In the last few years, bragging about pit bull adoption became a certifiable social media trend. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are littered with crappy memes declaring pit bull owners’ superiority over all other humans.
It’s perplexing; people adopt dogs every day and get on with their lives. They’re hardly persecuted minorities. And yet, some pit bull owners take to social media to brag as if they’ve single-handedly saved the canine population with their adoption.
Here’s where we do agree with the pit bull Instagram lobby: adopting shelter animals is better than buying them from puppy mills; dogs are cute and great; good owners beget good dogs and bad owners beget bad dogs; and people who abuse animals can go to hell.
But adopting an animal is something you should do because you want to help the animal, not because you think it makes you better than everyone else. A dog isn’t an excuse to make yourself look like a good person.
And saying all pit bulls are safe and friendly is just as bad as saying they’re all monsters. Neither one is true. There are plenty of nice pit bulls, but there are also plenty of people — children, especially — who are brutally attacked by pit bulls. That doesn’t mean they’re all bad, but it also doesn’t mean “the media” and “ignorance” are to blame for the breed’s bad reputation. Maybe the owners are at fault, maybe the dogs are. Who knows? But when you dismiss those attacks because your pit bull is nice, you’re insulting attack victims.
So go ahead and post cute pictures of your dog. In fact, post as many as possible. But if you find yourself reposting one of the following images solely for the purpose of letting everyone know what a saint you are because you have a dog, know that you’re annoying.