Shelter manager uses adopted pit bull to show gentler side of breed

Published: Apr. 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM CDT
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SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Trace White walks down the hallway at Sikeston Head Start Thursday morning, his tan and white pit bull Butters in tow.

We asked White, head of the Sikeston Area Humane Society, why he's taking Butters out to meet the public.

"Basically, to teach kids not to be afraid of dogs," White answers.  Butters, wearing blue bunny ears trots alongside him.

"A lot of people are afraid of them," White says of pit bulls.  "A lot of people truly don't understand them just because of what people train them to do."

"Hey guys," White exclaims as he and Butters walk into a classroom of eager 3-5 year olds.  "Here's Butters!"

The children quickly make their way to a carpeted area and sit on the floor.

White grabs a small chair and sits down, Butters obediently at his feet.

"Ladies first," White says, as a little girl comes up to give Butters a hug.

White says he started taking the two year old male pit bull to schools and nursing homes in October of 2011.

White admits sometimes Butters' appearance can be scary.

And with all his tattoos and piercings, White says he's had the same problem.

But together, the two have become welcome visitors, teaching a hands-on lesson in compassion and respect for both pet and owner.

During this visit Butters sits patiently as each child gives him a pet and a hug.

White even gets a hug of his own.

White says he hopes to expand Butters' visits.

For more information, you can contact White at

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