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Braveheart's abandonment a common story for pit bulls - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Braveheart's abandonment a common story for pit bulls

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Ronda and Bo Spataro are holding their new dog Braveheart after a short-lived but passionate fight for his return from Caddo Animal Control.

"We just could not be happier," Ronda Spataro says as her husband holds Braveheart. "We just can't believe one little guy has so many people that love him."

They say the support from other dog rescue organizations and even strangers allowed them to take him back into their care.

It's a happy ending too many neglected dogs never get.

Related Story: Braveheart suspect surrenders to Caddo Parish authorities

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, says that pit bulls have become the number one breed admitted to many animal shelters and up to 70-percent of urban shelter intakes. The advocacy group says pit bulls, a group consisting for five different breeds, is the number one breed represented in the euthanasia rooms.

The Spataros say the now four-month old Braveheart could easily have followed a similar fate.

When he was rescued Sept. 11, he was in poor health with the potential for behavioral problems since those first months are crucial for a dog's socialization. Luckily, they say he was saved before too much harm was done.

Related Story: Custody battle between Animal Control and Braveheart's family

"We've fought too hard to let him go so this is Braveheart Spataro," Bo Spataro says.

According to the American Kennel Club, "bully" breeds have increased in popularity over the past decade. They ranked as the US's 51st and 76th most popular dog breeds in 2012.

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