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October 26th is National Pitbull Awareness Day (NPBAD). This is a day dedicated to those who own a pit bull (or a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier) and to educate others about these lovable dogs6.
National Pitbull Awareness Day is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about bully breed dogs, commonly referred to as “pit bulls,” and their responsible owners.
NPBAD was established to educate and foster positive communications and experiences in the communities where these dogs live. It is an initiative dedicated to restoring the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier7.
The annual event was started in 2007 by Jodi Preis of Bless The Bullys, a pit bull rescue and education group based in Tennessee. The goal of this day is to promote the breed’s truth through positive media attention, education, and advocacy8.
The truth can ultimately save lives by preventing pitties from ending up in shelters due to fear, bias, and breed-specific legislation (BSL)9.
According to Save-a-Bull Rescue, there are between 3 and 5 million pit bulls in the United States and they make up approximately a third of animals being taken into shelters each year. That number is considered a low estimate, as shelters in large cities report pit bulls making up 50 to 60 percent of shelter intakes10.
Pitbull-type dogs are often the first to be euthanized in shelters due to overcrowding, lack of adopters, and restrictive breed bans. Nonetheless, they are among the most overbred dogs.
The pit bull is not a breed11. Rather, it is a generic term used to refer to a group of dogs based on their physical appearance. This includes dogs who resemble a crossbreed between a bulldog and a terrier, such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully.
During World War 1 and World War II, pit bulls were crowned “America’s Dog,” with their smiling faces proudly shown as mascots on military recruitment posters. Pit bulls were known for their loyalty, affection, and penchant for children, earning them the nickname “the nanny dog.”
Several pit bulls were well-known symbols in American society, prevalent in advertising and film: you can find numerous photographs of the regal pit bull sitting with young children.
Many decades ago, “bully breeds” were bred to protect livestock because of their strength. In the 1980s, still known for their strength and build, gangs began using pit bulls for protection. Pit bulls unwittingly became a status symbol for people who chose to use their physical attributes as a means of intimidation.
It’s time to put the unwarranted negative perceptions of these dogs behind them. On this National Pitbull Awareness Day, here are some ways you can get involved with helping pit bulls:
What You Can Do to Get Involved
So take some time this National Pitbull Awareness Day to give your pit bull some extra love! Or, maybe take some time to learn more about pit bulls and how you can help your local community.
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Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.
1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.
2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.
9ASPCA: What is Breed-Specific Legislation?
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