Amy Hotchkiss has taught her pit bull named Robin how to sit, roll over and obey. The tricks are good for the pet.
"It will teach her to pay attention to her owner and be prepared for life outside of the house," said Hotchkiss.
Robin is the 36th foster dog that Hotchkiss has kept in her Maple Grove home. She has a heart for rottweilers and pit bulls, two breeds that have a reputation for being vicious fighting dogs.
"It's a loving and warm feeling to know that that dog that you put all the time and energy and love into is going to a home where they are going to love them even more," said Hotchkiss. "I think a lot of people who have those ideas have never really been around a dog. Once they do, they'll fall in love with their goofy little faces."
Hotchkiss is a foster parent through A Rotta Love Plus, a Twin Cities organization that advocates and fights for the 'underdog.'
"I don't think pit bulls have any more reason to have a bad reputation more than any other dog," said Sara Nick, communication coordinator for A Rotta Love Plus (ARLP). "Certainly like any other dog, a pit bull can bite, but dogs that bite are often set up to do so by people who miss signs that are common in all different breeds of dogs."
Nick says pit bulls are overrepresented in shelters, which results in a higher number of dogs euthanized due to overpopulation. She wants the organization to help overcome to negative stereotype so the pets can be placed in good homes.
"We want to make sure this great dog has a chance to have a good family life," said Nick.
Amy Hotchkiss knows that her foster dog, Robin, will be a good representation of a happy, friendly pit bull.
"A good breed ambassador is what we call them so when people see them out there, they'll say that's a pit bull? That's exactly what a pit bull is," said Hotchkiss.
Learn more about A Rotta Love Plus on its website www.arottalove.org. You can also check out how to adopt a pet or become a foster parent for a rottweiler or pit bull on the site.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Tuesday, July 31, 2012