Every year, an average of 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in America. While that number is shocking, consider this – 40% of homeless dogs who die in shelters are pit bulls. That’s somewhere around 480,000 per year! Compounding the problem are a few more facts: pit bulls find themselves homeless more than any other breed, they are the most likely to be put down, and the least likely to get adopted. Everything, it seems, is stacked against them.
The root of the issue is the public’s perception of pit bulls, but they haven’t always been characterized as aggressive and dangerous. In fact, in the early 1900s, they were trusted with the all-important job of babysitting children. It’s hard to believe just how much things have changed, and all due to a few highly-publicized cases that gave pit bulls a bad name. Those truly educated in dog breeds know that a pit bull’s behavior, like that of any dog, is a direct reflection of the human who raised it.
Like many people, photographer Sophie Gamand once believed that pit bulls were frightening, hostile, and incredibly dangerous. Then came a turning point – she interacted with a pit for the first time, and learned just how loving and sweet they could be. As she told CBS, “They are so loving, so gentle, it’s kind of crazy to think about the public image they have and the reality of the kind of dog they are.” Gamand wanted to share her revelation with the world, and came up with the “Flower Power” series. By photographing dogs that were formerly deemed “unadoptable” with crowns of flowers on their heads, she’s not only helped pit bulls find forever homes, but gone a long way in helping to dismantle the untrue and outdated stereotypes against the breed.
Be sure to SHARE her incredible mission with your friends and family!
H/T: CBS Evening News