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Pitbulls – Fake News?

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We are grateful to our Guest Blogger this edition; Brandy Ferrer who shares her experience and some resources so that you can decide for yourself – Pitbull – friend or foe?

We would love to hear your pet adoption stories and see photos of your #BFFs – Best Furry Friends @SquatchGirlOfficial on Instagram or Facebook.

Squatch Girl recently commissioned artist, Favio Ulises Ramos @favsartsfur to paint his vision of a Pitbull and Chihuahua made of flowers . . .  named Pitunia and Blossom!

We are thrilled to unveil #Pitunia and #Blossom to the world and make them available to you as #WearableArt.

Your purchase of #Pitunia and #Blossom apparel will support local artist, Favio to #BeSeen and help to save the lives of pets in need at the same time. For each sale from our Pitunia and Blossom collection, Squatch Girl will make a $1 donation to Friends of PACC (Pima Animal Care Center)

Look great, feel great and make a difference!

Guest Blog: Pitbulls – Fake News?

Brandy Ferrer: Culture Builder, Business Leader, Lecturer, founder of Pathfinder Strategies

Mom, Animal Advocate, and Dog Lover

One afternoon we stumbled upon a Pet Smart that was hosting an adoption event. We were immediately greeted by a beautiful brindle and white Pitbull. She was excited, yet gentle. She first approached our daughter, Jillian who was not quite two years old. The two of them stood eye to eye. I had a flash of motherly concern. As I began to pick Jillian up, the dog very sweetly put her head down and nuzzled Jillian’s little hand as if to say “Can we be friends?”
We weren’t planning to get a dog that day, but we knew, this was the one for us.

For the next 10 years, our dog Sara was a treasured member of our family. We fell in love with her smiling face and loud snores. She gave the best hugs, and always at the perfect time. She loved belly rubs and long naps. She was Jillian’s first best friend and her consummate protector and playmate.

It wasn’t long after we got Sara that we began to notice some people’s reaction to her. Even though Sara had a friendly, calm demeanor we noticed that people often crossed the street when walked her. One family member even told us that he was afraid of Sara.

We became more aware of the stories in the media of so-called Pit Bull “attacks.” While my husband and I dismissed the stories, the discrepancy between what we saw in the media and what we witnessed in our home was unsettling.

So, I began to research the stigma around Pit Bulls to understand why they had such a bad reputation. Here’s what I learned:

• Pit Bulls and many other “bully breed” dogs are often mislabeled. A dog with a big, blocky head is often labeled as a Pitbull even though it may not have any genealogy of a Pit Bull Breed. Even Sara was probably an American Pit Bull Terrier/Boxer mix. Because of this mischaracterization, many negative reports about Pit Bulls involve dogs that aren’t really in that breed family.

• Dog bites from “Pit Bulls” (or those that somehow resemble a Pit Bull Breed) are disproportionally reported. Additionally, dog bite research by breed is incomplete and can be inaccurate. With that being said, many reports indicate that other breeds like Chihuahuas and Labrador Retrievers bite more often but aren’t reported as much in the media. (As an example of how tough it is to get accurate data on this topic-consider why there are so many bites by the breeds I mentioned. It may be because there are simply more of those breeds in homes-not because the breed bites any more than other breeds.)

• The media wants to sell papers, or advertising space on their website, or clicks on social media. It’s unfortunate, but often accurate, complete reporting takes a backseat to sensationalism, because that’s what sells. In the past the media has also demonized Dobermans, German Shepherds and even Dachshunds (during World War I.) 

Because Pit Bull breeds still battle this unfair and untrue reputation, the shelters are full of these kinds of dogs. Landlords and apartments won’t rent to people who have these dogs. Many insurance companies increase their premiums or won’t cover homes where these dogs reside.

What can you do?

  • Don’t believe the hype. If you see a story about Pit Bulls in the media-be cautious. Remember that for every reported “Pit Bull” dog bite, there are many more by other types of dogs that go unreported in the media.
  • Be an advocate for these loyal, good-natured dogs
  • Adopt or foster! The shelters are full of Pit Bull type breeds who need loving homes.

Sources Cited:

  • Pit Bull: The Battle Over An American Icon by Bronwen Dickey
  • The Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics Behind Dog Bites, Huffington Post
  • Picture also from the Huffington Post







Brandy Ferrer
President/CEO, Pathfinder Strategies

Pathfinder Strategies is a consulting company that helps companies create an environment where employees are excited to work, love their jobs and performs at their best. We develop a High 5 Culture℠ for our clients using The Smart Select Hiring Process, Team Alignment and Leadership Development. Our diverse experience and unique insights help our clients achieve business results through people.

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