'Pit Bull Dogs Are Family’ Campaign Launched by Local Animal Welfare Agencies
Funded by Best Friends, campaign is designed to increase adoptions
JANUARY 21, LOUISVILLE, KY – Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS), the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) and Saving Sunny have launched an adoption campaign to help get more local shelter dogs into loving homes.
Called “Pit Bull Dogs Are Family,” the campaign is funded by national animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society. The campaign is designed to change potential adopters’ perceptions about pit bull terrier dogs. Approximately 20% of dogs in Louisville’s shelters are pit bull terriers or pit mixes. Sadly, they often wait twice as long to be adopted as other dogs because of breed stereotypes.
“There are hundreds of wonderful dogs right now at LMAS and at our shelter partner, the Kentucky Humane Society,” said Jessica Jo Montgomery, LMAS director. “These loving, affectionate dogs are waiting for their future families to adopt them.”
The campaign features photographs of local families in local settings, taken by Beth Andrews Fine Photography. “This campaign shows everyday people with their everyday dogs,” says Kelsey Westbrook, co-founder of Saving Sunny. “People from all walks of life—young, old, black, white, gay, straight, with children and without—share their homes with pit bull terriers.”
The adoption campaign is part of a holistic approach to find loving homes for shelter dogs and to provide families with support they need to keep their companion animals.
LMAS, KHS and Saving Sunny are all members of Best Friends Animal Society’s No More Homeless Pets Network Partners. Assisted by Best Friends’ grant monies, the agencies are increasing their life saving effort. In 2014, KHS received funding to provide 700 pit bull terriers with free spay/neuter surgeries. Saving Sunny received grant funding to create its Community Dog Resource Center, which provides support to pet owners in the Portland area of Louisville. LMAS received grant monies for Pit Perks to encourage more people to adopt pit bulls, by offering adopters reduced adoption fees, tuff toys, crates and dog training classes.
The campaign is geared to take lifesaving efforts to the next level by increasing adoptions and awareness. Ads are displayed on 60 TARC buses and can be seen on billboards throughout Louisville. Media partners that will be running campaign ads include The Courier-Journal, Louisville Magazine, Today’s Woman, Today’s Family, Metro TV, WDRB, iHeartMedia and others. The animal welfare agencies will use the #PitBullDogsAreFamily on social media platforms. Learn more about the campaign at PitBullDogsAreFamily.org.
“We are so excited to launch this campaign with the help of Best Friends Animal Society and all our media partners who stepped forward to support this lifesaving effort,” says Andrea Blair, KHS PR and marketing director. “We are lucky to have such a compassionate, humane community that cares about companion animals.”
The theme “Pit Bull Dogs Are Family” is borrowed with permission from Animal Farm Foundation, which works nationally to secure equal treatment and opportunity for pit bull dogs. More about Animal Farm Foundation at www.animalfarmfoundation.org.
About Louisville Metro Animal Services
Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) is the only open intake shelter in Louisville Metro. LMAS is committed to caring for over 10,000 animals that enter the facility every year and giving them a second chance through adoption, rescue, reunification with owners and more. The department is dedicated to educating and reaching out to all members of the community to make sure responsible pet ownership and compassion are at the forefront. LMAS has a fundamental mission to protect public health and safety, ensure the humane treatment of animals and provide quality customer service to the public. www.louisvilleky.gov/animalservices
About the Kentucky Humane Society
The Kentucky Humane Society is a private, nonprofit animal welfare agency located in Louisville KY that provides leadership and proactive solutions to ending pet overpopulation, including spay/neuter, education and adoptions. KHS is the state’s largest pet adoption agency and saves every adoptable animal it takes in. www.kyhumane.org
About Saving Sunny
Saving Sunny Inc. is a rescue organization that exists to reduce the flow of pit bull terrier dogs into shelters and to advocate for the equal treatment and social justice for pit bull terrier dogs. Saving Sunny works to achieve these goals by rescuing and re-homing pit bull dogs; assisting dog owners (of all breed types) in underserved areas with free food and other resources needed to care for their pets; in-home behavior support; assistance re-homing dogs when necessary; and access to free and low-cost spay/neuter services. In addition, Saving Sunny hosts pit bull positive community events, media relations, school visits and other myth-breaking activities. www.savingsunnyinc.org