Saturday, October 23, 2010
National Pit Bull Awareness Day!
To anyone who shares their life with a "pit bull," the need for a national day of awareness for these misunderstood dogs is clear. Constant negative media attention and sensationalized hype that surrounds pit bulls has the breed in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The media and public have stereotyped and judged an entire group of dogs, as well as their owners, based on the actions of a few.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day was established as a day to educate and foster positive communications and experiences in the communities in which we and our dogs live. It is a day to focus on these incredible dogs and their devoted, responsible owners. A day to change perceptions and stereotypes.
The Pit Bull may be one of the most misunderstood animals in our country. For those of us who know this type of dog, we understand them to be incredible animals and great pets.
I cannot recall a single type of dog that has caused as much hype and hysteria as the Pit Bull. I say "type" because the Pit Bull is really not a breed but rather a moniker applied to several breeds with similar characteristics: American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bull Terrier and American Bulldog.
For responsible Pit Bull owners, we know these dogs to be loving, loyal, gentle companions that enrich our lives as much as we enrich theirs. We can relate to the "nanny dog" character, Petey (of Little Rascals fame), and see in our beloved pet the honor and courage of Sgt. Stubby, and of course the resilience and strength of heart of the now infamous Vick dogs. We are also constantly haunted by the threat of Breed Specific Legislation.
It is for this reason that responsible Pit Bull owners need to take the opportunity to join other responsible Pit Bull owners and organizations in supporting National Pit Bull Awareness Day.
On this day and every day it is imperative that we showcase our dog ambassadors at their best. Get involved with organizations that support education and programs to allow your "ambassadog" to interact with the public in positive ways.
Is your dog an AKC Canine Good Citizen? If not, make that your goal to gain CGC certification for the benefit of helping to minimize the negative public perception of your companion and to get some additional benefits from the AKC.
What do you know about Breed Specific Legislation? Educate yourself on the issues surrounding BSL, where BSL is enacted and how to get involved with fighting BSL in favor of more fair legislation that seeks to punish irresponsible dog owners rather than the dog.
And have a happy, safe National Pit Bull Awareness Day!
What are YOU going to do to celebrate??
Find a pit bull event near you or volunteer at a local animal shelter!