Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) is a 501(c3) whose mission is to secure equal treatment and opportunity for “pit bull” dogs through recognizing that all dogs are individuals. Established in the 1980s, AFF works to achieve this goal by offering free resources to animal care workers and community advocates, as well as through their detection dog, assistance dog, and grant programs.
The FAQ below will help you understand more about AFF and the work we do.
1. WHY DO YOU WORK SPECIFICALLY WITH “PIT BULL” DOGS?
Our mission focuses on dogs who are labeled “pit bulls” because they are the dogs most likely to be discriminated against. They face discrimination from municipal legislators who ban or restricts ownership of them and by animal shelters with discriminatory adoption policies. Thus, these are the dogs who need our help the most.
Note that we do not label these dogs, instead, we work with dogs society has labeled “pit bull.” Due to the inaccuracy of visual breed identification, we recommend that shelters and rescue do away with breed labels, as they do not shed any light on who a dog is as an individual.
2. WHY DO YOU PUT “PIT BULL” IN QUOTES?
Through our work, we’ve come to understand that the phrase “pit bull” means something different to everyone. Animal welfare workers don’t agree on how to define a “pit bull.” Law enforcement officers don’t agree. Even dog owners don’t agree on exactly what a “pit bull” dog is. There is no standard legal definition for “pit bull.” People use the term arbitrarily, subjectively, and often apply it at random.
When we apply labels to dogs, correctly or not, they can carry serious consequences. No dog should be discriminated against because of a label. When a person calls a dog a “pit bull,” that dog gets saddled with stereotypes that might get him euthanized in a shelter that does not adopt out “pit bull” dogs. The dog might also be forced out of an area with breed specific legislation (BSL).
While we don’t have any interest in arguing about what is or isn’t a “pit bull” dog, we are interested in protecting all dogs labeled “pit bull” from discrimination. Our number one goal at Animal Farm Foundation is to support any dog experiencing discrimination based on their label. It doesn’t matter to us if your dog is purebred or not, but it does matter to us if people discriminate against you and your dog because of what your dog is labeled.
3. DOES YOUR WORK SUPPORT PURE BRED DOGS, AS WELL AS “PIT BULL” DOGS?
Yes. Any dog who has been labeled a “pit bull,” whether pure bred or mixed, might be discriminated against. Our work supports any dog experiencing discrimination based on the label “pit bull.”
For more information, please see ebook on Labels and Language.
4. WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NATIONAL CANINE RESEARCH COUNCIL?
National Canine Research Council is a subsidiary of Animal Farm Foundation. The organization’s mission benefits all dogs by working to preserve the human-canine bond.
5. WHY DID YOU ACQUIRE THE NATIONAL CANINE RESEARCH COUNCIL?
While doing our advocacy work on behalf of “pit bull” dogs, we realized there was a real deficit in fact-based, scientific research that promoted the value of the human-canine bond. We know from history that “pit bull” dogs aren’t the only dogs to experience discrimination. We knew that unless people had easier access to facts, research, and science, the cycle of discrimination of discrimination would continue and more dogs of a variety of breeds and mixes would face the same troubles as “pit bull” dogs face today.
Karen Delise, the Founder and Director of Research for the National Canine Research Council, had already been researching instances of when the human-canine bond was broken. Her work was sound and based on science. We approached her about expanding her organization’s mission to include preserving the human-canine bond. She agreed. Karen remains the Founder and Director of Research for the National Canine Research Council.
Karen remains the Founder and Director of Research for the National Canine Research Council and nothing has changed about the integrity with which the organization operates. In fact, NCRC influences our work and not the other way around, due to the staff’s dedication to science and research.
6. I CAN’T KEEP MY DOG, CAN YOU TAKE HIM?
No. We do not take owner surrendered dogs. All of our dogs are transferred to us from shelters, rescues, or law enforcement. Please see our resources for dog guardians for more information.