Viral message asks people to kill pit bulls on Halloween

SEATTLE -- A nasty message making its way around the Internet is encouraging people to kill innocent animals on Halloween.

The message, which asks people to "round up and kill as many pit bulls" as they can, began circulating online this spring. It went viral and upset so many people that at least three Facebook pages popped up begging people not to hurt the animals.

Earned or not, pit bulls have a reputation as a problem breed.

"They're strong dogs, so when they do bite they can do, potentially, more damage," said Monica Wylie with the Humane Society of Tacoma-Pierce County.

Those who own and work with the breed argue that not all pit bulls are bad. The breed is described as being highly motivated by food, which can make training them easy.

"They're great family pets. They're very loyal to their owners they're very affectionate," Wylie said. "At the turn of the 20th century they were family pets. "

The Humane Society of Tacoma-Pierce County gets about five pit bulls a day. Trainers work with them and make sure they're ready to be adopted out as family pets.

As Halloween approaches, most people are just hoping the online message is a cruel hoax, but that hasn't stopped some owners to take extra precautions.

"For Halloween, keep your dogs inside, keep them safe, especially when there are weirdos like that out there," said Laura Moody.