Did you know that October 27th is National Pit Bull Awareness Day? A lot of organizations are celebrating the breed and raising awareness about the FACTS vs. the MYTHS regarding this wonderful breed all month long.
I celebrate it every day of my life.
You guys have met Carmen before. But I want to use her as an example throughout this post and, frankly, I just like posting pictures of my baby.
Despite plenty of websites debunking myths about pitbulls (or what people assume are pitbull breeds) and explaining the importance of the responsibility of the dog owner and ending Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL), there are still others who make a life's work out of trying to label the breed as "dangerous."
You guys...let me veer off track for a second and say that one of my BIGGEST pet peeves in any situation is to take the actions of one and then label a group because of it.
Listen closely, kids.
YOU CAN'T SAY "ALL" IF ONE PROVES OTHERWISE.
There are so many hot-button issues (especially as we approach the 2012 Presidential election) circulating the interwebs and social media where we need to remember and apply this.
All Republicans aren't conservative, closed-minded haters.
All Democrats aren't liberal wing-nuts who have no morals.
All Christians aren't judgmental and unloving.
All Athiests aren't cross-burning, occult fanatics who worship Satan.
All pitbulls aren't dangerous, vicious dogs who will bite the faces off of children.
I understand that there are plenty of examples to support the above samples, if you look closely enough. HOWEVER. If you can prove that even one is different, then you can't say "all." Just...stop it. Okay?
Some celebrities such as Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer), Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) and Wil Wheaton (OMG meet Marlowe!) use their tremendous influence encourage animal rights and adopting/rescuing dogs from shelters (all breeds!), and I just know it makes a huge difference.
There's also the story of how a shelter in California took in and rehabilitated many of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick's dog-fighting campaign, and many of those "aggressive, vicious" dogs are now in happy homes...some even (gasp!) with children!
Luckily, the dogs are forgiving. When someone loves them, they don't remember how badly they were treated.
Don't believe me? Go read London's story. We could all learn a lesson from these animals.
Yesterday, I read on Twitter that Kelly Ripa made an off-handed remark about pitbulls in an interview with Christopher Walken. No, she didn't go off on a tirade about the breed. Yet, it was still detrimental to the work that pitbull advocates are trying to do to educate people.
Kelly Ripa has major influence on the American public, and therefore she has a responsibility to retract her statement. Her comments could encourage the myth about pits, and have major consequences, including but not limited to even fewer rescues/adoptions of this breed in shelters all across the country.
There's a petition on Change.org to get Kelly to not only apologize publicly, but to spend some time in a pitbull rescue facility to see how the dogs really are. I'm signing it.
You know...I don't publicly go off on a passionate tangent on "issues" very often. Most people take care of that (and then some) for me on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I won't get on my electronic soap box about healthcare. I won't publicly denounce Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.
You may say I have misplaced priorities. But I just can't keep quiet about pitbull ignorance.
Animals can't defend themselves when people spread slander. We have to give them a voice. We have to educate ourselves and make sure that no more dogs are shot just because a cop thought they were dangerous.
Or put down just because they look like they are a pitbull.
Look, I understand a natural fear, because of the stories and the media and the slander, or even just because they can be large dogs. A large dog even coming at you to lick your face can be scary.
I'm afraid of most cats. Because some little bastard (or bastards) bit me or scratched me when I tried to pet it. But that doesn't mean all cats are assholes.
If you ever want to see just how wrong the hype is about pitbulls, just look at London. Go visit a shelter and see one.
They are strong. They have a lot of energy. They want nothing more than to please their masters. Irresponsible owners are the reason the dogs get a bad rap.
Or come visit Carmen! She may lick your feet (she's a weirdo like that) but if you scratch her chest and play tuggy-rope with her, she will be your best friend for life.