Pit bull dogs might be cute, but they’re also controversial. In fact, in some countries these pooches have to wear a muzzle in public, while in others they’re simply banned all together. And no matter where you go, you’ll find people assuming that they’re very aggressive. But here are 20 animal-loving famous ladies who would strongly disagree with that preconception.
Back in the ’90s, Madonna owned a little pit bull terrier called Pepito. He was a present for her 36th birthday, and he was simply adorable! So adorable, in fact, that the pop icon posed with him to promote her 1994 album Bedtime Stories. In 1996, though, the Queen of Pop revealed to her fan club magazine Icon that her special pup was all grown up and “enjoying freedom and sunshine in California.”
19. Serena Williams
The father of Serena Williams once told Trans World Sport his daughter was “like a pit bull dog” on the tennis court, so maybe that’s why she likes the breed so much? The tennis star currently owns a pit bull called Bambi; however, she got into trouble in 2006 when another pit bull living on her property bit a security guard in the butt. Oops.
18. Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray loves one breed of pit bull in particular — the red nose Pit Bull. And although this particular type of dog is outlawed in some U.S. states, the cook told Forbes in 2016, “These sweet animals get a bad rap and are unfairly ostracized.” Ray currently has one red nose called Isaboo, with whom Ray added to Forbes that she has “one of the most profound relationships that [she has] ever had.”
17. Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco, star of The Big Bang Theory, loves all kinds of animals, but she loves pit bulls in particular. The actress is a big advocate for the breed; indeed, you might have seen her in the “I Love My Pit Bull” PSA describing them as “the most amazing dogs in the world.” Her own pit bull Norman, meanwhile, even has his own Instagram account.
16. Lake Bell
Actress Lake Bell adopted a rescue pit bull called Margaret in 2002, and it wasn’t long before she was singing her dog’s praises. “I had no idea that pit bulls were notorious or that there was any bad press about them,” she told The Pet Press. “She looked beautiful, and so kind and sweet.” Margaret stayed with Bell for 15 years before the beloved pooch sadly passed away in summer 2016.
15. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba called her white pit bull Bowie — yes, after David Bowie! The actress adopted her musically named pooch from L.A. rescue center Ace of Hearts, and now Bowie wants for nothing. The pampered pitty has her own play area, an eco-friendly doggie bunk bed and even a special “dog room” in Alba’s L.A. mansion.
14. Rachel Bilson
Rachel Bilson of The O.C. has a pit bull named Penny Lane, whom she shares with her ex Adam Brody. Broody gave her the dog as a present to help her overcome her fear of the animal, and Penny Lane soon became her doggie best friend.
13. Fiona Apple
In 2012 singer Fiona Apple postponed her South American tour to care for her dying pit bull. The dog, called Janet, had started life as a fighting dog before being rescued and put into the care of Apple, who completely fell in love with her.
12. Bernadette Peters
Actress, singer, writer and dog-lover Bernadette Peters once owned a rescued pit bull named Stella, who inspired her to write the children’s book Stella is a Star. Sadly, however, Stella died in 2013, but she still lives on in the pages of the much-loved story.
11. Jessica Biel
Actress Jessica Biel loves her pit bull Tina so much that she actually gave her her own Instagram tag: #tuesdayswithtina. And Tina, who Biel shares with husband Justin Timberlake, is now one of the most popular pooches on the whole social network.
10. Sophia Bush
One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush once told Pets WebMD she was “the dog version of the crazy cat lady,” and her pooch of choice in the pit bull. The star owns three of them, in fact, and has since remarked to People that her beloved rescued pits were “the loves of [my] life.” Awww.
9. Gisele Bündchen
Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen and her husband Tom Brady own a pit bull called Lua. And it seems Lua is angling to be a celebrity just like her parents – she often pops up on her mom’s Instagram and even starred alongside her dad in his “Down Time” ad for UGG.
8. Miranda Lambert
Singer Miranda Lambert is another celebrity who is crazy for canines, including pit bulls. And while Lambert doesn’t have a pit bull of her own yet, she’s definitely done a great deal to help them. In 2007, for example, she launched a charity called the MuttNation Foundation, which renovates animal shelters and offers dogs forever homes.
7. Erin Wasson
Model Erin Wasson, a long-term lover of animals, has found a life companion in Cream the pit bull. The Texan beauty even told Oyster magazine in 2016, “I live and breathe and die for my dog.” And Wasson loves Cream so much, in fact, that she even has her pooch’s name tattooed on her.
6. Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone is a big animal rights advocate, and so perhaps it’s no surprise that she’s a massive fan of pit bulls. The Clueless actress has been speaking out for the breed for years, and she counts a vegan pit bull called Butterfly among her many adoptees.
5. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston has a gorgeous pit bull named Sophie, and the actress showed her off when she took over the Instagram of beauty brand Living Proof Inc for a day in 2015. Aniston named her pooch after the movie Sophie’s Choice, because she said it was just so hard to choose her when so many other doggies needed to be re-homed.
4. Shannon Elizabeth
Shannon Elizabeth has owned lots of dogs throughout her life, at least two of which were pit bull crosses. The actress first fell in love with the breed when she adopted a boxer-pit bull cross called Sasha from a pal who was moving abroad. And she loved Sasha so much, she began adopting more — in fact, at one point there were six dogs living in the Elizabeth household!
3. Amy Jo Johnson
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Felicity actress Amy Jo Johnson once owned a beloved pit bull named Lucy. Sadly, however, Lucy passed away at the beginning of the ’00s, but it seems as if she had a very happy life accompanying her owner as Johnson pursued her career.
2. Miley Cyrus
Megastar Miley Cyrus owns a lovely white pit bull named Milky, and she tags him in Instagram pics with the hashtag #peaceforpits. True to form, however, it didn’t take long for the singer to cause controversy with her pet care practices — in 2015, for example, fans blasted her after she polished Milky’s nails and drew on his fur.
1. Linda Blair
Linda Blair of The Exorcist fame isn’t seen much on screen anymore, but that’s probably because she’s out rescuing pit bulls. Her mission started when a pit bull followed her home one day, and she completely fell in love with it. Blair then realized that the media had exaggerated how dangerous they were; today, then, she runs the biggest pit bull rescue centre in the whole of the U.S.