BRISTOL – By Lorenzo Burgio, Staff Writer The Bristol Press, Friday August 25, 2017
Introduction by Jean Furs: When I read this article on Pit Bull Awareness I decided to post it to this site. I taught a course on decision making and tutored English when I volunteered in the Cheshire prison system in the 1980’s. The youth that were incarcerated would tell me stories of how they would fight dogs and what they did to those pit bull puppies that made those dogs mean. As puppies they kept them confined in a dark room or worse a barrel so they couldn’t see light. When they were brought into a bright room the light hurt their eyes and they weren’t use to it. Others told me how only one person was allowed to feed the dog and if the dog took food from anyone else it was beaten. One boy told me when it was time to fight he would shoot up his dog with all kinds of illegal drugs making the dog go out of its mind and fighting to the death. This cruelty was unthinkable to me. Poverty breeds recreation like this as one young man told me he fought his dogs for large sums of money. These youth never realized these dogs were loving, feeling animals. Humans that are cruel to animals like this are driven by either poverty or ignorance; therefore not respecting another species of life, but rather using that life for bad reasons. Our human species is surely the meanest species on earth.
The third annual Bow Wow Bark in the Park is happening Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Rockwell Park to raise awareness and donations for pit bulls and shelter animals.
Alexander Paulette started the event after she adopted a pit bull named Kane in 2014, who, unfortunately passed away this year at the age of five.
“He was the inspiration for this event and I am hoping that this year will be the biggest and best yet in his memory,” she said. “This is an event to raise awareness for pit bulls and shelter animals here in Connecticut. Pit bulls are the most dog found in a shelter and sadly only one out of every 600 pit bulls who enter a shelter will walk back out.
“This is because pit bulls are the most misunderstood and mistreated breed. My event is to show people that pit bulls are loving, fun, special dogs and that they deserve the same rights and love as any other dog.”
Paulette explained many people view pit bulls as “bad, fighting dogs.” As much as she would like to say “no they are not,” she acknowledged, “the reality in some are,” because of humans.
“Some are bad. Some do attack. Some do fight. And this is not their fault. It is their owners. People who make them fight. People who abuse them. People are to blame for the stigma. We need to stop putting the blame on the dog,” she said.
This year is the first time there will be a “Pitty March”, which was organized to help combat the stereotypes of pit bulls and “aggressive”dog breeds.
“This is going to be a march around the park, open to all breeds and people, to walk in unity with and for pit bull awareness,” Pauleette said.
The event will feature food vendors, animal shelters and rescues, she added, and all dogs will receive an official Bow Wow goodie bag upon arrival.
“We already have over 110 vendors and hopefully more to come. We have crafters, vendors, rescues, shelters, food trucks and more,” Paulette said. “There will also be many animals there looking for a family to call their own.”
The event includes contests, agility courses and raffles. Raffle tickets are $1 each and $5 for the grand prize raffle worth over $250. Participants do not need to be present to win.
There is also a costume contest and talent show. All participants will receive a prize, however, first, second and third place will receive larger prizes worth between $10 and $50.
All proceeds will be donated to the rescues who attend the event, Paulette said, and it “is free, but we are asking people to bring an item to donate to a shelter in need.”
Attendees are asked to use their judgement in deciding if dogs will feel safe and happy at this event, in larger crowds, and is both dog and human friendly. Safety is the main concern and there will be security for any dogs or humans not following the guidelines.
The event is set for September 2, and will begin at 10 a.m. and will run until 6 p.m. at Rockwell Park. A talent show begins at noon, the “Pitty March” begins at 1 p.m. and the costume contest at 3 p.m. A rain date is set for the following day.
If you are interested in being a vendor, volunteering, or donating a raffle item, please email email@example.com for information.