Dear FETCH Friends:

When I hear the words pride & prejudice, I automatically think of the romance novel by Jane Austen, and I start to question how can this relate to dogs? But if you think of those two words as a lens (not just as part of a well-known book), your mind will start to digest where we are going with this issue.

So many dog owners have pride. Their dogs are a big part of their worlds, and these four-legged companions survive some amazing situations. One situation being the prejudice they face by uninformed individuals. Our main feature, “Don’t Judge a Dog by Its Breed,” reveals examples of how people have endured some very hateful situations regarding the looks of their dog.

Because it’s breed that predicts behavior, right? Well, not exactly. You cannot tell just by merely looking at a dog what breed it is or how it behaves. Some dogs you can have a pretty good assumption, but for others they are mutts, they are black sheeps, they are trail blazers, they are ginormous lap dogs, etc. And “Pit Bull” is not a breed. It’s a label. And not one people take very lightly. Every dog I’ve had since I was a little girl has been called a “Pit Bull.” And I’ve had trouble with so many people not wanting to be around my dog or not allowing me to rent from them. I will never understand how people can assume anything about another without fully knowing who they are as an individual. Dogs are individuals. People are individuals. People who think dogs are all the same are not true dog people.

So please take the time this holiday season to spread the word on these issues to people who are uninformed or just feeding off the fears of others. Try to reach out to the community and donate some of your time by just explaining the positive experiences you’ve had with one or two of these persecuted breeds. SPREAD JOY, not hate. And simply be aware of your dogs and how others see them.

To a newer & wiser 2019,

Nastassia Putz