A history of demonizing dogs

Putting canine stereotypes into their historical contexts

How anti-"pit bull" dog policies affect the Black community

In partnership with Ako Insurance Consulting

with Ngozi Nnaji and Kassidi Jones

Who we are

Our work centers around the relationship between dogs and people and its unique role in society.

We are currently focused on ending dog breed restrictions. These restrictions, which on their surface appear to exclude dogs based on how they look, are ultimately about excluding the people who own the dogs.

What are breed restrictions?

Laws and policies that exclude dogs based on how they look aren’t about dogs at all. Most often, these practices are put in place as a way to uphold discrimination against humans.

All dogs are individuals

Breed restrictions most often rely on breed stereotypes and visual breed identifcation. But, the canine genome tells us that how a dog looks has nothing to do with how a dog behaves.

Breed-Specific Legislation Is a Civil Rights Violation

We help dog owners affected by breed-specific legislation sue their local governments because no one should have to lose their home or their pet based on stereotypes.

Close up portrait of pitbull puppy
our grants

We help communities stay inclusive

Woman getting a high five from her pitbull puppy
patty and little boy for website

We help keep people and pets together

Our People and Pets Together Grant funds services that incorporate co-occurring animal and human support, with the aim of reducing barriers to pet-retention, this often involves things like housing or access to services like food or veterinary care.

We help make better dog adoption matches

Did you know that the breed label you see on a dog’s adoption listing is probably inaccurate? Plus, a label won’t tell you anything about how an individual dog would fit into your family. 

That’s why we grant funds to animal shelters that have removed breed labels from their kennels. 

our service dogs

Helping people and dogs thrive

Our service dog program challenges peoples expectations of what a service dog is and gives people with disabilities more freedom.