What a pity your cousin’s husband chooses to be ignorant. Sadly however the real problem is that so many people choose to believe the media and the anti-pit bull propaganda they put out or choose to believe that because they have known of or know some people who have pit bulls that are irresponsible and don’t have good control of their dogs.
A friend of mine and I just started a pit bull advocacy group here in Portland Oregon called The Portland Pit Bull Project and we host monthly Bully Walks. We have accepted that you must show people the possibilities because telling them until you are blue in the face will never change their mind. Of course some people will never, even when shown, change but if you get even one or two people to see pit bulls in a different light and to understand that irresponsible dog owners create dangerous dogs it will be worth the trouble. If your dogs truly are ‘safe’ dogs that are always 100% within your control then you must showcase them to anyone and everyone you can as often as you can. Remember that as a pit bull owner you bear a responsibility, unfortunately, to advocate for the breed by showing people just how ‘safe’ pit bulls can be to be around. You can tell people your dogs are ‘good dogs’ until you run out of breath and they will never listen BUT if you show them they can’t help but believe that what you say about your dogs is true.
I urge you to begin such an event as a Bully Walk in the town where you live. You’d be amazed just how many responsible pit bull owners you have living in your area and how quickly the word gets out. My friend started this just last January. She and I belonged to a Meet-Up group on line called Portlanders Against Breed Bans (I’m sure you could start a Meet-up group on line where you live for Pit Bull Owners/Lovers). She organized the first walk in January and about twenty people showed up with their dogs, myself included. I contacted her after the first walk and asked what I could do to help and now we have a facebook page, a blog and will be taking our website live any day now. Plus because we have worked so hard to get the public involved we have local shelters and rescues plus the local police force K-9 unit supporting us and offering to participate. The second walk was earlier this month and we had close to 30 people with their dogs. People who don’t have pits but want to support us come too…it’s for the pit bulls but includes all dogs who want to come out to be with us. We have our next walk this coming Sunday and we expect around 50 people to be there with their dogs. We always walk through downtown so as many people as possible can see us. It’s fun when people honk their horns, shout out they like it and even come running out of stores to ask us what we are doing and how can they get involved.
We have lots of plans to do charitable work and earn money for local shelters, rescues and we plan to help ALL dogs on behalf of the pit bulls. Things like this get noticed and people do change how they view the dogs after seeing that there are many more responsible pit bull owners out there than there are dog fighters, thugs, drug dealers and gang bangers.
Like the old saying goes, ‘Rather than curse the darkness, light a candle’ so I suppose we could translate it into ‘Rather than curse people for being stupid, educate them by showing them’!