I was inspired to make a “pitbull heroes map” after being invited to “like” a page on Facebook (Isobel Gunn Pitbull Rescue Fundraising) named after a family’s adopted pit bull puppy, Izzy.
I had always been a little bit afraid of pit bulls because of news stories I had seen, but I was really touched by all of the passionate people who own pit bulls and the stories I would see on Izzy’s page. They had a very different story to tell about pit bulls than the ones you hear in the news. I realized my initial impression of pit bulls was coloured by media accounts, rather than being based on any experiences I might have had. I visited a handful of websites – both for and against pit bulls – and felt disconcerted by the use of statistics and research studies in which individuals misused statistics to make cases against the breed.
I had a difficult time respecting the case they were trying to make against pit bulls since their unobjective misuse of statistics weakened their argument. Media accounts were often cited as sound evidence for their justification against pit bulls…despite the known sensationalism and bias in the media.
What I really enjoyed most in my newsfeed were the pit bull hero stories that Izzy occasionally posted. Being an online cartography enthusiast, I thought a map would be a good way to bring these stories together. If people can use media stories against pit bulls, then they can also use them FOR pit bulls.
I originally made the map to practice my online cartography skills. Afterwards I realized it would be a fun thing to share with others, and might be useful in changing other people’s hearts and helping to balance other people’s perceptions of pit bulls, like it did mine. The map shares pit bull hero stories found in the media, with links to the original story website. There’s also a form for others to submit stories they come across, which I can then add to the map. That way the map and its stories is a community effort!
You can find the map at: https://sites.google.com/site/
If you would like to add stories as you find them, please bookmark the site and go to the “Wanna add another pitbull hero story to the map?!” tab as new stories come across your newsfeeds. Thank you for your time and potential contributions!