In December 2022, three dogs named Jambo, Ernie, and Miss Pearl left the Miami-Dade Shelter on a journey to Animal Farm Foundation in New York. Despite their good behavior, their appearance as “pit bull” mixes made finding homes for them challenging in Miami-Dade due to breed-specific restrictions. However, a recent bill passed in Florida will eliminate these restrictions, promoting equitable and inclusive dog adoption practices starting from October 2023. This legislation signifies a significant stride towards giving all dogs an equal opportunity to find loving homes.
Guest post written by Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at Austin Animal Center in Austin, TX. In 2008, Dr. Amy Marder wrote, “Instead of depending on inaccurate breed labels, we want people to choose their future companions based on accurate personality profiles.” To this end, she introduced the idea of using “American Shelter Dog” in place of a […]
In recent years, things have been looking up for the dogs we call “pit bulls” and their families. Breed specific legislation is on the way out. Shelters that discriminate against dogs based on appearance are the exception. The old wives tales that fueled canine discrimination have been debunked and dismissed.
This is a guest post from Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at Austin Animal Center. At the time of this post, she was with Fairfax County Animal Shelter in VA. About a month ago, Fairfax County Animal Shelter removed all breed labels from our adoption kennels. There was much discussion and debate prior to us […]
The following is an updated version of a blog posted in 2013. In 2015, we’re still being asked: What role should breed – breed identification and breed labeling – play in today’s animal shelters? Thanks to years of research we all know about the inaccuracy of breed labeling based on visual inspection, so perhaps the question should be: Why […]
Last year, we had the privilege of working with the staff at Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Michigan. In addition to sending staff members to our internships, CAHS also welcomed AFF to visit their shelter and provide more hands-on training.
Whenever breed restrictions or bans are proposed, those arguing for discriminatory policies rely on this false idea: that “pit bull” dogs are uniquely different from all other dogs and that they are uniform in their behavior. In other words, they mistakenly believe that “pit bull” dogs are specially and consistently different from all other dogs, but are all similar to […]
We have too many pit bulls. All we have are pit bulls. We have a pit bull problem. Nobody wants to adopt our pit bulls. Across the country, in interviews with the local news, these sound bites are repeated over and over. Usually intended to be a call for help, a positive plug for the […]
Recently we wrote a blog about “pit bull” dog websites and the damage that well-intentioned advocates cause when they post outdated information about the dogs. A prime example of this is the perpetuation of the old myth that “pit bull” dogs have a higher tolerance for pain than other dogs. One advocacy website writes, “Sometimes […]
Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be. – Khalil Gibran As today’s animal sheltering professionals increasingly focus on providing dogs with quality care and getting to know them as individuals – through standardized evaluations, volunteer notes and foster programs, play groups, enrichment, and more – it’s time to […]