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Changing The Image Of The Pit Bull Breeds

Updated on September 28, 2010

Bradley Smiling by Melody Chen

Bradley. Photo by crossposter Melody Chen. Bradley had on an Elizabethan collar but look at that smile!
Bradley. Photo by crossposter Melody Chen. Bradley had on an Elizabethan collar but look at that smile!

Roger L. Cotterman: Dog Rescuer and Investigator

Good morning readers. I'd like to introduce you to a remarkable man. His name is Roger L. Cotterman and he's changing the way we see the pit bull and other bully breeds.

I totally agree with his message. It's not the breed that's a threat. It's the way a dog is both trained and treated that determines the disposition. These dogs are NOT born mean. The ones who are mean were made that way through abuse or improper training. I invite everyone to study this site.

Many are being rehabilitated through programs specially created for dogs who have been made mean by human abuse. For more information on this please see my hub article at

It's time for the public to understand this issue and that is the reason behind this story I'm doing on Roger. He not only rescues this breed from death row shelters, he's also leading the way in educating everyone on how loving pit bulls really are.

The pit bull is not a breed into itself, but several breeds. These include the American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier.

I personally love the breed because they always have a smile on their face.

Roger L. Cotterman has a long experience record in investigations. Over 29 years worth of private investigations and private security. He's also an animal investigator who looks into animal abuse including backyard breeders and dog fighting rings. Roger is based in Dayton, Tennessee.

I emailed Roger a few days ago asking for information on how he ended up in the animal investigation profession. The following is based on the reply he gave me. So I feel the need to give him credit for this article.

I'm filing this article under "animal abuse and neglect" because the treatment of these dogs is what makes the rescue organizations and rescue individuals necessary. Pit bulls are fought and bred and fought and bred again until the dog is used up and dumped out on the streets for the rescuers to pick up. Those taken to the pound are almost always given a death sentence.

I'm pleased to tell Roger's story as it is such a positive step in educating the public about the breed.

Two years ago, Roger was ignorant as to what was going on with pit bulls in this country. Then on November 22, 2008, as he returned home from the store, there was a white female pit bull standing in front of his building. His wife was scared to death and carried their then 12 1/2 year old lab/chow mix Ginger into the house. He tried to chase the dog off thinking that someone had allowed it to run loose, or it had broken loose from it's owner. She had a collar on and there were no tags or identification on the collar. The dog would not leave, regardless of what he did to get her to leave, she was determined that she was staying there.This was on a Saturday. On Sunday he took her inside. They contacted the sheriff's office and the officer said the animal control officer was off until Monday, and if they didn't want to keep her to call them on Monday. Now he's glad they were closed.

On Monday they took the dog to the vet and found out if they hadn't brought her in, she would have died in 5-7 days from a uterine infection. That is when they found out that some of her teeth had been gnawed off where she had chewed on stone or wood to try and get out of where she was being kept. She had pups 6-7 weeks prior, and the pups had been dragged away from her on the 22nd. She threw up grass and twigs for a week. The vet told them she'd drank her own milk to try and survive. He also estimated that she was around 18 months old and had 2-3 litters of pups. They decided to call her Blanca, because she was all white and had seven black dots on each ear.

They took her home and Roger held ice in his hands to re-hydrate her. All the while he was wondering "how in the hell can someone treat a dog like this." The dog would get as close as she could to him and she had to be touching him when she slept or she would move around till she was. His wife was terrified of her so he slept with the dog on the sofa bed. After a few days his wife realized the dog only needed love and affection and was not the demon the media had made Pit Bulls out to be.

That is when he searched the internet to find out what he could about Pit Bulls. That is when he learned the media was clueless about the breed. They were demonizing a dog that had been a war hero and Hollywood movie and TV star. It was then that he learned that 99.9% of the Pit Bulls that wind up in a shelter are euthanized. He also learned that the media in many cases were mistaken about the breed, and in many cases could not pick a pit bull out of a photo array of 20 dogs.

Since November 22, 2008, Roger and his wife have been involved in a local rescue, as well as several Pit Bull rescue groups. They are doing everything they can to help this breed, including educating people that these dogs are not the demons that they see on television. They also currently have Shekina, a 2 year old red female they saved from a shelter on September 9, 2009, where she was scheduled to be euthanized that day. They are still looking for a forever home for her. They make sure that every pit bull is either spayed or neutered before they are placed up for adoption.

Roger explains his belief in saving the pit bulls as follows: "The key to saving pit bulls is that we all have to network together and help all the dogs that we can. We need to work on getting more foster homes, so that we can help more dogs, the reason that many Pit Bulls are euthanized is because there are not enough foster homes to help these dogs. Almost every rescue that I have spoken with is either full or above full and cannot take another dog. However, as we search and find more foster homes, we need to scrutinize these people more than we do normal fosters, for obvious reasons."

I'd like to thank Roger for all of the work he does for the dogs. This country could do with a couple of thousand like him. I wish him and his rescues the best of luck in finding furever homes.

And I hope everyone comes away from this article with a better understanding of the breed.


Elisa Black-Taylor is a regular contributor to

Jesse by Melody Chen


Up for adoption

This fellows name is Roscoe, he is an approximately 9 month old male who is not, dog, food or pup aggressive. He already obeys some general commands, so he will be easy to train. Looking for a foster or rescue, please feel free to crosspost. Please contact Roger L. Cotterman on Facebook is looking to adopt. Roscoe is in Tennessee.



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    • erthfrend profile image

      erthfrend 6 years ago from Florida

      So so true! Thank you for writing this article. EVERY dog deserves a chance. I dont believe in the "dangerous breed" thing at all. Each dog is an individual, capable of so much love. Its the humans that do them wrong but the dog that gets accused. Have you ever watched The Pit Boss? Excellent show of a pitbull rescue that does everything they can to educate people on pit bulls.

    • profile image

      janie darmody 6 years ago

      Thankyou for this article. The breed does need more advocates that will continue to educate the public on this wonderful 'bully breed'. So, each of us must do all we can to spread a positive message.

    • profile image

      ronald eenwerd 6 years ago

      You are right about those pit bulls!!! A goof eductation is very well...

    • profile image

      rex tyler 6 years ago

      In the UK Pit Bulls are covered under dangerous dogs rules but thats because people are ignorant here, and several yobs got hold of the dogs and use them for a sort of staus symbol.

      I accept that all dogs trained well are good. I use to have a bull terrier, those dogs can be very dangerous but he was such a sweetie and did everything with me

      I agree a good dog whatever breed is a good dog

      but ill treated ar trained badly by some human scum

      and the dog does whats expected if it,and probably ends up dead.

      It is nice to be able to read about a breed from someone who obviously loves them and is prepared to understand them. thanks

    • profile image

      jasper420 6 years ago


    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 6 years ago from UK

      Well done for this! :-)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination :) Celebrate with your pets as you vote and promote your hub. See your nomination on the pets and animals category right here:

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      What a great job bringing attention to the poor rap this breed of dog gets. Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination.

    • Ipeoney profile image

      Ipeoney 6 years ago from USA

      Hi congratulations on your hubnuggets nominations.

    • Elisa Taylor profile image

      Elisa Taylor 6 years ago

      Thank you everyone. I have no clue what the hub nuggets are. I saw it but I've been so busy keeping up on the writing I haven't read about the hub nuggets. I just chose because I needed a place to put the dog stories I write and I was getting up for sneaking them onto I'm a writerholic. I think I write instead of sleep half of he time.

    • profile image

      Amie Warren 6 years ago

      Congrats on your nomination! I know a man who raises pit bulls, and he tells me that yes, they are nice dogs, but they always retain that mean streak, so you really should not have them around small children. His dogs are very nice, but he had to put one down recently because it started attacking other dogs for no reason. It's like owning a wild animal. I just wouldn't want to take the chance.

    • evvy_09 profile image

      evvy_09 6 years ago from Athens, AL

      Congrats on being nominated! I agree with you about pit bulls. Beautiful dogs who do not deserve the rep they have. Any mean streak they retain was bred in them by people but with care can be train out. I have a rottweiler/great pyrnees mix. People are sometimes afraid of him until they pet him. Has never shown any signs of aggression toward anyone. I've been around alot of different dogs and seems like the smaller breeds are more aggressive at times.

      Rated up and awesome

    • Elisa Taylor profile image

      Elisa Taylor 6 years ago

      I have a very big dog myself. He's part boxer and part giant. He must weigh 140 or so. People are afraid of him but he's a baby. Just don't mess with mama. I think people should be very cautious with dogs and kids. You just have to use some common sense. I just hate to see a breed labeled bad and killed without anyone giving them a chance. And Amie I understand about putting a dog down. I've already given my daughter instructions if anything happens to me my boxer needs a good home or he'll have to be put down. It would take a special person to be able to handle him. He's slowly turning into a cantankerous old man. He's almost 11 now. And he did attack once when I was being abused.

    • beverleejb profile image

      Beverly Boisen 6 years ago from New York

      They are a beautiful breed

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Sorry, I have not had great experience with pit bulls. Living in Hawaii, many people use them to scare people away from their yards. Also, read the article telling a sad story about one:

      I wish it was true, that they could be trusted, but so far, I am really scared of them.

    • profile image

      Roger Cotterman 6 years ago

      Thank you Elisa for a well written article, as for Roscoe, his name was changed to Riley and he has already found someone willing to take.

    • profile image

      Dorothy 6 years ago

      Hey Rog, Keep up the good work do as much as you can to help these dogs. Sissy

    • profile image

      Fran 6 years ago

      Kudo's to Roger and his family. I also had "bit" into the "pit bull" myths and when my son said he was getting one didn't sleep for a month. Well that "unwanted" pittie girl passed on a few years ago and my life has never been the same. I'd had dogs before but SHE was SO different. Never had I known a dog so willing to please or obey. She changed my life and now I work to educate and dispel myths and misconceptions. Sadly so many media outlets need to sell papers so have created this travesty. Fear sells, so they create it. What a great article. It gives me hope.

    • Elisa Taylor profile image

      Elisa Taylor 6 years ago

      I tend to stay in touch with Roger on a daily basis these days, and for some really good pit photos please check out this page and the other photographers I have on here.

    • profile image

      NikiiLeeReyes 6 years ago

      I am linking this one as well to my hub; we can stand up for these animals. They cannot speak for themselves. Its not the dog thats at fault here; but the owner. I love reading your work; Stand up woman you are and brave too. Blessed be.

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