Don’t Let Them Be Misunderstood

Posted on April 4, 2018

In case you haven’t been introduced, meet Remy – a calm, friendly senior pup who loves belly rubs and going for long, leisurely walks. Remy may look like a muscle man, but he’s a total softie. He enjoys napping, fetch, eating treats, cuddling, napping, napping (did I mention napping?), and participating in doggie play group with the little tiny dogs – they’re just more his speed.

Remy is a shelter favorite but, sadly, he has to bear the brunt of misconceptions and misinformation. You see, Remy is a Pit Bull “type” dog (or as the shelter community likes to call them, “pibbles”), and that means people out there already think they know everything about him. He’s aggressive. He’s dangerous. He doesn’t like kids, or other animals. He was born to fight and can turn on a moment’s notice. To many, Remy is a Bad Dog because of the way he looks.

The truth is, an individual dog’s looks does not determine behavior: physical appearance makes up only 0.25% (yes, one fraction of 1%) of a dog’s entire genome. That leaves the remaining 99.75% of the genome, and there’s no way to know which part influences behavior. So, let’s assume Remy’s DNA reveals he is 15% boxer. What 15% is he? Bones? Digestion? Energy level? There is no way to know because there are too many factors at play.

Sadly, all those misperceptions about Remy have very real consequences, and many dogs like him never get a chance to show their true character. Some shelters deem these dogs dangerous upon intake, an immediate candidate for euthanasia. Other communities have strict “Breed-Specific Legislation” (BSL) ordinances that make it nearly impossible to adopt a pibble. At AWLA, we treat all dogs the same, regardless of breed, and we’re fortunate not to have BSL in Arlington. But, despite that, not everything is sunshine and rainbows for Remy and his kind: breed restrictions make it difficult for renters to own Pit Bull “type” dogs because they are banned by many HOA’s and apartment complexes in the area.

Arlington County is a very humane community, but there is still much to be done to end discrimination against our pibble friends. That’s why this month we’re especially excited to partner with the Stand up for Pits Foundation (SUFP), a nationwide advocacy group dedicated to saving lives and ending the abuse and discrimination of Pit Bull “type” dogs through live events, education and advocacy. We’ll be at Arlington Drafthouse on April 26th along with SUFP and famed comedian, Rebecca Corry, promoting all of our “Remy’s.”

We also need your help! Attend the event, share and comment on our social media posts, foster, or come visit the shelter yourself and meet Remy and his pibble friends, Big Ben, Franny, Sadie, Archer and many more.

Sam Wolbert

President & CEO

For more information about Pit Bull “type” dogs visit Animal Farm Foundation’s website.

For information about SUFP, click here.