I was all set to blog about the body language of fearful dogs today, but then I came across a story on our Petropolis page about a new reality show airing next month on Animal Planet.
It’s called “Pit Bulls and Parolees” — a very fitting name as it appears the show will be about just that.
A California woman runs Villalobos Rescue Center, where she works on adopting out 225 pit bulls and providing jobs for parolees, who work with the much-maligned dogs.
I’ll be tuning in to watch this show, and I hope I like what I see.
If I do, then it’s another step in turning the tide of public perception regarding my favorite breed, pit bulls.
In the past few years, there’s been a lot publicity that has begun showing that this breed is just as capable as any other breed of producing good dogs.
First, there was Cesar Millan with his show “The Dog Whisperer.” People got to see, probably for the first time, how massive numbers of pit bulls live amongst one another, not restrained in the least bit, without a problem.
And they got to see his mascot, the old and sturdy pit bull Daddy, help rehabilitate other dogs — from tiny Chihuahuas to other pit bulls and everything in between.
Then there was the Michael Vick scandal. A quote from the article on Petropolis says it best.
The owner of the shelter, Tia Maria Torres, said:
“As horrible as it was, it changed everything for the pit bull. Shelters are looking at the dogs differently, the public has a lot more empathy and adoption rates are going up. The dogs that died at his hands were the sacrificial lambs. Almost like war heroes, they died for the rest of the dogs.”
National Geographic did a series on how most of the Vick pit bulls were able to be rehabilitated and rehomed, despite their miserable and abusive past.
And closer to home, there’s the story of the pit bull mix Madison who was set on fire by teens at barely 8 weeks old. For all she’s been through, she’s well on her way to being a shining example of all the breed is capable of.
I hope the good publicity continues.