WAUSAU, Wis. -

The Humane Society of Marathon County says pit bulls are straining the shelter's budget because it's more difficult to find new homes for the breed with a vicious reputation.

About half the dogs at the Wausau animal shelter are pit bulls. Shelter operations coordinator Lisa Held says the pit bulls can make excellent, loyal family pets with the right amount of socialization or training.

The breed has recently gotten some negative attention in the Wausau area. Facial injuries to a 7-year-old girl required reconstructive surgery after she was attacked by a pit bull May 12.

Humane Society executive director Mary Kirlin told Daily Herald Media dogs with negative social stigmas in the past included German shepherds, Rottweilers and Dalmations, but now that has shifted to pit bulls.