We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: if you want to be an effective advocate for “pit bull” dogs, be the smartest person in the room!
At one time or another, all of us who are speaking on behalf of the dogs have found ourselves tongue-tied or wishing we’d said something more eloquent. Who hasn’t gotten a case of the nerves in the face of a reporter or at a city council meeting? But because the stakes are so high, it’s critical that advocates do the legwork before they enter the room (or the interview). That’s how you’ll wind up being the smartest person on the room!
Here’s how to get started:
1. Spend time on our website. Grab a cup of coffee, gather up your dogs, and then settle in for an evening of reading. Prefer to read the old fashioned way? Print out our eBooks and scribble away in the margins!
2. Watch this video. It’ll take you through the in’s and out’s of Breed Spcific Legislation and what you can do to stop it.
3. Read our BSL Talking Points. After you’ve watched the video, read the Talking Points, then put them to use. We have a sample letter you can use as a jumping off point for your own letter writing or, use the Talking Points to write your own polite and informed speech, article, or petition. No need to reinvent the wheel. We’ve got what works right here for you to use!
4. Attend an internship. If you’re able to spend time with us here at the Farm, please consider applying for a free internship. Our 2013 internships are full, but bookmark this page and check back in the fall to apply for one in 2014. Can’t come to New York? Check out our webinar!
So, what happens when you do everything listed above? You wind up being the smartest person in the room!
Want to know what that sounds like? We’re pleased to introduce you to Mel Isaacs, an animal control officer in Sydney Australia. We think she’s pretty fabulous!
Mel attended our General Internship in New York earlier this year and also attended a handful of animal welfare conferences while she was in the States, like the HSUS Expo.
Mel was recently interviewed on ABC radio in Australia and did a great job discussing breed discriminatory regulation. We’re proud to know Mel and the believe her work will make a difference in the fight for fair, non-discriminatory policies in her country.
You can listen to Mel – she comes in at 8 minutes 30 seconds – here:
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Here are some highlights from her interview, which echo the Talking Points we shared above:
“The overwhelming evidence from Australia and worldwide is that it’s not a breed issue…
The data…shows that focusing on the breed…does not reduce dog attack frequency or severity.”
“People who are against BSL are not against community safety….what we really want is safe communities. And there are proven solutions out there.”
“At the end of the day, when we have these models, like Calgary’s that are proven without a doubt to work – they have half the dog bites, with twice the amount of dogs – it’s almost criminal that we’re not looking to imitate that model.”
That’s how it’s done!
Go ahead and give it a shot. You CAN make a difference. You ARE making a difference. BSL trends over the past 18 months confirm it!
Thank Mel and thanks to all of you who are working so hard to affect change in your corners of the world. We salute you!