A myth buster of a day
The Best Friends Neighborhood Pit Bull Day that took place this past weekend in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and New York portrayed a series of simple truths that put the lie to the stereotypes that drag down these beautiful dogs and their people.
Myth one: Pit bull terriers are inherently aggressive and unsuited for socializing with other dogs or taking out in public.
The truth is that over 1,000 dogs, mostly pit-bull-type dogs, gathered and mingled with other dogs and people without incident. Yep, all those pitties and no problems.
Myth two: A very well-known animal rights organization with a bad attitude regarding pit bull terriers has gone on record as stating that nice families (whatever they mean by that) rarely visit shelters to adopt pit-bull-type dogs. That unqualified nonsense is the basis for their position that pit bull terriers who enter shelters should not be offered for adoption; rather, they argue, they should be killed.
The truth is that each of our events was attended by scores of “nice” families and their happy, social pit bull terriers. The families enjoyed a day in the park and posing for portraits with their pets. The truth is that pitties make great family pets, and, in the tradition of Petey, the famous “Little Rascals” pit bull terrier, have been known in the past as “nanny dogs” due to their gentle and devoted behavior in family settings.
Myth three: It’s difficult to convince pit bull terrier owners, especially those in inner-city neighborhoods, to get their dogs fixed.
The truth, as evidenced by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Pit Bull day, which was held in South Los Angeles, near the L.A. Forum, is that if you provide free or affordable spay/neuter services that people can access in their communities, the lines of pitties and other pets will go around the block. Ninety-five dogs were spayed or neutered at the South L.A. venue, and, because of the overwhelming demand, many had to be rescheduled for follow-up service. Two hundred and fifty dogs are now securely identified with their people’s information, and we ran out of microchips! The truth is that every time we offer such services, the local demand exceeds the capacity of the mobile clinics.
It is clear and incontrovertible that a little goes a long way, and people, regardless of what they look like or where they live, love their pets, pit bull terriers included, and want the best for them. If we can bridge the gap of affordability and availability, we can do a lot to save lives and improve the well-being of animals in the communities that need it most.