Pit Bull Can’t Stop Smiling After He Gets Adopted From the Shelter

August 13, 2019 Updated: August 14, 2019

Studies have repeatedly shown that it’s training, not breed, that makes certain pit bull dogs dangerous—and that when treated well by their human families, the big-headed, short-haired pups are some of the sweetest-tempered friends around.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Meaty, the fat little brown dog‎‏ في الخميس، ٢٥ يوليو ٢٠١٩

Unfortunately, they remain a breed that gets avoided in shelters and adoption fairs even with their naturally sweet temperaments. They end up staying in shelters for an average of three times as long as breeds with similar behavioral traits simply due to an unfair stigma.

If Fresno, California, pit bull pup Meatball has his way, though, that stigma will start to change. He and his owner, Lisa Reilly, have been shifting public perception one photo at a time with their viral Instagram account since she adopted him in 2014—with his infectious ear-to-ear grin!

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Meaty, the fat little brown dog‎‏ في الخميس، ٨ أغسطس ٢٠١٩

Reilly decided that Meatball was the dog for her when she saw his photo in a post by Fresno Bully Rescue, where he was living at the shelter dedicated to proper training and de-stigmatizing of “bully breeds.” He looked so friendly that she just knew he was “the one,” per HuffPost.

Sure enough, the mild-mannered pit put on a big grin as soon as he was adopted, and he’s been smiling ever since. His smile looks so full of joy that Reilly decided she had to start sharing it with the world, and the world has been eating it up; the pair have a whopping 161,000 followers on Instagram and have even been recognized while out walking in public together.

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A post shared by Lisa Reilly (@loveabulllisa) on

According to Cynthia Polite, vice president of Pit Bull Rescue Central, pit bulls actually tend to show off those cheeky grins that Meatball flashes pretty frequently. It’s a genetic thing; the shape of their faces is rounder than other dogs, which makes it look like they’re giving a happy, goofy grin whenever they stretch their mouths outward.

“Since their cheeks are so wide, they almost all appear to smile,” she explained to The HuffPost.

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A post shared by Lisa Reilly (@loveabulllisa) on

Still, it’s clear from the bright sparkle in his eyes that Meatball isn’t just grinning by accident. This pup, who gets dressed in adorable pajamas and cheers on the NHL’s San Jose Sharks in his free time, is showered with more attention than it seems one dog can even handle. And he’s not alone, either; he has an adorable sibling named Ricardo Tubbs, who gives snooty faces to match Meatball’s own.

For Reilly, the grins that Meatball loves to show off in pictures are perfect evidence that the misconceptions about this breed are about as false as they come. She believes that his face works to support the growing movement of people who provide education and awareness that pit bulls are friendly dogs—which will hopefully help get plenty of his “bully breed” brothers and sisters adopted in the future.

“I think his huge cheeky grin resonates with what a lot of people say about this breed without having to say anything at all,” Reilly told HuffPost. “He’s just pure joy.”

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A post shared by Lisa Reilly (@loveabulllisa) on

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