We’ve published many articles on pit bull politics, breed bans, pro-pit bull pieces, and even comedy. However, what we have yet to do is show the world the people behind these dogs. What is it like to be a pit bull parent?
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than having someone look you dead in the eye and tell you with conviction that your dog will never love you the way another dog would. That he is inherently dangerous and can’t be trusted around animals or humans. Or that you don’t deserve a home to live in because you chose to have a dog that looks a certain way. This is what pit bull parents encounter on a daily basis.
Dog discrimination is a special kind of racism, bullying, elitism that hasn’t yet been recognized by the general public. Somehow, this segregation-like mindset is not only widely accepted, but legal in many municipalities. These laws lead to seizures of family pets, housing displacement, and mass killings of innocent animals.
Though we are hurt so deeply inside by this injustice and total disregard for life, many of us present a tough exterior in order to protect our dogs. This is one of the many reasons that pit bull parents are a unique breed of dog owner.
We Go Above And Beyond For Behavioral Modification And Training
As pit bull parents, whether we knowingly got ourselves categorized, or came by our dogs accidentally, understand that we have a responsibility to set an example for the breed. This may seem like an extreme undertaking, but it is one we take very seriously.
Unfortunately for pit bull type dogs, most individuals will base their entire view of the breed upon their personal encounter with one animal, whether it’s bad or good. If they encounter an aggressive pit bull, they will be much less forgiving than if they had encountered an aggressive poodle. Due to skewed media coverage and unjust breed bans, the general public has a preexisting idea of what a pit bull type dog is, and how they act, usually not in the dog’s favor. Once they meet one aggressive pit bull, they believe all of them are the same way.
This is why pit bull parents go the extra mile to ensure their dogs are on their best behavior. We spend the majority of our time either training our dogs, or assessing their behavior. If there is something that needs improvement, regardless of our dog’s age, we will address it. For pit bull parents “growing out of it” is not an option we give our dogs.
We Face The Threat Of Homelessness Often
The housing crisis affects everyone involved, but none more than pit bull parents. Housing is hard enough to secure for dog owners, let alone “dangerous dog” owners. Many of us find ourselves lying about our dog’s breed, or going through extreme measures to ensure that we find a place to live. Sometimes, we just don’t have any options.
For pit bull parents in British Columbia, Canada, we face homelessness often. With the recent housing crisis, our major cities are currently boasting less than 1% vacancy rates. The population and demand for housing is rising by the minute, and many of us are left without viable options. Some, myself included, have had to settle for almost unliveable housing conditions in order to provide shelter for our families.
In the US and Canada, thousands of pit bull owners have no choice but to rehome their dogs in order to find a place to live. Many choose to live on the streets, refusing to give up their companions.
If only landlords understood that these are the responsible and dedicated pet owners they should be renting to.
We Fight For A Brighter Future
Though pit bull parents encounter daily struggles, like scrutiny and homelessness, they continue to fight for their rights and the rights of their dogs. Pit bull parents dream of the day their dogs will be accepted and treated fairly, and they won’t give up on that dream until every municipality is BSL free!
They hold rallies, petitions, sit ins, protests. They set incredible examples for the breed, and they do whatever possible to make a difference in these dogs’ lives.
From aiding the homeless animal population, to fighting for equal housing and ownership rights, pit bull parents are the most dedicated animal owners you will ever meet!
We Don’t Hold Judgement
We love our dogs, and we want others to love our dogs, but that doesn’t mean we would ever hold judgement or force someone, who dislikes our dogs, to feel the same way. We would never ask someone, who is afraid of pit bulls or dogs in general, to make friends with our dogs, nor would we expect them to ever change their mind.
Pit bull parents understand how it feels to be judged and treated unfairly. This is why we would never do the same to someone else.
All we ask is that we receive fair and equal treatment as dog owners.
We Aim To Educate
Education is key! There is nothing worse in this world than misinformation. Misinformation leads to a plethora of issues, sometimes dangerous, and we aim to educate those who do not understand, or have received the wrong information.
Most pit bull parents are very open about education, and only wish to help others better understand the breed. We also want to help others understand the myths, and the effects they have on pit bull owners and their dogs. Some of these generalizations or urban legends are dangerous, and create an unnecessary fear of the dog.
If you approach a pit bull owner with questions, rather than accusations, you may learn a thing or two! As long as you are honest with your beliefs, and are open to education, any pit bull owner will be happy to teach you about their dog.
We Would Do Anything For Our Dogs
Many pet parents say they would do anything for their dog, but will never be faced with serious hardship. As we’ve mentioned before, pit bull parents face homelessness, criticism, hostility, and even unjust and unlawful treatment, due to the fact that our dogs have big heads and broad chests. Though we do whatever possible to fight this injustice, we are often forced to make incredibly difficult choices.
Pit bull parents have moved cities, states, and even countries for their dogs. We would sooner see our own demise, than have anything happen to our beloved pups, and we would do anything to keep them safe. We understand that this may mean losing our job, our home, our friends, even our family.
Pit bull parents are some of the most dedicated, loving, and compassionate pet owners on the planet. All we care about is the health and happiness of our animals.
We will never stop fighting for our kids!