Pit Bull Rally in Washington
Photo credit: audreyjm529 / Flickr
A beloved breed, the Nanny Dog often stays in the yard with small kids as they play. A crying child can count on the Nanny Dog to lick her face until the tears are gone and her frown turns into a smile.
Boys adore him for his athletic prowess and tireless energy when playing fetch. The Nanny Dog is your friendly neighborhood Pit Bull, a much-maligned breed often called a “bully breed” for their former roles in dogfights and misuse by people who abuse their Pitties or Pibbles and create a violent Pit Bull.
Pitties and Pibbles are the affectionate nicknames that owners of Pit Bulls use to describe the breed.
On Saturday, May 3, 2014 the first of its kind, One Million Pibble March, took place in Washington, DC.
The purpose was twofold:
- Protest breed-specific legislation;
- Educate the public on the gentleness of the Pit Bull breed.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, Rebecca Corry, a native of Kent, Washington and a well-known television comedian with credits on Comedy Central, King of Queens, and the Last Comic Standing, organized the event. She is the founder of the organization Stand Up for Pits.
Stand Up for Pits is a foundation that believes that through “laughter, positive images and education, Pit Bulls will one day no longer be the target of discrimination, abuse and hate.” Her inspiration for starting the foundation was her own rescued Pit Bull, Angel who was used as a bait dog. Corry says Angel changed her life.
The march fell short of one million participants, but two thousand Pit Bull lovers from all over the United States and Canada made it to the rally to support the breed and speak out against Pit Bull discrimination and abuse.
Throughout the United States and Canada, people with little or no experience with Pit Bulls or other breeds wrongly accused of being a “bully breed” are pushing and supporting local legislation to ban these breeds from public parks reports several news outlets including King5 in Seattle, Washington.
Vet Street reported that among the speakers at the event was Leah Brewer, owner of a Pit Bull named Elle that was the American Humane Society’s 2013 Dog of the Year. Roo Yori, owner of Hector, who is one of the rehabilitated dogs formerly owned by Michael Vicks joined her along with Jamie Buehrle, forced to live apart from her husband Mark, a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays because of a Toronto breed ban.
The closing speaker was Officer Kelly Steinhorn of the Baltimore Police Department who rescued her own Pit Bull named Pretzel from a horrific life on the city’s streets.
Attendance at the Million Pibble March might have been greater had organizer Corry not decided to ban dogs from the event.
According to a piece she wrote in the Huffington Post, Corry made the controversial decision to ban the pets because:
“Simply put, dogs cannot change laws, the U.S. Capitol is not a dog park, and this is not an opportunity to make it one. This is an opportunity for humans to be their voice.”
With dogs marching too, the totals would have easily increased by at least 1,000 dogs accompanying owners.
Seattle, Washington television station King5 reported that an online petition on the We the People Page of the White House website got over 30,000 signatures.
The petition asked the president’s administration to speak out and denounce breed specific laws. The petition said laws outlawing specific breeds is ineffective, biased and caused the loss of family pets based only on their breed or physical characteristics.
In response to the petition, the White House stated that years of research proved that banning certain dog breeds was mostly ineffective and usually a waste of public money and resources.
The White House, in their response supporting the petition said that:
“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.”
This is the exact message that Corry and her foundation are getting to the public through events such as the Million Pibble March.