50’s flashback at Murphy’s Saloon as pinup girls and local volunteers come together to help a misunderstood breed.
If pitbulls are supposed to be terrifying killers, then Cammie, a 50 pound rescue from ACCT, wasn’t doing a very good job. In fact, her killer instinct had been missing since she arrived at Murphy’s as the main attraction for the Pinups and Pitbulls fundraiser on Sunday March 6th.
Sporting green pom poms on her head in anticipation of St. Patricks Day, she wagged contentedly at every passing face, unfazed by the full crowd at the bar, the tight quarters, and the noise.
When a teenage boy appeared suddenly from the crowd and knelt down to say hi, she put her paws on his shoulders and shyly licked his face. It wasn’t the last time she had a sweet moment with kids from the crowd. (More about Cammie, including video here.)
And yet the same scene would’ve been impossible in other areas of the country like Denver or Miami, two cities that enforce a pitbull ban. By law, pitbulls are not allowed within city limits and are subject to fines, confiscation (even from their owners), and in many cases euthanization.
“And that’s what we’re fighting,” says Colleen Mullaney, who organized the Pinups for Pitbulls (PFPB) event at Murphy’s (and is Miss July in the PFPB calendar).
Through education and community outreach, Colleen and thousands of PFPB volunteers like her across the country, hope to end discrimination against, and unnecessary killing of, pitbulls because they’re considered a vicious breed. For Colleen, the message is simple – “it’s not the dog, but the other end of the leash where the trouble starts.”
Colleen once feared pitbulls too. She believed they were killers. But then she met her first pitbull ten years ago and fell in love with “70 pounds of muscle and dopiness.”
Today, her pitbull Reilly accompanies her to shows and helps her spread the word, even though Colleen has had to deal with discrimination at home – literally. She’s had hassles with landlords who refused to allow pitbulls in their buildings. “The minute you said pitbull, they assumed the worst. Funny thing is, they didn’t even know what a pitbull was. They thought it was a breed.”
Unfortunately, Colleen’s story was typical at Murphy’s. There were plenty of others who’d experienced “pitbull paranoia,” including representatives from ACCT and pinup models from the PFPB calendar.
Leah P., Miss August 2016, was tired of the myths (“pitbulls’ jaws don’t lock any more than any other breeds’ jaws lock. They’re all dogs.“) and was angered at the thousands of dogs that have been killed in cities with pitbull bans.
“I don’t get it. I’ve had all kinds of dogs from lap dogs all the way up to Irish Wolfhounds but pitbulls were the ones that hooked me.” And got her involved with PFPB.
East Falls volunteers were on hand as well, like Andrea Sunderland, a regular on the NW Philly Pack Walk and an ACCT volunteer. She got involved after meeting a volunteer on a Pack Walk who made rescue work sound so great that Andrea had to get involved. “I told her months later that she was the one who inspired me and she said I’ve never inspired anyone in my life. She really was touched.”
Whether it’s a pitbull or a chihuahua, there are plenty of dogs that could use your help. Sign up now to walk a rescue in the Falls! Andrea will be bringing rescue dogs to future Pack Walks who could use some fresh air. Just need someone to take the leash for an hour. Dogs for the Day? Rental Rescues? Whatever you call it, it’s a great way to explore the Falls with a grateful dog. (Pack Walks meet Sundays at 9:30AM in McMichael Park.)
BONUS! Behind the scenes at a Pinups for Pitbulls calendar shoot (2013):