This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360.com as Join the Fight Against Breed Specific Legislation at the One Million Pibble March.
Are you the pet parent of a Pit Bull Terrier? So many people recognize the positive attributes of this family-friendly and sturdy breed and have rescued countless numbers of them from shelter-based euthanasia.
On many occasions, I’ve seen Pit Bulls as patients in my veterinary practice and have personally recognized their ability to incorporate into the dynamic of a household having children and other pets. Unfortunately, this breed is one of the most commonly euthanized shelter dogs.
According to Pit Bull Rescue Central, “it is estimated that up to 200 Pit Bulls are killed every day in Los Angeles County, CA, shelters.” Additionally, "The Pit Bull population has now risen to 40% of all the dogs in 12 shelters in Los Angeles”, so nearly half of the dogs are Pit Bulls and their mixes and many of them never make it out of the shelter.
There’s a positive slant to this topic, as the cause of promoting education about the breed and responsible pet ownership is being undertaken through the One Million PIBBLE March. Actress and comedian Rebecca Corry (Comedy Central, King of Queens, Last Comic Standing) started theStand Up for Pits Foundation as an avid fan and owner of the breed affectionately known as a “Pibble.” Corry’s cause was inspired by her dog Angel, a rescued Pit Bull Terrier who was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles in a state of severe neglect.
Having drummed up the attention of fellow Hollywood dog lovers, including David Arquette, Bill Burr, Courteney Cox, Whitney Cummings, and Kaley Cuoco, Janeane Garafolo, Moby, and Cheri Oteri, Corry is heading to Washington, DC, on May 3, 2014 to raise awareness about Pit Bull abuse and discrimination.
Corry states “My goal is to create safe and humane communities for humans and pets alike through raising awareness and identifying solutions. I believe through laughter, positive images and education, we can make a difference. Quite frankly, this is a societal problem that affects us all as abuse that begins with pets can quickly extend to children. The targeting of Pit Bull Terriers is unfortunately a direct reflection of broken society, but one that can be fixed and starts with constructive, awareness-building events like our One Million PIBBLE March.”
President Obama officially came out against breed specific legislation (BSL) laws. For those of you not familiar, BSL laws restrict ownership of specific breeds of dogs in the U.S. Pit bulls are one of the most discriminated targeted by BSL laws. Through the White House’s official Twitter handle@WeThePeople, Breed-Specific Legislation Is a Bad Idea was released and states:
We don't support breed-specific legislation -- research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.
In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it's virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.
The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren't deterred by breed regulations -- when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they're intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.
For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation -- which they call inappropriate. You can read more from them here.
As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that's a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.
I had the pleasure of meeting Corry and Angel at the grand opening of the Pussy & Pooch store in Beverly Hills. As the event was somewhat hectic, I didn't fully grasp the extent of Corry’s cause until I received a press release about the upcoming One Million PIBBLE March. Fortunately, I snapped a photo of Corry and Angel posing with animal-welfare activist and Emmy Award-winning actress (and my client) Jane Lynch.
You can get involved in the The One Million PIBBLE March by attending the event, spreading the message through your social media channels, or donating to the cause via StandUpForPits. One of my preferred canine and feline food companies, The Honest Kitchen, is an event sponsor. Also, check out Angel’s starring role in the YouTube video Be Their Voice.
Copyright of this article (2014) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.