“A lot of dogs are getting a bad rap,” said Lora Wood.
Wood is a member of the PAWS-tive Partners Humane Society. She and another member, Josie Lyon, have been heading up the Be Responsi-Bull campaign to educate the community about bully breeds.
Wood believes educating the public will help dispel some of the stereotypes surrounding breeds such as pit bulls and rottweilers and encourage adoption of the dogs.
Pit bulls currently seem to have one of the worst reputations when it comes to dog breeds, because many people believe they’re too aggressive and unpredictable to make good pets. This wasn’t always the case, though.
For many years, pit bulls were a beloved part of American culture, appearing on Army recruitment posters during World War I and television shows like “Our Gang.” The breed also showed up on advertisement posters for the RCA Victor, which featured a pit bull looking into a gramophone, and ads for Buster Brown Shoes.
In later years though, dog fighting became popular and the reputation of bully breeds went from beloved to vicious.
Pet overpopulation is an enormous problem throughout the United States, and an estimated 40 percent of the animals in shelters are labeled as bully breeds.
Many people seem to avoid adopting them because of the negative reputations of the breeds. Recent legislative moves across the country banning certain breeds in different cities aren’t helping things. That’s where education comes in, Wood said.
“It’s such a terrible stereotype,” Wood said. “These dogs don’t deserve to suffer.”
Wood believes that if their movement can help with pet overpopulation, they may also be able to decrease the stigma surrounding the breeds. One of the ways the Be Responsi-Bull campaign is doing that is by offering discounted spaying and neutering during the month of April.
Those who own unaltered bully breed dogs can get them spayed or neutered for as little as $30 through the end of April. PAWS-itive Partners will cover the rest of the spay and neuter fee. Generally, a spay can cost upward of $130 and neuters can cost about $90, depending on the size of the animal, according to Wood.
All of the veterinary clinics in North Platte and Sutherland are participating in the program. Owners may be responsible for additional fees like blood work or IV fluids.
Those who would like to take advantage of opportunity are asked to contact Wood at 660-9507 or Lyon at 712-579-6043 before scheduling their dog’s appointment.