In the Interest of Fairness

I’ve known that PetSmart had BDL pretty much ever since I had Ray, so close to three years.  While I know it is wrong, I didn’t really give it too much thought for two reasons.  One, there isn’t a PetSmart doggy daycamp near us and even if there were, we wouldn’t use them.  We are so in love with the care, attention and socialization that Julius receives at Paw’s-n-Claw’s that we wouldn’t go anywhere else.  And two, it’s hard to get past the fact that PetSmart does a lot for homeless animals.  Even for homeless Bullies.

Proud to be a Pit Bull

Proud to be a Pit Bull

There’s a huge push this week to urge PetSmart to rethink their policy to reflect a more open admission that is based on temperament and not on breed/looks.


After all, people look at these two and think “they look the same to me,” but they are as individual as a fingerprint with their own personalities, likes, dislikes and behaviors.  Neither is better or worse than the other, but they are different.  A passive solution would be to boycott PetSmart but to be honest, I don’t shop there very often at all.  I’m there more often to participate in adoption events and there have been only two instances that I have not handled a “bully” at these events.  Would PetSmart notice if I discontinued shopping there?  Nope.  Will I continue to handle dogs at adoption events held at PetSmart?  Yep, however I won’t be spending money there nor am I asking you to boycott, that is a personal choice for everyone to make individually.  I am asking you to voice your concern if you believe that all dogs should be seen as individuals.

Discrimination is discrimination and whether you would take advantage of their day care, or Pet hotel  or not, I urge you to stand against this by posting your pictures to the PetSmart Facebook page with the hastags #SeparateIsNotEqual #WhyCantIPlay #EndBDL #PetSmart


13 thoughts on “In the Interest of Fairness

  1. This policy has always shocked me because of all the welfare efforts that do that include “bully” breeds. I think a targeted campaign is certainly a good idea, and I think we have an opportunity here with the PetSmart/Pet360 thing as bloggers. I just hate seeing in the comments on their page how it’s spiraling downward pretty quickly…

  2. We don’t shop there but like you, have attended and helped out with many adoption events at local PetSmarts. It is crazy to me that they have this policy. I mean I have two dogs whose breeds are allowed who would wreak havoc at their daycare. Seriously. Dogs don’t know their breed, they just are who they are.

  3. It’s funny that just a couple days before the news broke out about their “bully” policy, I was at a Petsmart and 2 dogs got in a big fight in the large dog play area – you know how you can see them behind that glass wall? Anyways, 1 was a Dalmatian and the other, a Golden Retriever. One of the employees yelled, “get him out of here!” and grabbed the dog. Dogs are dogs and most are not comfortable being thrown in a small confined area. On top of that there are no windows, hard floors that are hosed down, hardly anything to play with, ugh. I obviously don’t agree with their policy but I really don’t agree with that type of “daycare” in general. I do most of my shopping at Petco anyways:)

    • You know, i was always under the impression that it was insurance reasons, not that that is any better of a reason. Again, I’m not interested in using their facilities but this, along with their reasoning, just makes me sad.

  4. I have been struggling with this. On one hand, I DON’T think it’s a good idea for many pitties to be in huge social settings like dog parks and doggy day cares. On the other, I think that should be based on the individual dog and not the breed as a whole. It’s a hard line to draw. How much bully breed is enough bully breed to meet the guidelines the rules are based on? I love my two pits and my gut reaction is to boycott Petsmart for discriminating against a breed I love so much and that gets such a bad rep already. I want to say, “What about shepherds and rottweilers and other ‘scary’ dogs that aren’t bully by breed?” I don’t shop at Petsmart very often anyway (twice in all the time I’ve owned dogs) and they wouldn’t notice if I was gone. I do a TON of rescue work, and many of the rescues I work with get a majority of their adoptions through Petsmart’s adoption days. So what outcome would make me happy? Is it as simple as re-wording the company policy? Would anyone benefit from pit bulls and company being allowed in group play sessions? Is there enough man power and TRAINED staff to assess dogs on a case by case basis? I don’t ever take my own pit bulls to dog parks or doggy day cares, so the policy doesn’t hurt them. They are still allowed in the store, for which I am very grateful. There’s no point to this comment, but it is something I have VERY mixed feelings about.

    • I know what you mean about the mixed feelings. Of my two, Julius thrives in daycare. He is friendly and open as well as being very appropriate in play. Ray would not do well in that type of setting. I just object to the wording describing bully breeds as being dangerous, etc.

  5. I’m in the UK, so we don’t have PetSmart. I just followed your link to the BDL page and was really surprised to see that long list of Bull breeds being potentially banned from their daycare. Out of all of those breeds the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is probably the most common here in the UK. Our rescues are bursting at the seams with them. One of our biggest/well known rescues, named Battersea, runs a campaign to promote Staffies and their loving nature. I think some people will have a negative perception of them for a long while yet, but I do think peoples minds are changing slowly but surely. Battersea have a great tv show now, which I think helps.

    As a dog walker, I don’t ban certain breeds, and a previous client of mine has been a Staffie. As far as I’m aware no daycare facilities local to me ban breeds either. I’ve never had to turn away a dog for being unsuitable, but if I did it would be due to its temperament, not breed.

    What I’m getting at overall though, is what a difference there is in dog rules/opinions/legislation in different countries. What are the opinions/legislation on Pitbulls in the US? In the UK, the legislation surrounding them is hazy. Dogs with Pitbull characteristics can be seized and euthanized. If you are allowed to keep your Pitbull, it must be licensed, tattooed, muzzled etc. However, I can’t say I’ve ever come across one.

    It’s such a shame, that a poorly written piece of legislation can really affect or worse, end, an innocent dogs life.

    • This comment really has my mind spinning. Here in the US, Staffies are definitely lumped into the Pit Bull category. Are they not in the UK? What is on the tattoo and where is it placed? I remember the case of Lennox the dog a couple of years ago, was that anywhere near you?
      Here in the US, the breed specific legislation (BSL) and breed discriminatory legislation (BDL) seems to be going away. There is a major vote in the town of Aurora, Colorado which we’re hoping is repealed. I believe BSL and BDL are more geared around municipalities rather than states.

      • Sometimes I get confused reading other blogs that mention Pitbulls, as it’s a breed we don’t come across often here. The UK legislation is confusing as it refers to Pitbulls as a ‘type’, and even if your dog is part Pittie it could be in danger. Honestly it makes alot of our heads spin!

        I once heard rescue staff discussing the training they had to measure up ‘Pitbull type’ dogs. From what I understand they take physical measurements and go from there. I found this, but it’s a little old:

        It’s absolutely crazy, I know.

        Here is the UK legislation:

        I believe the sad Lennox story was from Ireland. As for the tattoos, I don’t know how, where on the body or who performs them.

        So although all of the Bull breeds may be banned from certain daycares in the US, they aren’t illegal overall? We have a ‘Bull breed’ group but this is separate from our illegal breeds. I hope that makes sense, it doesn’t really to me!

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