We’re going to get Denver’s attention!

The current count is ::drumroll:: 568 postcards!!!!

At last count two weeks ago, we were at 409, so this has been a huge leap forward. Keep up the momentum, everyone!! Have you posted the campaign on your Facebook page yet? Here’s the direct link to the postcard instructions: http://ohmydogblog.com/campaign-to-end-bsl-operation-denver/

I am so proud and so excited! When I launched the campaign, the mile-long stretch of postcards was sort of this crazy idea, albeit a little gimmicky. After I posted the first post about the campaign, I remember turning to hubby and saying, “Oh.my.gosh. What if I don’t get a single one?”

So the fact that you have made 568 postcards ready to be a loud voice for these animals… I consider this a humongous success already!

We have SEVEN WEEKS left until BlogPaws, the postcard deadline. If we all work together, I think we can double that number. What do you say?

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Make another postcard! I’ll be making 10 this weekend!
  • Share the campaign link on your Facebook page.
  • Blog about BSL and encourage your readers to ACT!
  • Tweet with the #endBSL hashtag.
  • Any other ideas? Anything I’m forgetting?

And, once again, thank you so much for all your help and support and everyone’s time in creating postcards and spreading the message. We are definitely going to get Denver’s attention!

BSL: From the mouths of babes

So far I’ve received 373 postcards and countless other commitments for submissions! I estimate that if all the postcards arrive from the folks who have requested my mailing address for hard copies, we’ll be close to 500!

This is awesome progress! But I’d like to throw out another challenge: This week, I’d like to challenge you to post a link to the postcard page or the Oh My Dog! Facebook page on your Facebook page. If we could each get at least one friend to create a postcard, that will more than double our current total! Heck, many of you have several thousand followers on Twitter! Let’s see if we can double the postcards this week! Light up those networks!! I know we can do it! I’ll post the next status update one week from today.

And now for a little inspiration… I received nearly 100 postcards from fourth and fifth graders in North Carolina. A very special dog named Gunny taught these kids about pit bulls, and their messages are so incredibly heartfelt. I shared a few of the fifth grade postcards already, but here are some of the fourth graders’ along with a couple postcards received from other children across the U.S. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

On “pit bulls” and the media

One of the funniest postcard pics yet!

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a well-done DVD called The Pit Bull Hoax: The Truth Behind the Media’s Mythical Monster. Produced by Drayton Michaels, the video “examines the facts behind dog bite incidents, effective methods of prevention, and the opinions of today’s leading animal behaviorists on how one breed, the Pit Bull Terrier, has been unfairly cast as the villain.” The DVD is fantastic, and the message is really simple: These are human problems, not “pit bull” problems. So the question is: Why have pit bulls become “the media’s mythical monster?”

A powerful message

Unfortunately, splashy headlines sell newspapers and magazines. They get clicks on web stories. Media professionals capitalize on this and toss around the “pit bull” headline – at least when it suits their needs. Take this story, for example, “Female Dog Leads Chained Friend to Freedom.” It’s a darling, heart-warming story. Though the dogs are pit bulls, the headline certainly doesn’t reflect that. Would the story have been less appealing to readers if it had been advertised in the headline that it was a pit bull who did the courageous deed for another pit bull?

Even cats want to end BSL!

And that media bias just fuels the breed’s bad reputation. Unfair reporting means that the dogs are constantly vilified without getting the equal positive coverage that they so clearly deserve. This unjust reporting exacerbates the problem – bad people who want a status dog see the pit bull portrayed as the biggest bad ass out there, so they gravitate to the breed, then neglect, mistreat, abuse, and under-socialize their dogs, who might then bite the neighbor’s kid, which gets reported as another pit bull biting a child, and on it goes.

Oh, the sweetness!

As an aside, I can’t help but apply my years as a media professional to this situation. With nearly a decade of marketing, branding, editorial, and public relations experience under my belt, there is a tremendous opportunity here. While we’re combating BSL in Denver, I’m also starting to think about what’s next…

In the meantime, I am so incredibly excited about the progress we’re making with the Campaign to End BSL! In fact, a recent Denver Post article indicates that we’re on a winning path! I will never, ever be able to express how grateful I am to all of you for your support, your efforts, your blogging, your tweeting!

So what do you think: Why is the media so biased against pit bulls? What can change their perceptions?

Great message, darling little face!

Next Tuesday: From the mouths of babes! Thanks to a wonderful dog named Gunny, schoolchildren from North Carolina sent stacks of heartfelt, well-written postcards. They’re impressive beyond what I could have ever imagined. I’m in the process of scanning them in and will post some here next week and in a photo album on Facebook!

And don’t forget to comment if you’ve written about BSL so I can add it to the growing Anti-BSL Link Library!

End BSL: Campaign Update!

We’re making a lot of progress with the Campaign to End BSL! Thanks to fabulous bloggers, the project has circled the internet, and the #endBSL Twitter hashtag is getting daily use! Thanks, everyone, for all your help and support.

So far, I’ve received $200 in donations to offset printing and mailing costs (thank you, thank you, thank you) and nearly 200 postcards! Let’s keep those postcards coming!

To provide a little inspiration, I wanted to share with you a package of postcards I received at the end of last week. There is an awe-inspiring dog named Gunny who lives in North Carolina. From his fan page, here’s Gunny’s story:

In May of 2008, Gunny was rescued from his life as a “Bait Dog” in illegal dog fighting activities. He underwent three complex surgeries to remove a badly mangled leg and to repair severe crush injuries to his throat. Gunny’s incredible will to live, and innately gentle nature, have gained him fans quite literally around the globe. He works diligently to educate the public about the horrors of dog fighting, the needs of animal rescues, and the myths about his breed. Gunny has been a key player in community programs around the Charlotte area. Recently, he paved the way to pilot an effort to link an elementary school with an animal rescue for educational and fundraising opportunities. Gunny is no stranger to the local TV news and paper, and was recently contacted by an international newspaper re: a possible highlight in an upcoming story on Dog Heroes. He won a nationwide search for The World’s Most Amazing Dog, earning a year’s worth of dog food (that he donated to the rescue group that saved his life) and a trip for his humans to ride in the Rose Parade. It was a unique opportunity to spread the news of this special boy around the West Coast.
Learn all the details of Gunny’s journey at: http://www.northmecklenburganimalrescue.org/id125.html

Gunny, in his role as a pit bull ambassador, has touched the lives of schoolchildren in North Carolina. Last week, I received a package of 44 postcards from 5th graders at one of the schools Gunny visited. I wanted to share a few with you because the messages are so simple and heart-felt that they’re incredibly inspiring! (Click to enlarge.)

I’m so impressed with how thoughtful these fifth graders are! My favorite phrase is on the cover above that says, “Be heartful to the dogs.” Love it.

So… campaign next steps:

  • I’m writing letters to organizations, celebrities, and TV shows! I’m focusing on those who are sympathetic to pit bulls.
  • Next week I will be reaching out to the press in Denver with a press release and individual follow ups. Thanks to so many of you, I’ve received emails with the names and direct email addresses of a lot of sympathetic journalists!
  • I’m going to keep creating 5 postcards each week. In truth, I’m not considering this campaign a success only if we reach the 10,560 postcard goal. The main objective is to get Denver’s attention and get the Mayor to seriously reconsider his stance – it will only help his play for the governorship anyway! So now’s the time!

Keep sending in those postcards! Thanks to everyone who’s been blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking! Let’s keep it up!

And if you’ve blogged about BSL or the campaign, please leave the link in the comments! I’m trying to keep an eye out through a Google alert, but it seems to be missing a few blogs. I want to keep the link library updated. Plus, this Friday I’m putting together a little pit bull link love – send me a comment if you have a particular blog or post that you’d like me to check out for inclusion!

In the meantime, hope you’re all having a great week! Thank you for all your help and support to end BSL.

BSL campaign update and call for postcards!!

I’m excited to announce that we’ve hit our first 100 postcards! Thank you, everyone, for all your hard work!

I’d like to toss out a challenge: Can we get another 100 between today and next Tuesday? I think we can! Activate your networks, share the campaign on Twitter and Facebook, I know we can do this! I will commit to making 5 more with some of the bullies from our therapy dog program! Let’s do this!

For a little inspiration, I wanted to share the two most beautiful postcards I received in the mail. These were hand-done in watercolor! I’m so impressed and so proud! I scanned them in, and it doesn’t quite do them justice, but take a look:

Aren’t those amazing? And so many of the postcards that have come in have really powerful, personal messages. I’ve been uploading them to the Facebook Page. (Have you joined the Facebook page yet??)

I’ll keep a daily total between now and next Tuesday – I know we can hit 100 in one week!