Advocates for bull breeds nationwide are celebrating National Pit Bull Awareness Day today.
In 2007, Bless the Bullys introduced the idea of a national "Pit Bull Awareness Day." Devoted pit bull advocates jumped on the opportunity to to bring positive awareness and attention to the American Pit Bull Terrier and their responsible owners.
Groups throughout the nation are holding fun shows, adoption events, costume contests, and much more. On Sunday, November 7, The Austin group Love-A-Bull is hosting a massive festival and "100 Pit Bull Parade." Celebrity guests from the hit TV show "Rescue Ink" and "Pit Boss" will be attending, and the public is invited.
Since Austin is the home of our State Legislature, there is no better place for the public to meet responsible owners and their well-trained pit bulls.
Reality television shows such as Pit Boss, Dog Whisperer, and Pit Bulls and Parolees (now back for a second season), as well as follow-ups on the dogs seized from Michael Vick's fighting ring are bringing pit bulls into millions of American homes. Each week, we see dogs craving human affection despite suffering abuse and neglect. We watch American Pit Bull Terriers bring joy to hospitals and nursing homes, function as service dogs and even take on acting and modeling gigs. This positive publicity is something bull breed advocates could not have imagined ten years ago.
In the past month, two of the nations' oldest and most notorious breed-specific laws, in Toledo, Ohio and Topeka, Kansas, were unanimously voted away by their City Councils. The laws were replaced not out of a desire for political correctness or love of the breed, but because they caused cost overruns, shelter overcrowding, lawsuits, and wasted animal control resources.
Yet in Texas, when our Legislature meets in January, we will fight once again to keep Texas one of thirteen states where local governments are prohibited from passing laws that discriminate against breeds of dogs. While other governments move forward with laws holding all owners accountable for their dogs actions, some in Texas, including the City of Garland (infamous as the largest city in Texas still using a gas chamber to euthanize pets) would step backward.
In Texas, a dog can be declared dangerous under state law without harming -- or even touching -- a person. When a dog is declared dangerous, the dog is almost always euthanized because the requirements are too costly and difficult for most people to meet. Cities may pass more stringent laws, provided that the laws apply to everyone equally.
For more information:
Details on Love A Bull's November 7 event: http://www.meetup.com/love-a-bull/calendar/14411313/
List of all National Pit Bull Awareness Day events: http://www.blessthebullys.com/national_pit_bull_awareness_day.html
Best Friends Animal Society: Saving America's Dog initiative. http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehomelesspets/pit_bulls.cfm