The National Pit Bull Awareness and Appreciation Campaign
National Pit Bull Awareness & Appreciation Day is
October 28, 2023
The National Pit Bull Awareness and Appreciation Day (NPBAAD) is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about bully breed dogs, commonly referred to as “pit bulls,” and their responsible owners. NPBAAD was established to educate and foster positive communications and experiences in the communities in which we and our dogs live, and it is an initiative dedicated to restoring the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier and bully breed dogs.
NPBAAD was started in 2007 by Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys, a pit bull rescue and education group in Middle Tennessee. When Bless the Bullys introduced the idea of a nationwide pit bull awareness day, the response was overwhelming! It was immediately recognized as an opportunity to educate, change minds, and bring about positive media attention to pit bulls across the country all on one day.
Despite the positive reception, Preis initially received criticism from some for using the generic term “pit bull” in naming the nationwide effort. However, Preis chose the term deliberately, and it is used for a very obvious reason. “Pit bull” is the name most familiar to the public, and the term that evokes a negative connotation of a particular grouping of dogs. The objective of NPBAAD is, of course, to change that negative image.
Sixteen years after the inception of NPBAAD, Preis continues to receive criticism for using the term “awareness.”
Quite simply, “awareness” means to increase knowledge or understanding of a subject (in other words, to educate people). If the public associates “pit bulls” with something negative, as pit bull advocates, it is our duty to educate the public or make them aware of the truth about “pit bulls.” As long as the media villainizes an entire grouping of dogs with a similar appearance, there is a need to educate the public - it's just that simple.
The ultimate goal of NPBAAD is to promote the truth about pit bulls. What’s the truth? They’re just dogs. Nothing more, nothing less.
Knowledge is power, and with education and advocacy, the truth will save lives in terms of negating the fear and bias generated by the media, circumvent knee-jerk reactions such as breed bans, and the truth will result in fewer pit bulls ending up in animal shelters.
Initially, NPBAAD was set on a certain date in October. However, over the years, those participating have scheduled events any day during October. NPBAAD events are “unstructured” to allow those who participate to be as creative and have as much fun as possible with their ideas and celebrations. In 2011, October was designated as National Pit Bull Awareness Month, allowing shelters to showcase their adopt-a-bulls throughout the entire month of October.