Get Active!
Support the Cause
"I want to help! Where should I start? What organizations
should I support?"

The first step is to begin to lend support (financial or otherwise) to
the various organizations working to help the American Pit Bull
Terrier breed. There are many organizations out there and choosing
which ones to support can be confusing. Some organizations are
more productive than others, while a few organizations do way
more harm than good. Before choosing which organizations to
support, you may want to decide which cause is most important to
you and focus most of your attention on that cause. This can be
more productive than spreading yourself too thin and offering only a
little time or money to a lot of organizations.

Everyone's First Concern Should Be Breed Specific Legislation

The biggest threat to our dogs right now is breed specific legislation
(BSL). These laws, if allowed to pass, will theoretically cause
extinction of the American Pit Bull Terrier and related breeds. These
laws, regardless of their intent, are unfair, unconstitutional, and
unworkable! BSL is a Band-Aid solution for a larger problem, period!
Regardless of what issues are prompting the writing of such laws,
BSL is fundamentally wrong and a solution for NOTHING!

All dog owners, regardless of breed, should join in the fight against
BSL! It has been shown that BSL that targets Pit Bulls is a gateway
which opens to allow laws restricting other breeds, not just those of
pit bull type. If you are a dog owner and care about your right to
own your breed of choice responsibly, than you should join an
organization and get active in fighting unjust laws!

Rescue - Salvation for Unwanted Bullies, and Helping to Create a
Hopeful Future

There are few jobs as financially thankless, tiring or time consuming
as rescue work. But none so rewarding. The countless organizations
that rescue Pit Bulls will never want for work. Rescues are left to
clean up other peoples' messes, and rely on the kindness and
generosity of supporters, as well as utilize their own time and
finances, to help them get their jobs done. Rescue is an important
and worthy cause, deserving of your time and money.

There are numerous Pit Bull rescues across the country; some going
above and beyond the call of duty by not only rescuing dogs but
doing outstanding educational work as well. Why educate? Because
without trying to wipe out the problems that give rescuers a job to
begin with, rescue work is simply like running on a treadmill at full
speed: exhausting, but doesn't get you anywhere! Rescues should
ALWAYS be working to educate their communities about the breed,
BSL, responsible ownership and the importance of
spaying/neutering. Besides a commitment to education, there are
several other things you should look for in a rescue organization
before you hand over your money:

  • All dogs should be spayed or neutered before placement.
  • They should charge a nominal fee for adoption (which covers
    the basic care the dog received). Normal adoption fees range
    from about $50 to $150 dollars. Rescues that charge
    ridiculous adoption fees of $400, $500 or more, should be
    viewed as suspect, and are possibly trying to make a buck off
    of the dogs' misfortune.
  • They should seem like they know what they are doing, and be
    very knowledgeable about the breed. They should have been
    rescuing more than a few years, and have references from
    vets, trainers, or other animal professionals that can verify
    their legitimacy.
  • They should require temperament tests/evaluations on all
    dogs prior to placement. All dogs should be assessed before
    being adopted to help match them with the best possible
    home. If the rescue does test, ask them to be specific about
    how they go about doing so.
  • The rescue should have a zero tolerance policy for Pit Bulls
    that have bitten or are aggressive towards humans. No
    responsible Pit Bull rescue will adopt a dog out with a history
    of aggressive behavior towards people.
  • The rescue should place all dogs with a contract.

Two rescues that are "doing it right" are the following:

Spindletop in Texas (the "national" rescue for the breed)

and
Our Pack, Inc in California, which is an extremely educated,
breed-savvy group doing amazing outreach in the San Francisco Bay
Area.

You may wish to support your local animal shelter/humane society if
they are Pit Bull-friendly. Volunteering to walk/train dogs, clean
kennels, counsel potential adopters or new adopters (to help dogs
stay in their new homes), and helping the staff and other volunteers
understand and responsibly place Pit Bulls are just a few ways you
can help.

For some recommended rescues,
click here.

Getting Active

Local humane societies are always looking for volunteers to walk
and train dogs. Many shelters are over-run with Pit Bulls that are
already difficult to place, but lacking training and manners are even
more of a challenge to find good homes for. Volunteering with
humane societies specifically to help Pit Bulls find homes is a great,
important way to get involved in helping the breed.

If you are a NJ resident, consider applying to become a . RPB always
needs enthusiastic, savvy volunteers to man booths, help with
training classes, organize events, hand out fliers, etc.

Animal Rights/Welfare Organizations

Aside from the Pit Bull specific organizations, there are many groups
that are working to make the world a better place for animals in
general, including Pit Bulls. The American Society for the
Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City is a prime example.
They are a shelter, have numerous educational programs, and are
Pit Bull-friendly. They are an excellent organization to lend support
to if you are wanting to help animals in general.

Other "animal welfare" or "animal rights" organizations should be
avoided, however. They sound benign enough on the outside, but
dig a little and you'll find some things that may surprise you. People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) supports BSL and would
like to see the American Pit Bull Terrier breed (as well as pet animals
in general) die out.

In fact, animal rights (AR) groups must be viewed cautiously and fully
investigated before you decide to drop any money in their pockets.
There seems to be an inordinate amount of anti-Pit Bull sentiment in
AR circles, either due to fear, misunderstanding, or plain ignorance.
For instance, Animal People Magazine is a well-known animal rights
publication that is incredibly anti-Pit Bull, and its articles display not
only an extreme animosity towards the breed, but also a terrible
lack of understanding of dog behavior. For an example of the
garbage that routinely gets published in Animal People, click here:
here.

Before you support any animal rights or welfare organization, be
sure to ask them what their stance on Pit Bulls and breed specific
legislation is prior to joining.