Pit bulls are one of the most polarizing pups in the pet-verse. Subject to misconceptions, breed specific legislation and outright discrimination, it’s obvious that they’re facing a PR problem of the highest order due in large part to media hype. It seems that there’s always a news report blasting these dogs left and right for being innately aggressive. The truth is, there’s no one breed of dog that is more violent than another by nature alone. Uneducated and ill-prepared people, along with abuse and irresponsible breeding practices can cause any animal to become aggressive, and yet pit and pit mixes have become so feared that 93 percent of them are euthanized as opposed to being adopted when they enter the shelter system.
Which is why award-winning photographer Sophie Gamand decided to make a photo series using gorgeous pit bull models that need homes in the New York area. Focusing on dogs and our relationship with them in her work since 2010, Gamand saw how misunderstood pit bulls were and how disproportionally they were being euthanized. She decided to raise awareness and money for their cause in an effort to help these incredible dogs by showing the world their soft, sweet nature. The proceeds of her series, titled “Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution” will benefit the three shelters where her muses currently reside, as well as, hopefully, change a perception or two.
When looking at the pits and pit mixes she was working with, their fight against breed discrimination inspired a feeling in her that was evocative of the civil rights era. “I imagined them like hippies fighting the system and the image they’re given with the power of love and the softness of flowers.” We think she absolutely nailed it, so much so that we couldn’t help imagining them as freedom fighting hippies too, participating in activism and working for change. With so many messages of peace, love, equality and compassion from that bygone era still ringing true today, these dogs would be incredible ambassadors for the shift in opinion that society needs to make. Let’s help them fight for peace, love and pit bulls!
Believing that pit bulls are inherently aggressive is a view of the past. It’s time to move forward.
With awareness and education about this beautiful, loyal and sweet breed, more of them can have the forever home they deserve.
Breed specific legislation only serves to malign and potentially eliminate an entire breed for the actions of a few.
Speaking up for pit bulls on social media and participating in events aimed at helping them can be a tremendous help for raising awareness and making a difference in public perception.
Pit bulls, along with all animals, have the right to be treated fairly and with compassion.
Favorable media images, like these, can bring about an end to the fear-mongering and discrimination that results in disproportionate rates of euthanasia for pits and pit mixes.
Pit bulls need positive voices to join their side in an effort to change public perception. If we don’t stand up for them, who will?
There is room for all bully breeds in our society.
Strongly held beliefs are difficult to change. Leading by example as a responsible and passionate pit bull owner can help someone observing go from an antagonist to an advocate.
I think this pretty much says it all.
Image Credits: Sophie Gamand