I didn't really grow up around dogs (and until I grew tall enough not to be snack-sized I was terrified of them), and although it's a notion I abandoned long ago, I clearly remember thinking as a kid that pit bulls were inherently dangerous:
It seems like a war over their reputation that the pit bulls are slowly winning, with more and more pit bulls representing as normal family pets, but bullshit like dog fighting rings still pop up in the news from time to time. As usual, it's humans' fault. So reads the statement of purpose from The Portland Pit Bull Project:
The Portland Pit Bull Project is dedicated to raising awareness in the Portland, Oregon area, specifically for Pit Bulls, but also for Bully breeds in general. Our goal is to help the public better understand that the ever expanding group of dogs referred to as “pit bulls”, and the many breeds commonly mistaken for Pit Bulls, are just as capable of being safe and loyal family pets as any other dog. While we recognize that the goal of some breeders has been strength, tenacity, and confidence, we assert there is much more to these wonderful companion animals who can also exhibit the other fine qualities bred into them such as loyalty, playfulness and a loving nature when nurtured by responsible humans.
Very simply our mission reflects the latter part of the following quotation:
“We don’t need to ban them. We don’t need to kill them. We just need to educate the human.”
~ Cesar Millan
They, along with Meat for Cats and Dogs and Zunii Dog, are hosting a screening of Beyond the Myth (trailer above) on Sunday (April 1, 5 pm at the Hollywood, $10-12). In addition there will be live music from John Shipe (song titles include "Pit Bull Blues" and "Pit Bull Rescue Woman"), pet supply, shelter, and adoption agencies from the area, and prize-winning opportunities.