believes has made a huge difference.
"The death toll and everything on these breeds, there needs to be a difference made and in our five years of business we've saved almost four hundred dogs," said Hilton.
With a house full of rescues, Hilton looks towards obtaining a commercial location so she can help save even more rescues next year.
In Great Falls, you can also contact the Electric City Pittie Committee to learn more.