Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

Why Adopting My Shelter Pitbull Was the Best Decision I Ever Made

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Everyone knows the question of “who rescued who?” and the debate on whether to adopt or shop. Dogs from shelters, especially pit bulls, have bad reputations and can sit in the shelter for months. My dog was a couple years old when we got him, and we think he had a rough past. He is covered in scars and gets scared when voices are raised or someone seems like they are hitting him. While we don’t and will never know his past, we love him very much and I do believe he rescued me.

My dog was a COVID dog, something to keep my family and me company during the lockdown. We had never had a dog before and started off fostering him. We all fell in love with him instantly and knew he would be ours forever. He was in the shelter from October to March with no one giving him a second glance. He had a lot of trauma from whatever went on in his previous life, and we had to adjust and learn how to take care of him properly. We encountered some difficulties, like when he chewed up my calculator when we left him home alone, or when he got loose chasing a squirrel on a walk because I wasn’t holding on tight enough. While we weren’t raising a puppy, we were raising a dog who had a very distorted view of what family is like and how he should be treated and punished.

My dog, Woodstock, quickly became my best friend and loyal companion. While I was trapped on home during the pandemic, I would take him for walks around our neighborhood, various parks, walking trails and the beach. There was always a new trick I could attempt to teach him, a new outfit to dress him in or a new tik tok trend to make him do with me. He cuddled with me every night and kept me such good company. When I went off to college, I was so sad to be leaving him behind. I still struggle with leaving him and I have a couple coping mechanisms I use. I have a Target weighted dinosaur that I cuddle with and pictures of Woodstock all over my dorm. I miss him always and when I am home for breaks it is always such a happy reunion. I do believe that he rescued me from boredom and loneliness, and seeing his cute little face never fails to put a smile on my face.

The debate over shopping vs adopting is one that is still relevant and highly controversial. I believe puppy mills are sad, but those dogs need homes just as much as shelter dogs do. My mother was always opposed to getting a dog, and now we have had our baby for three years. He is truly a member of our family and we wouldn’t trade him for the world. If you have been wanting something new to bring in your life, I hope you feel inspired to look at the animals in your local shelter. They can and will change your life!

Heidi Knaak

Winthrop '26

i'm a elementary education major at winthrop! i love nature, animals and writing :)