Shake Off Stigmas: Advocating for Rescue Animals

Cody is available for adoption at North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue.

You might have heard the rumors – “rescue dogs are dangerous”. Our city, Charlotte, has done a lot to reinforce this idea. But remember – not everything you hear is true.

Animal shelters are hard at work providing for homeless animals and searching for their forever home. There are a lot of challenges that they face, from poor funding, overpopulation, and a lack of public awareness. North Carolina legislation has been making it even harder on rescue centers.

On January 1st, 2014, House Bill 956 was made effective. It’s purpose is to regulate aggressive dog breeds – “aggressive breed” defined as: Pit bull, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Chow, and Perro de Presa Canario. Here’s the thing though – breed alone doesn’t make an animal more dangerous. For those concerned about public safety, there are plenty of promising alternatives to breed specific legislature, such as leash laws. The problem is that “dangerous” is being defined by breed of dog, not previous or current dangerous behavior.

Breed alone doesn’t make an animal more dangerous.

Emmy is available for adoption at North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue.


As one organization, OVDO, says, “Dog control problems are people problems, and are not limited to a breed or mix.” So far, twenty one states have prohibited breed specific legislation by state law. Declaring an animal dangerous based solely on it’s breed, size, or mix of breeds isn’t largely fact based; it’s just making adoptions more difficult.


Dog control problems are people problems, and are not limited to a breed.

Blue colored states prohibit breed specific legislation.

Finding the right placement for homeless dogs with lots of love to give can be a difficult task to begin with. But when our local government supports ideas of danger based on breeds, people can be hesitant to look into fostering or adopting. The first step in losing this stigma is changing legislature. It’s responsible for giving the public the perception that breed is the factor that makes a dangerous dog.

Reecy is available for adoption at North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue.

Our goal is to increase foster and adoption rates by reducing stigmas around rescue animals.

You can inspire change too.

Showing support for shelters by volunteering, donating money or items, or fostering/adopting is an incredible service that goes two ways. You can advocate for change in our legislature by contacting your state representative and inquiring about breed specific laws in your area. Ready for a new addition to the family? Check out available dogs in the CLT area @ North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue.

Post on social media what you’ve learned or an image of an adoptable animal from your local shelter!

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  1. April 27, 2018 by Hannah Anderson

    This is a really great project, and it brings up a lot of great points. My favorite breed of dog is a pit bull, and many people do not like them due to them being “dangerous”. I also really like the usage of photos of actually adoptable dogs on your page!

  2. April 29, 2018 by Avery.Courts

    Hey! I loved your topic so much! I think that this is such an important conversation to start because there are so many shelter dogs that need homes! I also totally agree with you in that it does not matter what breed the dogs but how they have been treated in their past homes in terms of aggressiveness.

  3. April 29, 2018 by Trevor Doran Donovan

    Superb project! I’ve had a rescue dog for the past nine years (not a breed of danger, though) and he has been the best pet my family’s had. In addition to being an issue of humanity, this is also an economic issue which needs to be resolved soon!

  4. April 29, 2018 by Emily.Ecclestone

    I loved this! Very fun and engaging. Also I loved all the photos of the pups. Great job.

  5. April 29, 2018 by Alex Rickett

    I loved this presentation so much! I have a shelter dog and he is the sweetest and very smart. I had heard before that dogs are not born violent but can be trained that way and am glad to know that my information was correct! I wonder if you could make a hashtag as to start a movement on social media?

  6. May 02, 2018 by McKenzie Minto

    This is a great presentation on an important topic! I’m so glad that more people are recognizing that these breeds aren’t naturally more aggressive, they simply have a bad reputation. I especially like the map you included.

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