Is the Puppy Bowl Pro-Pit Bull? Animal Planet Packs Lineup With Adorable "Bullies"
With shows like Pit Boss and Pit Bulls and Parolees as part of their programming, Animal Planet has done more than a little to showcase the work of pit bull rescuers and change misconceptions about the breed. And in their latest effort to promote these pups, the cable channel has packed their annual ode to cuteness -- the Puppy Bowl -- with mini versions of the much-maligned pooches.
Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough Cash, a 15-week-old pit bull who "loves belly rubs."
This year's utterly adorable starting lineup features two purebred pit bulls and four pit bull mixes out of a total of 31 pups. With those kind of numbers, they're definitely making a statement.
But were the bowl to take place in Miami, these six fluffy balls of fur wouldn't be allowed, thanks to Dade County's 20-plus-year ban on pit bulls. Efforts to overturn the legislation failed in a ballot measure last year. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida with an active ban, and cities like Cincinnati have recently voted to overturn similar BSL.
There's no doubt that Animal Planet is one of the major players when it comes to changing public opinion about these pups.
Shorty Rossi, star of Pit Boss (a show about a group of little people in the entertainment industry who rescue and rehabilitate pit bulls) was actually in the 305 last year to help stump for the breed. He's stoked that his network is doing so much to support bullies. "They've done a tremendous job," Rossi says.
Rossi has five pit bulls of his own, including his certified service dog, Hercules. He believes that Animal Planet and shows like his have made a huge impact when it comes to raising awareness.
"When I used to travel with Hercules it would be like parting the red sea at LAX. Now it's like, I tell people, if you pet him one more time or get one more picture we're gonna miss our flight! In the airports, the supermarkets that we travel we get people saying, 'Because of you we know how a pit bull really is, because of you and your show we don't believe the hype.'"
Cultist reached out to the nation's largest pro-BSL organization, DogsBite.org, for comment on the issue, but didn't receive a response.