The Pet Resource Center is doing its part to help owners of bully breeds in Hillsborough County.

Pit bulls are friendly, loyal, loving dogs saddled with a bad reputation. For a limited time, the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center is helping the owners of pit bulls and other bully breeds by offering spay/neuter and other veterinary services at no cost. Appointments are required and only 200 slots are available.

Operation Pit Stop begins Feb. 12 and ends Feb. 23. The Pet Resource Center will provide free spay and neuter services, microchips, vaccines, registration, and heartworm testing for 200 dogs. The owners must be Hillsborough County residents, and the services are only for bully breed dogs 90 pounds or less.

Bully breed is a generic term used to identify a wide variety of dogs that includes pit bulls and other relatively large, muscular dogs. Bully breeds are often mistakenly thought of as innately aggressive, which can make them difficult to adopt out, leaving disproportionately large numbers of bully breeds at local shelters.

Those wanting to participate in Operation Pit Stop can make an appointment by emailing the Pet Resource Center at PRCOperationPitStop@HCFL.gov or calling (813) 301-PETS (7387). Residents are urged to make an appointment as soon as possible because the 200 slots are expected to fill up quickly.