Every year the month of October is hailed in as a month of awareness for one of the most misunderstood, mistreated and maligned breeds of dog in modern history – the pit bull. There are many who would wish to see this breed’s future annihilated and sent into extinction but there are even greater numbers of breed advocates and aficionados who work tirelessly against the opposing side in an effort to reverse breed specific legislation that is aimed to eventually destroy the breed that is affectionately called ‘America’s Dog’ by its followers.
National Pit Bull Awareness Month is only a couple of years into its conception. The creator founded this month in an effort to show the love and dedication of one very special American Pit Bull Terrier named Tiffin who had crossed the bridge earlier in the year. This wonderful tribute allowed for the extension of the original National Pit Bull Awareness Day (which was started in 2007) into thirty-one days of advocacy and affection for an incredibly diverse and resilient breed. This month will allow shelters, breed clubs, other individuals and groups to spotlight the breed through events geared toward education and responsible ownership of this often demonized breed to show that, with a little elbow grease, this breed can and should remain a part of the heart and soul of so many fanciers across the globe.
So, the question remains – what can you do to be a responsible advocate for this years National Pit Bull Awareness Month to raise awareness and celebrate your love for this breed? Well, here are a few suggestions that may get your creative juices flowing that will not only help the breed but also the community with your positive actions:
– Use the power of social media to share positive images, stories and events involving pit bulls.
– Volunteer at your local shelters and rescues. These dogs wait for their forever homes and time spent working with them enables them to get closer to the highly sought after end result of that forever home.
– If you’re looking for a new canine companion and can responsibly care for a pit bull, check out those same shelters and rescue groups for your next best friend. (If a rescue isn’t your cup of tea, which we understand, and you’re still looking for a pit bull, make sure you work with a breeder who is ethical and responsible!)
– Get involved in breed specific activities and events. Group walks/hikes, dog sports, etc. are excellent ways to network, keep updated on local issues and provide opportunities to passively socialize your dog or to solve a current issue with someone who has one through it already.
– Sign up for that Canine Good Citizenship or Therapy Dog class you’ve been putting off. Everyone appreciates a well behaved dog no matter what the breed is and eventual therapy dog work will be beneficial to the community as well!
Most importantly, no matter what activities you do this month, make sure you enjoy your dog(s) and be an advocate who acts professionally and politely without being too overzealous. It is, after all, a hard pill to swallow if one is proved wrong (and something I’ve personally learned from experience many times over!).
Have a wonderful National Pit Bull Awareness Month and don’t forget to celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Day 2013 on October 26th!