Beyond the Myth - a film about breed discrimination

Beyond the Myth - a film about breed discrimination
August 21, 2012 by Sara Lima

As we prepare our home for the impending arrival of our new pit bull foster, we're reminded again and again of the harsh reality that sometimes comes with being a pit bull lover/guardian/advocate. Recently a friend of ours was out walking her sweet-as-can-be pit bull when a strange woman stopped and asked her "Where is that dog's muzzle?" Let me be clear here, we live in a city that has no breed restrictions whatsoever, so this was particularly puzzling. The next week the same friend was out with said pit bull and her other dog, a Rottweiler mix. This time, it was a strange man who openly berated her, claiming she needed to "bang her head against a wall" for owning both a bully AND a rottie.

Incidents like these are unfortunately common for bully parents, but that doesn't mean they hurt our feelings any less. When run-ins such as these occur, the subject of breed specific legislature (or BSL) and the damage it's doing to bully breeds AND to humans looms largely in mind. Provinces like Ontario and cities like Miami that have banned pit bull-type dogs are perpetuating the negative (and unfounded) reputation that these dogs have amassed over the past 10 years or so.

In fact, the organization that we're going to be fostering with, HugABull, recently flew in several pit bull-type dogs from Ontario who were slated to be euthanized if they had not been adopted outside of province. These are not dogs that have records of aggression or bites incidents; these are simply dogs that fit the pit bull profile (short hair, muscular, big heads). And of course, most of you will have heard about Lennox, the dog from Ireland that was put to death for being a pit bull despite several offers from people all over the world to fly him out of the country and re-home him.

I don't personally know a whole lot about BSL, but I intend to find out more by attending a screening of Beyond the Myth, a film about breed discrimination. This award winning documentary about BSL and its effects on dogs and families has drawn attention from around the world and garnered global acclaim. The film investigates the myths associated with bully breeds and challenges the idea that they are inherently vicious. If you'd like to learn more about the documentary, or to find a screening near you, check out their site

If you're in the Vancouver area, HugABull will be screening the film on October 20th at Vancity Theater. Although the screening is over two months away, they've already completely sold out the first showing, so they're currently working on adding a second date. For more info on the Vancouver screening and panel discussion featuring breed experts, researchers, and animal control experts, visit


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Comments (2)

These strangers approach with their opinions on the breed because they are not familiar with them and have only heard bad reports. The owners of the dogs should try to show them that theres no aggression in their dog. If all fails, the owners could say 'well you don't look very pleasant yourself, shall we get you muzzled or put down'!!!
Wed, 08/22/2012 - 04:21
Haha, I love that Pauline! There have been several times when I wanted to ask someone why they weren't wearing a muzzle...
Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:18

Dog of the Week!

Meet: Charlotte