Editor’s note: This article about Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. (PFPB) originally appeared in Dogster magazine’s February / March 2017 edition. We are re-running it in honor of National Pit Bull Awareness Day on Saturday, October 28.
It’s hard not to be moved by Deirdre Franklin’s passion for Pit Bulls. Founded in 2005, her 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. (PFPB) hopes to restore the image of the pit-bull-type dog to his former reputation of America’s companion animal, war hero, and family member. If you’ve ever met Deirdre in person, you believe it can be done.
The organization’s mission is substantial: educate people about the history, temperament, and plight of the pit-bull-type dog and to raise awareness to rally against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and Breed Discriminatory Laws (BDL).
Deirdre takes this seriously — she earned her master’s degree in public policy and wrote her thesis on breed discriminatory laws. When she founded PFPB, it changed her life.
“We have some of the most exceptional women and men on our team of volunteers, from surgeons and nurses to lawyers and shelter directors, and everything in between,” she said. “I’ve gained an incredible family of hard working, passionate advocates by running this organization. I am so proud of the work that we have done. I love working on a daily basis to achieve greater results against discriminatory laws/practices for families and their beloved dogs.”
In the last two years, her organization has helped nearly 2,000 dogs off death row and into foster and forever homes. “We’re very proud of our ability to rally support for animals in need through our social media and direct efforts,” she said.
PFPB has also helped remove and prevent bans on pit-bull-type dogs in both cities and shelters. In 2017, Deirdre hopes “to see BSL wiped out in Montreal, Toronto, and Miami-Dade. I’d like to see Aurora, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, and Omaha, Nebraska get rid of the breed-specific mandates as well. What we know is that breed bans do not keep people safer. They threaten the families of responsible dog owners while doing nothing to actually reduce dog bites in any community,” she said.
Deirdre believes communities would be served better by focusing efforts “on stronger anti-tethering laws, steeper fines for animal abusers, including dog fighters, and focusing more on enforcing leash laws. It’s cheaper, easier, and allows all dogs to be individuals while allowing families to remain positive members of their communities.”
Want to help? Visit pinupsforpitbulls.org. “Sign up to volunteer, apply to model in our annual pinup calendar (model call opens in 2017), purchase my books along with other PFPB branded merchandise, and/or donate,” Deirdre said. “We’re always looking for sponsors, and we love to form new partnerships!”