Celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Day
Initiative seeks to change reputation of misunderstood breed.
Pit bulls once enjoyed a reputation as trusted family pets before the media gave the entire breed a black eye.
"No type of dog is more misunderstood, mistreated, or maligned," said Candy Lash, community and media relations director for the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society. "These loyal, loving, intelligent dogs bear the burden of bad publicity." The pit bulls have become a "true underdog," Lash said and went on to explain that "discriminatory insurance regulations, and legislation restricting their ownership" have hurt the pit bull's chances to be adopted.
Yet, the pit bull used to be known as the "nanny dog," she said, because these dogs used to be trusted to care for youngsters. They're the only breed ever given that nickname.
This Saturday, Oct. 27, dozens of U.S. shelters and humane organizations will give the public a chance to rediscover the "nanny dog" and fight the negative stereotypes at National Pit Bull Awareness Day.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day was started three years ago to change the pit bull's image by Jodi Preis of Cookeville, Tenn. Preis founded Bless the Bullys in Cookeville to rescue pit bulls for adoption and to change the bad impressions about this breed's characteristics. She has said the dogs suffer from a "public relations" problem and urged animal advocates to work every day to show people the reality that the much publicized problems have been due to irresponsible owners, not to a bad breed.
The first National Pit Bull Awareness Day had backing from 150 organizations around the country, and the support is growing. National Pit Bull Awareness Day has its own website at www.nationalpitbullawarenessday.org with a list of events.
Many states are represented. Littleton, Colo., for example, is throwing the pits bulls a party. The Parade of the Pits will march past the pumpkin-lined Main Street. Prizes go to the pit bull with the best costume, the biggest head and the "best bully grin."
Other locations, like Oakland, Calif., will participate in the Coast to Coast Bully Walk. Several other organizations offer dog training events and bring out the pit bulls available for adoption, and a few -- like Pit Bull Happenings Rescue in Wesley Chapel, Fla. -- are combining the pit bull awareness day with the Dogtoberfest celebration.
Cherry Garcia, one of the Michael Vick dogs, will make an appearance at the Dakin's event in Springfield, Mass., Lash said.
"At the time of his rescue, Cherry, used as bait dog was so emotionally shut down that he would not walk. Now a happy and charismatic family member, Cherry makes public appearances to raise awareness about his breed," she said.
A free "Tricks for Pits" class is also among events on the schedule because Jill Haley Rose, the Dakin's training coordinator, believes people realize pit bulls are regular dogs when they see them do a trick, Lash said.
Lash said Haley Rose is also offering a pit bull owner's training class to foster responsible pet ownership and optimize the dogs' chances to find forever homes.
How to Participate: Cherry Garcia, one of the 22 Vicktory Dog pit bulls seized in the Michael Vick dog fighting case, will visit the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society in Springfield, Mass. on Oct. 27 as part of the National Pit Bull Awareness Day celebration from 12 to 4 p.m. Dozens of U.S. shelters and humane societies are holding events to raise awareness about this breed and to restore the Pittie's reputation as one of the great American dogs. Go to www.nationalpitbullawarenessday.org to find an event near you or to add your own event to the list.
Do you know of a National Pit Bull Awareness Day event in your area? How do you think pit bulls should be celebrated? Tell us below!
7 months ago
no I don't Pittbulls should always be celebrated they are great dogs my Blue Boy and Momma Pitt were great dogs my Blue boy Showed up in my yard and I could not keep him cause Skitters was still around and She didn't like him but being a young 1 year old blue pitt he got adopted fast as for Momma pitt she was sweet heart and was shy when I met her at the shelter but after working with her a man and his two boys adopted her she was no longer shy just a sweet heart sure Lecter my uncles pitt bull killed Ernie a dog he had lived with for years and sure Bronco my uncles other pitt jumped through the window and attacked the mail man but we don't know what happend either of those times no one was home there was also the other small dog Duffy she was a girl and lived with Lecter and ernie but they were all fixed my only thing I had go wrong with a pitt bull was when a big 6 month old pittbull puppy mix was on leash he wanted to play I was not strong enough to handle him it was my own mistake but they said other volunteers at the shelter had problems with him before but there was no warning on his kennel about that so I had walked him anyways people wanted the dog to be put down but for me that was not an option he was a big 6 month old puppy that didn't know any better and that would have just given the pittbull an even worse rap around here where I live the pittbulls rap gets a bit better and then all of a sudden it gets way worse so bad that no one wants them either a couple people want them around here or no one at all wants them.
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