Pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs can be controversial subjects. Depending on who you ask, they may tell you they love the breed or have a significant fear of it. At Hearts at Home, we believe that education leads to tolerance and understanding. Today, we’re breaking down National Pit Bull Awareness and why advocating for pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs is so important.
The History of Pit Bull Awareness Day
For over almost 20 years, pit bulls have been honored throughout October by various organizations including Bless the Bullys, a Tennessee-based organization whose founder is an outspoken advocate for the breed. Per their website, “the National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign is a nationwide effort to bring positive awareness and attention to the American Pit Bull Terrier. The heart of the campaign is National Pit Bull Awareness Day (NPBAD), which usually* falls on the last Saturday in October.” This year, it was celebrated on Saturday, October 29th.
A Concerning Reputation
Unfortunately, pit bulls have been dealt a very harmful hand. For decades, the media and the uninformed public have sensationalized pit bull-related incidents, leading to their highly problematic reputation. As a result, pit bulls that hurt people or other dogs get more media attention than those that are doing amazing things such as working with law enforcement, volunteering as therapy dogs, and more. The dangerous pit bull narrative sells, meanwhile perpetuating scary stereotypes about these dogs, which were once considered America’s sweethearts.
Responsible Pet Ownership
Like other dog breeds, pit bulls make excellent pets. Unfortunately, many people that are unprepared to train and/or properly care for pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs tend to be drawn to the breed for all the wrong reasons, namely their strength and imposing appearance.
As a result, numerous pit bull advocacy groups around the world are committed to preparing pet parents for their role as pit bull caregivers. They educate them on the dogs’ needs and drives and support them in raising and caring for this wonderful dog breed, many of which, sadly, have entered shelters and rescues with troubled pasts.
Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL)
One of the biggest threats to pit bulls and pit-bull-type dogs is Breed-Specific Legislation. Throughout the world, breeds that are considered dangerous are subject to bans that could cost them their lives because they are considered a threat to public safety. In some areas, breed-specific legislation leads to special requirements attached to certain breeds, requiring them to wear muzzles in public, limiting their access to certain housing, etc.
The problem with BSL is that it fails to address the actual problem, instead creating mass hysteria, generalizing behaviors, and perpetuating false narratives. Because breed-specific legislation does not, in reality, reduce the number of dog bites, it may instead lead the public to a false sense of security around other dog breeds. In addition, it’s expensive and ineffective to enforce, creating disharmony among neighbors, putting law enforcement at risk, and using up valuable local and state resources. BSL Census provides a map of the United States to find out if Breed Specific Legislation is in your area.
At Hearts at Home, we are passionate about pets, no matter their breed. We believe that every animal deserves proper attention, to have their needs met, and to be given a chance. To ensure the safety of our employees, our clients, and the community, we temperament test every dog we take on before committing to their care. By doing so, we create an environment of acceptance and equality. To learn more about our initial consultation and what we’re looking for when interacting with your dog, please contact us at 757-745-9868 or at Hello@HeartsAtHomePetSitting.com. No matter your pet’s breed or mix, we welcome the opportunity to discuss their care with you.