OAKLAND - A nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter in Bergen County is using their own funds to help slow down the pit bull population.

The Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland says that it is particularly targeting Paterson, where hundreds of pit bulls are rescued each year. To cut down on the population, the shelter will offer a free sterilization program.

Jayne O’Connor from the shelter says that pit bulls are often bred to create fight dogs and she would like to see an end to this.

"Pit bulls are wonderful dogs and it's the people that train them to do bad things that we need to stop,” O’Connor says. “By stopping the population from growing too much, we're actually helping to slow down the pit bull fighting and the market that is out there to make them look big, mean and tough. They are not.”

Anyone who wishes to have their pit bull sterilized can contact the shelter, which will bring them to a veterinarian to have the procedure done.