Many in the dog world believe that pit bulls are a misunderstood breed and are the object of discrimination which results in abuse and death. Pit bulls, through no fault of their own, are used for dog fighting purposes which can result in big financials gains for breeders and fighters.
Pit bulls are often banned from rentals and apartments regardless of the nature of the dog. Insurance companies refuse to cover owners of certain kinds of pets. Groups are springing up to help this misunderstood breed. We have such an organization in Anderson: Project Bully Indiana, Inc., founded in July. Its mission statement reads, in part: "We are advocates for pit bulls and bully breed dogs. Our goals are to make the country safe and equal for all dogs; to spread education about overpopulation and responsible pet ownership; to encourage the community to adopt shelter pets; to work with youth to create strong responsible leaders for the future; to bring affordable and free spay/neuter services to the community; to fight breed specific legislation; to teach that a dog should not be judged by the actions of its owner; and more."
They have sponsored 31 pit bulls and pit bull mixes from Madison County to be spayed/neutered. People in need of assistance can go to www.getthemfixed.org, print the $10 application, and mail the app with proof of qualifications to P.O. Box 361, Middletown, IN 47356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sept. 28 they hosted their first event at Shadyside Park, the Fall Pittie Reunion Picnic. We got the community out to see how amazing a large group of pit bulls can be, with no fights and many in costumes and tutus, making everyone smile.
The next event is on December 14 in Anderson, or close once we find a location (suggestions are appreciated.)
Please, before you condemn the breed get the facts. Project Bully Indiana inc can help you do that.
The Animal Protection League is full of pit bull and pit mixes that no one seems to want. They are bred indiscriminately in our community to sell for money, to breed for fighting, status for gang members or for people who want to present a certain persona. We are overwhelmed with these poor dogs. These dogs typically do not do well in a shelter environment. They sit in a cage waiting; just waiting while they break our hearts. Meanwhile they are branded as vicious dogs by the media, which in turn makes many people afraid of these dogs and not want to adopt them.
If you are thinking that you might be open to adopting a pit bull, contact the folks at Project Pit Bull and see if a pit bull is a good choice for your dog handling skill level and your life style. Make an informed decision.
Hopefully when we adopt an animal — any animal — it is to be for the life of that animal. What if we stopped the injustice of bigotry and intolerance across the board — for animals and people? What a different world it would be.
Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at email@example.com.