PetSmart is not just known for providing a number of pet toys, food and equipment, but is also well-known among animal lovers for their PetSmart charities. However, recently their discriminatory policies towards bully breeds at their Doggie Day Camps are troubling dog owners and animal advocates working hard to dispel the myth that pit bulls are an innately dangerous breed of dog.
Pit bulls and other bully breeds have always had it rough, but they are facing an uphill battle in front of them now more than ever. With Michael Vick's Bad Newz Kennels and the increase in upcoming breed bans in cities all over the United States, PetSmart's latest policy certainly isn't helping with the mythos of this misunderstood breed.
PetSmart's Doggie Day Camps are social events for dogs where they can play off-leash and socialize with other dogs, just so long as they aren't bully breeds or mixed with any. The official policy states:
"PetSmart’s policy is to not allow Bully breeds, or any mix of, or any pets that exhibit aggressive behaviors to participate in our Doggie Day Camp. We have received responses both for and against our policy, and can appreciate the sensitivities and deep emotions behind them."
This ban includes:
- American Pit Bull Terriers
- Pit Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Staffordshire Terriers
- American Bulldogs
- Any mix displaying characteristics or physical traits of the above
This sends the message that even as animal advocates work to dispel the myths of bully breeds, PetSmart, a major animal-related corporation, is using a policy that only serves to further the fear and misinformation of the breed.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have even stated that there is inaccuracy in dog bite data as well as difficulty in accurately identifying breeds that has skewed the records against bully breeds. In short, any dog can bite and any dog can be sweet, including bullies.