Friday, April 22, 2011
Pit Bull. When you hear that word what goes through your head? For some I’m sure it’s not good things. Most of the images and stories you’ve heard bring on these horrid images. For the lovers of the breed it brings other thoughts. Thoughts of a very intelligent, loyal, friendly dog with lots of love to give. A dog that sadly is probably the most misunderstood animal on this entire planet. Sad really. You would think in this day of technology and research that more people would be able to educate themselves on the facts vs. the myths. Unfortunately when you try to research this incredible breed there’s usually more bad then good out there. Most of these “facts” are brought on by assumptions, bad information, untrue media stories, and people prejudice against the breed for whatever personal reasons.
Now I’m not saying some news stories may not have some merit. However, many times things are reported and blown out of proportion before all the information is known. Often times the breed is unknown or it looks like the “bully” breed so it’s automatically labeled pit bull. When in fact there are so many breeds out there and mixes that many dogs look pit and are in fact either a mix or entirely different breed. The other thing that is often not known or is only speculated is the circumstances. If indeed an attack was brought on by a “pit bull” then what led up to that? There’s many reasons that a dog (of any breed) can react in a aggressive way. Look into the situation and perhaps what led up to it. Was the animal provoked? Could it have been due to abuse, poor upbringing, bad breeding? There is a quote that we Pibble activists say very often, “Punish the deed not the breed.” That’s exactly what I’m referring to here. Don’t condemn and blame a dog (no matter what breed) until you analyze the events that led to the situation.
What we as pit bull owners, lovers, and activists ask is that you step back and take a look at the situation. Not all pit bulls are that way. In fact it’s been proven that it’s the minority not the majority of pitties that show any type of “bad behavior”. Pit bulls were originally bred to be loyal animals that were wonderful companions to their owners especially children. They are very protective of their families and dote on them. Pibbles rather cuddle on the couch with you then be used as some pawn in a game that only ends in tragedy. By nature they aren’t human aggressive. Although some prefer to live their lives as the only dog or even pick who they spend time with (who doesn’t) generally they get along with their own species. They are very forgiving caring dogs. Sadly no matter how terrible their circumstances are and how badly they are treated they often still dote on their owners. They are the type of dog that seeks approval, love, and affection. They forgive easily and endure a lot.
This misunderstood breed is now being banished from areas all over this world. Perhaps maybe in your own town, city, state, or country. If you’re one of those people that hears the stories of this kind of ban (also referred to BSL) and think there’s no way that would happen to you or your dog (again no matter the breed) think again. It’s happened to many and the stories would break your heart. We’re not talking about dogs with issues that are deemed unsafe around others. No. We are talking about your family pet - a part of your family - being torn from you and everything they know. Then they are either killed immediately by whatever form of euthanasia that area feels is “humane”. Or they end up sitting in a scary shelter waiting for the day they take the dreaded walk to that room. The room where they don’t walk back out. Why? Simply because they had the misfortune of being one of the best dog breeds and living where they were judged before they were even known.
When you think about that it should bring up some other images in your mind. Images of similar situations that we as humans have endured over the years. A huge example that BSL is often compared to is racism. Yes the forms of racism and bias behavior that we as humans have endured for centuries are quite similar to the pain and suffering these poor souls are facing right now. Sadly do you realize if these pro BSL people get their way there will be no pit bulls (or any breed that looks like them). Then what will happen? Well you can live in denial about the next statement but it can and will happen. Your breed will be next. Yes, that’s right they’ll just start going through all the breeds until they have picked and chosen the ones they deem worthy of having. Problem is like every human and race there’s going to be bad apples and soon if you kill just because of one you’ll end up taking out every single one just because of that one. Then what are you left with?
I will honestly admit that until not long ago I too was a skeptic. Perhaps not to that extreme. I wasn’t sure what I felt about the breed. Hadn’t really had much experience with them at all. Don’t even remember seeing a pit bull until I was living in Texas. As many know the south is filled with pit and pit mixes. After that I’d only seen a few and never really had any long amounts of time around them. Then like anything I find an interest in I began to research. I wanted to know what all the hype was about. I won’t lie I was kind of afraid of them. Then again I’m kind of apprehensive of several types of dogs. Perhaps it’s because as a short stature person you are eye to eye to them and that can be rather intimidating. I began hearing more and more stories about these “bully” breeds. Many positive stories. Hearing first hand people’s accounts of good things really helped me realize that these animals were truly worthy of life and love. They didn’t mean to be scary and intimidating. They were just seeking what we all do. Love.
‘Why do you post all these pitbulls?’ That question took me a little bit by surprise. After all I’d been doing it for several months now. Ever since I got more into the rescue world. Trying whatever I could possibly do to cross post and get the word out about animals that needed homes. Sadly many of these posts are pit bulls. Because of the pit bull madness currently going on in our society it’s a reality every day in shelters all over. The only answer that made sense to me is the one that immediately came to mind. “I’m passionate about pitbulls finding homes.” To me that was a simple to the point answer. Perhaps to me and others that share that passion it is simple. Unfortunately for those still on the other side of this pit bull situation it probably didn’t answer the question. They probably sit there and see my posts and think, why does anyone bother to save those horrible good for nothing beasts. They’re dangerous and they all should be destroyed. Get another hobby and get over trying to save the entire pit bull population. Now no one has actually said such cruel and hateful things to me (yet) but I’ve had quite similar comments and situations come up. I have to learn to shake it off and keep on. I can’t give up because these voiceless creatures need us. Whether it’s a pit bull or not. Every animal deserves a home, a second chance at life, a loving family. That’s why I do what I do. Perhaps all my heartache, pain, and frustration that goes along with this ends up becoming a positive. If just one is saved by my efforts then it’s all worth it. All the unkind thoughts cast toward me and what I am passionate about. I can deal with that. After all some of these animals have endured some of the most horrific things imaginable. You don’t even know how totally messed up we as a society is until you see what we see. It will make you cry, scream, vomit. It can even keep you up at night. If you ask me that’s nothing compared to what these animals have been through. And that is why I post all these pitbulls…
By: Carrie McCormick