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Flower hats are the best thing to happen to pit bulls

Artist's Photos Changes The Way We Look At Pitbulls

Activists across the country are trying to change the conversation about an animal that's, unfortunately, gotten a very bad wrap over the years: the pit bull.

New York based photographer Sophie Gamand is using her skills behind the camera to shed the tarnished image of pit bulls from something aggressive to something sweet.

The series "Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution" showcases adoptable pits in the New York area - who are all looking for forever homes. Gamand is trying to remove the stigma around pit bulls as being vicious or dangerous and highlighting the truth: pits can be very affectionate.

Pit bulls are often mistreated by owners, abused and abandoned. Sweetheart, one of the dogs in the series, was treated poorly by previous owners. Her little teeth have been filed down, some even ripped out. Even so, she's known as being very loving.

Another Flower Power pup, Lucy, (pretty much the happiest looking dog in the world) was abandoned at the vet's office when she lost use of her back legs. With surgery and TLC she's walking again at the age of 9.

There are tons of misconceptions about pit bulls so to help out the advocates like Sophie Gamand let's take a look at some of the facts.

According to the ASPCA, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters across the country every year. Of those, an estimated 800,000 to 1 million are pits. Look at the math - that's almost all of them. And pit bulls aren't really even a breed. The commonly used term refers to generic characteristics in certain dogs. The "pit bull" is actually comprised of any pure breed or combination of the following: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier or Bull Terrier.

Pit bulls aren't inherently bad or vicious. They're also not inherently good and loving. Like all dogs, pits don't have a conscience - they're a product of instincts and how they're treated by their owners.

Contrary to popular belief not all rescue pit bulls were abused and those that were mistreated can often be rehabilitated. Brooklyn was abused and stabbed in the head by previous owners. After a lot of rehab and a ton of love Brooklyn is looking for belly rubs, dog kisses and a forever home. Brooklyn came to hang out with his foster dad Brian Garton from Pibbles & More Animal rescue during the Huffington Post's pit bull week to show off how far he'd come.

All of the Flower Power pits are looking for a family so if you want to adopt one visit sophiegamand.com for shelter information. If you're not able to adopt but still want to help the cause prints of these photos are available and a 2015 calendar is in the works - all proceeds going to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Second Chance Rescue and Animal Haven - the rescue groups part of the project. You can also show your love for the project by tweeting a pic of your pup with flowers using the hashtag #PitBullFlowerPower.

And if you're looking to get a dog please rescue but, do your research, forever homes should be forever so find the right dog for your family.

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Dave August 15 2014 at 7:13 AM

Any dog can be provoked into attacking, and some more easily than a pit bull, but there are many other breeds that don't have the vice-like jaws and terrible potential for severe injury. Why take the chance?
I would sooner leave a loaded gun laying around the house than have a pit bull for a pet.

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10 replies
onionson August 15 2014 at 6:16 AM

Classic case of putting lipstick on a pig.

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4 replies
Dimi August 15 2014 at 8:31 AM

About a year ago i rescured an abandoned pit that i saw just standing in the highway. This dog is more affectionate, loving than most humans i know.

If i leave him alone he cries. If im around all he wants to do is lay down next to me and give me dog kisses.

I have seen what he is like angry and the only time he shows teeth is when he is provoked by me or someone in the family. Other than that not ONCE have i seen him get angry. He loves strangers..

Pitbulls are given a bad rep because of the scum human that owns them. And the only reason you hear more about pitbull attacks is because they are already so hyped as the worst dog so anything that a pitbull does gets amplified in the news...

Lets be real people these are animals that love and want to be loved. Nothing more..

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10 replies
skevwe August 15 2014 at 6:22 AM

I am more afraid of the humans and not the pit bulls.

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4 replies
hcwhy August 15 2014 at 8:14 AM

I'm a dog lover, but pit bulls scare me.

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6 replies
steel_nuts August 15 2014 at 8:45 AM

Pictures change nothing. You should be able to shoot one on site

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12 replies
pjpwrite August 15 2014 at 6:23 AM

Pitbulls are just dogs like any other. They are very smart and love the company of humans. I work in a shelter and work with many pitbulls and none of the 200 or so I have worked with ever game me a problem.

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1 reply
Dan pjpwrite August 15 2014 at 9:06 AM

Not all dogs are equal. Some breeds are naturally meaner than others and some breeds can't even be domesticated. But then my preferred choice for a housepet is the all-American alley cat. ☺

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2 replies
colokern Dan August 15 2014 at 10:36 AM

You are correct to some degree. All dogs , even of the same breed have different personnalties. My wife and I have had many different dogs, from great danes to half wolf, a dingo, poodles, sherpards, rottwielders, weinner dogs and pit bulls. All had different personalities, yet all what the same from me. Love , discipline and excerise. Which mean I needed to give them those thigs with a Calm assertive attitude. they knew they would not be miss treated nor abused. Just like you do with your children

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lyons56bob Dan August 15 2014 at 3:59 PM

Dan, I've had friends of mine that had cats that were mean. They would hiss and squal toward anyone that even got close to them. One even attacked their owner and evidently bit her pretty badly.

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rutch8 August 15 2014 at 7:23 AM

then why are there so many ppl attacked by pits?

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13 replies
smurf August 15 2014 at 7:41 AM

tell my insurance company!!!!!

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1 reply
animal2605 smurf August 15 2014 at 9:30 AM

I almost died laughing when I had a teacup chihuahua. They are also listed with pit bulls and others as dangerous. He couldnt bite and cause injury unless he got ahold of a small part of the body. His jaws just couldnt open far enough and even then didnt have the bite force to cause injury.

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olehippi August 15 2014 at 2:39 PM

I think this pit bull photo is more realistic:

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1 reply
Toray99 olehippi August 15 2014 at 11:23 PM

Tell and show it how it is...These dogs are bred to fight. They have serious aggression issues especially towards other dogs. Totally unpredictable!

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