Pit Bull Awareness Day Counters Breed’s Bad Rep
October 28 is National Pit Bull Awareness Day, a nationwide day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about American pit bull terriers and their responsible owners.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day (NPBAD) was founded in 2007 by Jodi Preis. She has spent the 10 years since fighting against “dangerous dog” and breed-specific legislation that targets pit bulls.
These days, pit bulls and bad reputation tend to go hand in hand, but it didn’t always use to be that way. In fact, they used to represent the U.S. Army.
Negative and misunderstood public perception has led to breed-specific legislation that restricts pit bulls and pit-mixes in a number of jurisdictions across the U.S. This is a misguided approach to preventing harm from dogs. The real answer is to hold an owner responsible for his or her pet’s actions. As our former president Ed Sayres explained in 2014, breed-specific bans don’t work. Specifically:
- Breed-specific bans are prejudicial, based on stereotypes that profile dogs
- Breed-specific bans are costly, both financially and emotionally
- Breed-specific bans are an overly simple solution to a complicated issue
PIJAC monitors legislation regarding pets and pet ownership and the local, state and national level. Unfortunately, some legislation can be detrimental to pet ownership. This includes pet sale bans and breeder restrictions that limit people from obtaining pit bulls and other breeds like them.
Mike Bober is president and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). PIJAC members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists and other trade organizations.