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DNA Reveals Shelters Often Mislabel Dogs as Pit Bulls

February 15, 2016

A new study from the University of Florida has revealed that animal shelters often mislabel dogs as "pit bulls."  The study tested the breed assessments made by employees from four different animal shelters on 120 dogs.  The employees included four veterinarians and all employees had at least three years of experience.  Comparing the animals' DNA profiles with the employees' breed assessments, researchers determined that dogs lacking any genetic association with "pit bull" breeds were mislabeled as pit bull-type dogs up to 48 percent of the time, depending on which staff member was assessing them.  These misidentifications can have legal ramifications for these dogs and their potential owners as the breed is prohibited by many homeowners' associations, not covered under various insurance policies, and sometimes outright banned.


For more information, see:

  • Sarah Carey, UF Health Newsroom, "DNA studies reveal that shelter workers often mislabel dogs as 'pit bulls,' " February 17, 2016,

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