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Pit Bulls and the Media: Hooray!

April 26, 2011

By Leslie Smith, (as first posted in Dogtime on April 19, 2011)

Hooray? Yes, hooray.

I noticed the link to a video clip titled, Blind kids get a helping paw from pit bulls, and I had to click. In it, Today Show correspondent Jill Rappaport reports on a pioneer program created by Main Line Animal Rescue: Pit bulls as therapy dogs at a school for the blind.

The clip is worth watching for several reasons, not the least compelling of which is the flood of shots of adorable pittie pups.

But as the video played, it dawned on me that the big news here isn’t about pit bulls comforting the blind. The real story is that a mainstream media network chose to cover pit bulls in a positive light. This is huge. Not to mention highly unusual.

The report wasn’t perfect. More than once, Rappaport brings up the breed’s flawed reputation. Ok, fair enough. But in speaking to Main Line’s founder Bill Smith, she insists, “This is definitely an aggressive… not aggressive, but dominant, breed…”

Smith half-corrects her, reminding Rappaport that pit bulls were bred to fight each other, but remain loyal and gentle with humans. Any dog, not just a pit bull, can (and likely will) become aggressive when treated cruelly or violently.

Ultimately though, Rappaport’s message is accurate and hopeful. Pit bulls can become aggressive when in the wrong hands, but when treated with love and respect, they are just dogs. Just dogs. Today Show anchor Meredith Vieira reiterates the sentiment at the close of the segment: “Dogs are like people. Some can be good, some can be bad.”

It doesn’t surprise me that such a strong bond between blind kids and misunderstood dogs has been forged. But it is ironic that there are still “normal” adults who can’t see the light.

Did you know? 

 

The classic children’s television show, The Little Rascals, featured an American Pit Bull Terrier as “Petey the Pit Bull.”

 

 

Video:  THE REAL PIT BULL THE WAY THEY WERE INTENDED

h/t to Stubby Dog – Cross-Posted at Ask Marion

Related:

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American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs… In Memory of Ace

Dog Rescued from Fighting Becomes Therapy Dog

Guarding Dogs  -  Documentary in the Making

Dog Fighting Game Released for Android Phones – CALL TO ACTON

May 5, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Difference Between No Kill Nation & Other Animal Advocacy Groups

Posted on February 22, 2011 by Hannah Sentenac

When it comes to animal advocacy, sadly, not all organizations are in it for the best interest of the animals they claim to protect, and it’s important that compassionate Americans know who’s who. Too many groups have become wealthy & powerful by preying on the empathy and altruism of Americans, while sweeping the truth about their policies and practices under the rug.

It turns out that many fans of No Kill Nation on Facebook are also fans of the Humane Society of the US, the ASPCA and/or PETA. On the surface that might seem logical, since all organizations revolve around animal welfare, but the reality is, the philosophy that guides No Kill Nation couldn’t differ more from the philosophy these other groups subscribe to.

Many Americans believe (as I once did), that the HSUS, the ASPCA and PETA are working to save the lives of animals. Many believe that the hard-earned money they donate in response to the heartbreaking TV commercials and fundraising campaigns goes directly to the causes these organizations promote. Many believe that these groups are the biggest proponents for No Kill policies. Unfortunately, all of these statements are patently false.

What’s the difference between No Kill Nation and these other organizations? The main difference is a fundamental belief that a No Kill Nation is possible. These other organizations, despite the message they publicly promote, do NOT believe in the concept of No Kill, and in fact they work against it. They advocate killing, and they often espouse the idea that companion animals are “better off dead” than to be in the hands of humans. This comes from a deep-seated belief that human beings are bad – not to be trusted, and will abuse and neglect animals given the opportunity. In the end, this mentality serves to punish the animals, and leads to millions of unnecessary deaths. In truth, most people love animals, and will treat them with kindness and love, given the opportunity and the education.

We are a nation that spends more than $40 billion on our pets annually. It’s a very small percentage that are abusive or neglectful. Unfortunately, many on the front lines of animal rescue see so many horror stories involving animals (due to the time they spend at the local shelters), that they become angry & resentful towards other human beings. Falling prey to these beliefs is the worst possible scenario for the animals.

Instead of killing animals because we believe that human beings can’t be trusted, we should be praising the responsible pet owners, encouraging people to adopt, and educating them on how to properly care for their pets. This way, both animals and people benefit.

The HSUS, the ASPCA and PETA are fundamentally opposed to what No Kill Nation is working to do, which is to implement the proven No Kill Equation (an 11-step set of programs and policies for shelters) and create No Kill communities across the country. This is happening in communities across the country, and it’s possible everywhere. Anyone who tells you differently is either misinformed, a proponent of the status quo of killing, or brainwashed to believe otherwise. Personally, I used to be brainwashed, and believed that killing was necessary due to “a lack of resources” and “too many animals, not enough homes”. Both are nothing more than myths – the myth of overpopulation, and the myth that money = lives saved. Statistically, there are 17 million people in the US looking for new pets annually, who could be convinced to adopt, and 3-4 million that die in shelters – that’s far more than enough homes. Additionally, the No Kill Equation can be implemented within, and often under budget – so don’t let a shelter administrator tell you that MONEY is the key to life-saving.

These myths have persisted for decades, and their continued power is why the HSUS, ASPCA and PETA take in hundreds of millions of dollars per year from compassionate Americans. When the public gains widespread awareness about where their dollars are going, and realizes that the status quo isn’t working, that animals are dying needlessly and that there IS another way, these groups will have to evolve or die. There’s no room for the acceptance and advocacy of killing. A No Kill Nation is where we’re headed, and we will arrive.

If you want to learn more about No Kill Nation, please visit the Facebook page (which just hit 100,000+ fans!) and don’t hesitate to post questions. I definitely encourage you to read further about the policies & actions of the HSUS, ASPCA and PETA. Nathan Winograd has some terrific blog posts on the topic.

If you love companion animals, if you believe that every life is precious and that every saveable animal deserves to live, than the HSUS, the ASPCA and PETA are NOT on your side … but No Kill Nation is.

h/t to: Save Shelter Pets

Related:

Shelter (noun): Something that affords protection; a refuge, a haven… instead U.S. animal shelters are inhumane death camps… in many instances!

 

The Earth is Flat, Pet Over-Population Exists and Other Myths We’ve Been Told

 

Redemption Now Available as an E-Book!

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments