If you’re a regular here at afureverfamily.com you’ve heard me talk about my own journey from Pit Bull fear to Pittie advocate. In late 2012 I was able to attend the screening of the documentary “Beyond the Myth: A Film About Pit Bulls and Breed Discrimination.”
By that time I had seen the light and sweetness in most every Pittie-type I met and had come to the conclusion that it is the human race’s capacity for cruelty and stupidity that has given the breed a bad reputation. There are very, very few bad dogs, just bad owners. For me the movie explained how and why this stuff was happening – the breed slandering.
In the documentary, advocates and experts present a lot of great statistics about actual numbers of dog bite incidents and the temperament of Pitties. Very personal (and heartbreaking) stories of families fighting Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in Denver, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Miami are told throughout the movie.
I was especially intrigued by the concept of media agenda-setting and policy-influencing as discussed by Donald Shaw, retired Professor of Journalism at the University of North Carolina. They found through their research that headlines and lead paragraphs only use the breed name when a Pit Bull type dog has been involved. Wow, no wonder we all think that only Pitties are involved in bite incidents and attacks. In reality they are only a tiny percentage of the overall numbers.
One of the interviewees made the comment “educate, don’t legislate” – something that I have come to believe very strongly in during my tenure as a Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) volunteer and assistant trainer at Teamworks Dog Training. And it’s not just about educating everyone about Pit Bulls, it’s about educating people about dogs, dog behavior, and responsible pet ownership.
On a personal note, I re-watched this movie last night with my own sweet Pittie snuggled up snoring in my lap and the tragic idea of someone taking her just because of her physical features like what happened to the families in Denver made my heart tighten … how horrible of a people we are.
Their website is http://www.beyondthemythmovie.com/ and the documentary is available for streaming through Netflix, iTunes, and Blockbuster.
Spotlight on Channa
Sometimes, as much as we hate to admit it, there is a reason why a dog is still looking for their forever family 100 days after arriving at the WCAC. Channa is one of those special dogs. She came to us in early October and in her four years on this earth she learned that a girl has to be tough and in charge to survive. She lived by her own rules and did her own thing. She doesn’t need to go home with just anyone. She needs to go home with someone who understands her and what it will take to let her drop her guard and let someone take complete care of her. Being a single girl on her own, she’s not meant for big parties and dog park outings. And yes, her leash manners need some work, but she loves treats (which is a great help in training) and has learned to sit on command.
CB, one of the WCAC Fido Fitness volunteers, had this to say about Channa.
So, this special lady is looking for her special family and it might just be you. Please stop by the WCAC any day of the week between noon and 6 p.m. to visit her and if you see one of the Fido Fitness volunteers talk to them and maybe even see them take her on her walk.