‘Mutts on the Mall’ Helps Change Perceptions of Pit-Bull-Terrier-Type Dogs — One Wag at a Time

Washington Humane Society logoWhat do you get when you mix together a heap of history, copious curiosity, a pinch of apprehension, a wealth of wagging, a few canine kisses and an enormous educational opportunity? Sounds like all the ingredients for a typical day of “Mutts on the Mall.”

Eros, an adorable, adoptable 10-month-old pit bull terrier, will work his mutt magic on the National Mall this Thursday, starting at the Washington Monument at 1 p.m. He loves to meet new people, play with other dogs and adores children, so he’s a perfect ambassador to help change people’s perceptions of pit bull-type dogs. Eros is available for adoption at Washington Humane Society.

Mutts on the Mall is the brainchild of Kirstyn Northrop Cobb, Best Friends Animal Society’s local coordinator for the Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls Project, which partners Washington Humane Society (WHS) with the Utah-based organization, along with funding support from PetSmart Charities®. The project is designed to encourage responsible pet care and reduce euthanasia of pit bull terriers and similar-type dogs, as well as strive to improve the public’s perception of this type of dog.

Cobb enjoys the one-on-one interaction with people on the National Mall and welcomes the opportunity to help curious passers-by see another side of pit bull terrier-type dogs--one that contrasts with the negative stories we tend to hear in the news.

For the past few weeks, Cobb has come twice weekly to the National Mall, accompanied by one of the adoptable pit bull-type dogs from Washington Humane Society. She walks the dogs and photographs them, posed in front of the many famous landmarks, and uses the photos on the Washington D.C. Pit Crew Facebook page and the WHS website to help the dogs get adopted.

Best Friends Animal Society logoPeople come up and ask to pet the dogs, and many admit they’ve never even seen a pit bull terrier before. Many seem surprised by how friendly the dogs are, which opens the door for Cobb to chat about the dogs and dispel myths and misconceptions. Allowing people to see and meet these happy, waggy dogs as individuals goes a long way in altering attitudes.

“This is by far my favorite thing that I’m doing now,” said Cobb. “We’re changing so many negative opinions and increasing awareness of the shelter. The dogs love it too. They get so much attention and they have a great time getting out and about, so it’s good for them as well.”

Best Friends Animal Society works to help pit bull-type dogs through its national pit bull terrier initiative which helps dogs who are battling everything from a sensationalized reputation to legislation designed to bring about their extinction. The campaign’s goal is to end discrimination against all dogs–because they are individuals and should be treated as such.

Best Friends works with humane groups all across the country to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets®.

About Best Friends Animal Society®

Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.

To become a fan of Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook: //www.facebook.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety

To follow Best Friends on Twitter: //twitter.com/bestfriends

About Washington Humane Society

The Washington Humane Society, the only Congressionally-chartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the leading voice for animals in the District of Columbia since 1870. As the only open-access shelter in the nation’s capital, no call for help goes unanswered, and no animal is ever turned away. The Washington Humane Society provides comfort and care to more than 30,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services including: sheltering, adoption, humane law enforcement, spay and neuter, humane education, human – animal rehabilitation programs, and lost and found services.

For more information please call or e-mail the media contact above or visit: www.washhumane.org

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