For the past two years, a nasty hoax has gone viral on the Internet, declaring October 31 as National Kill a Pit Bull Day.
Shared far and wide, the original post reads, “After you take the kids trick or treating keep your costume on round up some friends and kill as many Pit Bulls as you can before midnight. Baseball bats, knives, bricks and poisons (a hotdog soaked in radiator fluid works well) are all suitable tools. Their owners like brag about their high threshold for pain. So don’t worry them suffering they can take it.”
Sounds pretty scary, right? Even scarier is the fact that Pit Bull advocates are the ones who created the whole thing!
You read that right — Pit Bull advocates created National Kill a Pit Bull Day!
In 2012, a Slater, Missouri, councilman by the name of Terry Jordan worked to develop a pet ordinance for the city that focused on Pit Bulls and related dogs. The final ordinance was non-breed specific and passed, but not before well-meaning Pit Bull advocates decided to take a jab at councilman Jordan by creating the infamous post accusing Jordan of sponsoring a National Kill a Pit Bull Day. If nothing else, this is a huge lesson in being careful what we as advocates say and do!
As we near Halloween, the post is again going viral, inciting fear in Pit Bull owners nationwide. While there are cruel and vindictive people out there who may mean your dogs harm, they are no more a threat at Halloween than they are any other day of the year. So with that in mind, please, feel free to take your best friend trick-or-treating. Lots of cities even have dog-specific events, like my hometown’s annual “Howl-O-Ween” celebration, which includes costume contests, bobbing for weenies, reduced-cost pet services, and even adoptions!
If you take your dog out trick-or-treating, be mindful of your surroundings, as you would during any other holiday event. Keep your dog by your side with a sturdy leash, an act that is particularly important in situations where your dog will face a variety of other dogs, people, sights, and sounds. Some dogs can be very fearful of costumes! Use reflective or glow-in-the-dark collars and leashes and go in a group if possible. It’s not only safer, but it’s much more fun to go out with a group.
So this year, don’t let the hype and fear-mongering discourage you from enjoying all of the festivities with your dogs! I know we won’t!
Read more on dogs and Halloween:
About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.