If, like me, you’ve ever had the pleasure of having one in your life, you’re already well aware of the awesomeness of Pit Bulls. Now we just need to get the good word out to the world.
That’s why, for the past 14 years, National Pit Bull Awareness Day (NPBAD) is celebrated at the end of October, which also happens to be National Pit Bull Awareness Month.
NPBAD was started in 2007 by Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys, a small, non-profit rescue organization in Tennessee. It was conceived as a way to bring much-needed positive media attention to this often maligned — and, sadly, often banned — breed.
Many people who’ve never had a Pit Bull may be unaware that these dogs (along with Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers) are frequently the victims of breed-specific legislation (BSL), laws that single out a particular breed instead of placing responsibility on dog owners.
Because these bans are so unfair — not to mention ineffective in increasing public safety — BSL is opposed by virtually all major animal welfare organizations, including the ASPCA, AVMA, HSUS, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Most major U.S. insurance companies also practice their own form of BSL by refusing to provide home or rental insurance for the owners of Pit Bulls and certain other “dangerous” breeds.
“When Bless the Bullys introduced the idea of a nationwide Pit Bull Awareness Day, the response was overwhelming!” says the official NPBAD website. “It was immediately recognized as an opportunity to educate, change minds and bring about positive media attention to Pit Bulls across the country, all on one day.”
Buh-Bye Pit Bull Bans!
For 31 long years, Denver’s Pit Bull ban was one of the most notorious in the world. Pit Bulls, mixes and dogs that happen to look like Pit Bulls were banned from living in the city. Thousands of responsible Denver residents had to make the terrible choice of finding a new home for themselves or their beloved dogs, or surrendering their pets to the city to be euthanized.
Fortunately, just one week after last year’s Pit Bull Awareness Day, Denver voters woke up and overwhelmingly ended the unfair ban. Hooray! And two months later, the city council of Aurora, Colorado’s third-largest city, also voted to end the city’s 15-year-long Pit Bull ban.
Last month, Overland Park, Kansas, joined this positive trend when its city council voted unanimously to end its Pit Bull ban. Hopefully, by the time Pit Bull Awareness Day 2022 rolls around, these ridiculous bans everywhere will be gone for good.
Pit Bull Fun Facts
Here are a few facts you may not know about Pit Bulls. Please share them with anyone you know who doesn’t like these dogs!
- In tests by the American Temperament Test Society, Pit Bulls score higher (i.e., they’re less aggressive and friendlier) than Beagles, Border Collies and Yorkies — breeds that are hardly ever considered “dangerous.”
- The most decorated U.S. military dog in history was a Pit Bull mix named Sgt. Stubby. Sadly, Stubby would be banned from U.S. military bases today because of his breed.
- For your reading pleasure, here are a bunch of positive stories about Pit Bulls. Feel free to share them on social media to get the good word out!
As the NPBAD website says, knowledge is power — “and with education and advocacy, the truth will save lives in terms of negating the fear and bias generated by the media, circumvent knee-jerk reactions such as breed bans, and the truth will result in fewer Pit Bulls ending up in animal shelters.”
Photo credit: Laura Goldman. Those are my late, great snugglebug pitties Larry (1995-2007) and Sophie (1997-2009) in the top photo, and Larry as a puppy in the other photo (those ears!!). Larry, an American Staffordshire Terrier, was my first “Pit Bull” and totally changed my mind about these dogs. Yep, I used to be afraid of them, thanks to all the negative stories in the media.