It's one of the most common questions we receive. Thank you for asking it!
The landscape for pit bull type dogs was dire when we first decided to start BADRAP in the late nineties. Most of the animal shelters in California and around the country were not allowing pit bull type dogs to be a part of their adoption programs, and euthanasia numbers were at their worst. Proper care information and training resources for pit bull owners were very hard to find, which meant dogs in the community often went without proper dog socialization and obedience manners. Affordable spay/neuter options were nearly non-existent, and unwanted litters of pit bull puppies poured into shelters as a result. Influenced by media villification of the dogs, opportunistic politicians around the country were beginning to opt for targeted legislation against the dogs based on the myth that a dog's physical appearance could predict its behavior. It was truly the dogs' darkest hour.
BADRAP was formed in response to the strife and suffering we saw all around us. We built our website to disperse information, started training classes to support the owners of pit bull type dogs, created model adoption programs that shelters could mimic and began searching out progressive partners so we could reach more dogs and their owners before they found themselves in crisis. One by one, shelters in the SF bay area starting giving the dogs a chance and adopters started to look to them as a desirable adoption option. The larger animal welfare orgs began to lend their voice to the cause and a movement was born. By the time the Vick dogs met America, animal lovers were ready for a new and compassionate look at pit bull type dogs. As more people began to recognize the dogs as sentient beings, our collective ability to help them began to grow. So much has changed for the better since the early days.
There was never a better time to create lasting, positive change in our communities.
Listed in the menu of this section are suggestions for creating change in your corners with more to come. We thank you for adding your fuel to this fire.