OAKLAND, N.J. — The Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland brought pit bulls out in force on a sunny Sunday to help teach people about their kinder, gentler side.
The Oct. 11 Pitbulls and Pumpkins Fall Festival invited dog enthusiasts and their pets to Shelter Lane to help reshape public perception of the breed.
Arlene Jurovitsky, the shelter's acting executive director, said there's more to them than in fighting rings or attacking people.
"Pit bulls are actually wonderful friends and family members," she said.
Dogs trotted in dressed as a pumpkin, a devil and Spider-Man, among others, as mingling owners shared their appreciation.
An owner who identified himself as Willy Mutt brought his dog, Diesel.
Diesel, 7, never shows signs of aggression and is good with children, he said -- yet people still get anxious around him.
"When you walk [pit bulls], people walk away from you," Mutt said.
Kelsey Revicki of Paramus lives with Piper, a nearly 2-year-old pit bull mix who she said loves to join her while she's doing homework.
"She thinks she's a lap dog," Revicki said, "even though she's 60 pounds."
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