Pinups for Pitbulls (PFPB), a nonprofit founded in 2005, works tirelessly to end the unnecessary killing of Pit Bull-type dogs and to educate people about Pit Bulls and the flaws of breed-specific legislation. Every year, PFPB also releases a stunning calendar that pairs women with darling Pit Bulls, a feel-good purchase that harks back to the first half of the 20th century, when these dogs were viewed as war heroes, and pin-ups were all the rage. In October 2014, PFPB will publish its first book, Little Darling’s Pinups for Pitbulls, followed by the nonprofit’s 10th anniversary calendar in 2015.
Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin is PFPB’s founder, but she’s more than just a dog lover: she’s an educator, hero and a determined voice for Pit Bulls everywhere. Bark had the pleasure of interviewing Deirdre to discuss PFPB’s work, the upcoming book and misconceptions regarding Pit Bull-type dogs.
Bark: Who are the dogs in your life?
Deirdre Franklin: My first Pit Bull-type was Carla Lou. I adopted her when she was one and had her until she was 18; she passed away in August 2012. She was the true inspiration for Pinups for Pitbulls—we often use the hashtag #itsallforyoucarlalou.
I lost my second of four dogs, Lexi Doodle, this past year to hemangiosarcoma. She lived to be 14 and was a Lab/Shepherd mix.
I currently have Zoe, a 14-year-old Harrier mix, and Baxter Bean, a Pit Bull-type from a dog rescue in New Jersey. He was my foster failure when he was five months old. His back is covered in scars from a chemical burn or having been set on fire. He latched onto my heart, and I couldn’t let him be rehomed; now he’s about nine. He is on the cover of our 2015 calendar and on the cover of the book, covered in kisses.
B: What sparked your interest in Pit Bulls?
DF: In the mid ’90s, I fell in love with a shelter dog who happened to be a Pit Bull-type, only to find out that I could not adopt her because she was a Pit Bull and was therefore sentenced to die. Despite the efforts I [made] to save her, the shelter denied my interest in her and told me it was simply policy. I did everything I could to save this dog, but unfortunately, they euthanized her. I worked with Chako, a Pit Bull rescue, to try to pull her and they offered to give me a chance. I adopted Carla Lou through Chako’s director, Dawn Capp, and the rest is history.
B: What sort of work does PFPB do?
DF: We step out of our comfort zone by displaying at comic and tattoo conventions. I also speak regularly at Amazing Pet Expos about breed-specific legislation and dog bites, reaching the unconverted and the ignorant in these audiences. It’s an honor to speak on behalf of dogs.
I also interview children who [express interest in] being Pinups in Training (P.I.T.), a term our volunteer Nancy coined. Many of these children are already passionate voices for the dogs, and want to share their love by training to be better advocates. (I started out as a child advocate 25 years ago, and I haven’t stopped.) We encourage these kids to educate their peers through their own lens.
B: Does PFPB collaborate with other dog rescue organizations?
DF: We promote any rescue that requests our assistance through our social media pages, especially Facebook, where we have over 340,000 followers. Many advocates trust our page as a resource because they know we always fact-check and use science-based information to promote dogs, rather than just emotional appeals. On average, we’ve gotten 40 or more dogs adopted per month by cross-promoting them on our page. This [statistic] is based on the people who take the time to update us on successful outcomes. We are confident that the number is even higher.
Pit Bulls: Just Another Dog
BY REBECCA SHIPMAN
By Rebecca Shipman – Managing Editor
I’m sure you’ve all seen an increase in Pit Bulls and ‘Pit Bull type’ dogs coming into your boarding and daycare facilities. People who have experience with, or even own these dogs, may welcome them with open arms. But people who don’t have much personal experience with them may cringe when the client on the phone says they are bringing in their Pit Bull for the weekend. The opinion of the latter is typically formed by the negative press or one bad experience. But how many times have you been bitten by that small mixed breed dog whose owner insists that she is the sweetest?
“All dogs are individuals. All dogs have teeth, they can all bite. And just like every other new dog that you welcome into your playgroups at your facility, they should be evaluated before being introduced to other dogs,” states Deirdre Franklin, founder of Pinups for Pit Bulls, a non-profit organization group who educates, advocates and supports rescue of, not only pit bull type dogs, but all dogs.
There’s a reason for the increase in Pit Bulls in shelters, but there’s also a reason for the increase in their adoption rates. In a recent test done by The American Canine Temperament Testing Society (ATT), Pit Bulls achieved a passing rate of 83.9%, passing 4th from the highest of 122 breeds. That’s better than Beagles, passing at 78.2% and Golden Retrievers passing at 83.2%. The average passing rate for ALL breeds is 77%.
A report from the AVSAB (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior) included the statement, “Breed alone is not predictive of the risk of aggressive behavior. Dogs and owners must be evaluated individually.”
By Sarah Bous-Leslie
Little Darling’s Pinups for Pitbulls, Founder Deirdre Franklin talks about the organization and her inspiration, the late, great, “Carla Lou”.
I had a horrifying experience the other day in Enumclaw, WA. I was walking my puppy Sherman when a lady told me, “Pitbulls are banned here, make sure you say he’s a boxer mix!” In that moment, Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) became a reality to me. It became more than an offensive meme on Facebook. I felt fear strike through my heart, my dog was in danger! People could outlaw my dog, take him and destroy him (right here in America!) and there was nothing I could do about it. They could tell me that I couldn’t live in a certain city, that we aren’t allowed. I choked down my terror and anger at senseless discrimination, finished what I had to do and got out of there.
Deirdre Franklin, founder of Pinups for Pitbulls, had an even more heart wrenching introduction to BSL. In the mid 90’s she was volunteering at her local shelter in Pennsylvania, (mostly for daily access to doggie hugs, she freely admits). A lady brought in a Pitbull type mix that she had found as a stray. The shelter informed her that if she turned over the dog, she would be euthanized. They had a “Kill Pit Policy”. Deirdre had never had any experience with the breed. She walked her into the back rooms, enthralled with the wiggly happiness of the dog! She decided to do whatever it took to save her. She tried to adopt her, the shelter refused. She called all over the country trying to find a rescue that would “pull her” from death row. She finally found a group in Texas willing to help. The shelter told them, “No.”
“I couldn’t believe it! This dog was going to die just because she’s a pit bull. How unfair and closed minded. I was devastated,” Deirdre remembers. Determined to bring a rescued Pitbull into her home, she convinced the Texas rescue to adopt a dog to her. They flew the dog (sight unseen, save for a blurry photo taken in a dark barn stall after being abandoned in a basement and rescued) to Pennsylvania. When she met Carla Lou at the airport, it was love at first sight. They became the best of friends, living all over the country together.
Pet owners and their best friends came together at Naglee Park on Saturday, Sept. 20. for the 18th annual San Jose Bark in the Park
Lynda Chase, one of the organizers of the event who led the volunteers, was excited to see so many people coming to the event.
“Last year we got rained out,” Chase said. “It poured all morning, so this is great.”
As the heat of the day rose, one notable changes from past years was the lack of dog pools. In the past, portable pools kept the dogs cool, but this year the pools were removed from the event’s plans due to the drought.
Chase said instead of using the pools they were going to have misters for the dogs, but that ultimately was considered by the city to be an irresponsible use of water as well.
“San Jose Water was going to do the misters, but the city said ‘no,’” Chase said.
Dozens of tents were decorated with various signs that promoted different rescue, adoption and awareness groups as well as vendors selling all sorts of items used for dog care, training and accessorization.
Midway along the north-eastern line of tents in pastel pink with bright red lettering was the Pinups For Pit Bulls (PFPB). An advocacy and education group, PFPB raises funds to promote awareness and to fight against the public connotation that all pit bulls are bad.
Kira Ikeda, a San Jose State University alumnus, explained how the stigma toward pit bulls is shown toward at least five pure breeds, as well as dozens of mixed breeds including the American Bull Terrier and the Stratfordshire Bull Terrier.
“They (pit bulls)can be loving family dogs, all about how they’re trained, not how they’re raised,” Ikeda said. “The goal is that not just pit bulls, but that all types of dogs are judged as individuals.”
We Chat With the Woman Behind Pinups for Pitbulls
The group that pairs models with Pit Bulls for its yearly calendar is releasing a book; we talk about rescue, BSL, and gorgeous pictures.
We adore this interview! Big thanks to Liz Parker & Rachel Yarger.
Hey sailor, would you like to talk about why laws that ban or otherwise restrict the ownership of pit bulls aren’t an effective way to promote public …
By Alison Burdo
Tattoos wind their way down his arms and up his neck, visible even when he is wearing long-sleeves. At 155 pounds and 5-foot 8-inches tall, Paul Marino is not your typical model.
“I have that ‘50’s style haircut,” Marino said. “I’m not very muscular.”
But Pinups for Pitbulls founder Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin selected the 27-year-old tattoo artist to be one of the three men featured it its 2015 calendar – a first for the nonprofit that focused exclusively on females in its previous eight calendars.
“The guys are just as dedicated to the cause as the ladies,” said Franklin, who founded Pinups for Pitbulls in 2005 to educate people about pit bull-type dogs.
This weekend, downtown Asheville is turning into a tattoo parlor. It’s the 3rd annual Tattoo and Arts Expo at the Renaissance Hotel.
Deirdre Franklin of Pinups for Pitbulls and Promoter J.R. Yarnall shared what you can expect at this year’s expo. They say the expo, formerly known as the Asheville Tattoo Fest, is bigger and better this year. There’s everything from tattooing, to music, art shows, pin ups, and face painting contests. This year the show expands beyond the hotel. The Masonic Temple on Broadway will be the site of the Food Truck Showdown, the pop up art gallery featuring work by fine artists and attending tattoo artists and the live music Saturday night.
Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin is more than a hero: she’s an educator, an advocate, and a voice for dogs everywhere. As the founder and CEO of Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc., Little Darling works tirelessly to end discrimination, abuse, and the unecessary killing of pit bull-type dogs nationally, while educating people world-wide about the ineffectiveness of Breed Specific Legislation. PBP had the pleasure of interviewing Little Darling for our Anti-BSL issue.
PBP: You have been an advocate for pit bull-type dogs and an opponent of Breed Specific Legislation for many years. What led you to the field of animal welfare and advocacy?
LD: I have been an animal lover since as early as I can remember. Even as a little kid, I wanted to know why certain animals were favored and others were considered less valuable or meaningful to people. I wanted to befriend every creature that had fur. At the age of 12, I became a vegetarian and studied animal rights pamphlets to understand their argument and to see if they had a sensible argument against things like animal testing for makeup, vivisection and other atrocities. It was a natural occurrence that I became an animal advocate, and I really haven’t been swayed in any other direction since those days. It only amplified as I grew up and began to have the courage to use my voice to fight things that I did not believe were fair. After I adopted Carla Lou around the age of 19, I began to see a whole new side of animal advocacy that I had never heard of before, that of banning certain dog breeds. I wanted to understand it more so that I could be a voice against it, if the argument made sense to me. I quickly learned that these laws were unfounded and lacked any level of scientific basis. Carla Lou inspired me to educate myself with facts so that I could speak on her behalf and for others like her. I’ve always identified with the term “voice for the voiceless.”
PBP: You recently graduated from Drexel University with a Master of Science in Public Policy. Your thesis, which you successfully defended, is titled “Public Policy: Community Safety through Breed Bans?” What does the research that you’ve done suggest regarding the effectiveness of breed bans?
LD: The research that I conducted ended in the outcome that I had hoped to arrive at. I took every avenue that I could to find something that could prove that dog bans can work. In my heart I knew they could not and logic also told me that dog bans could not work, but I had to prove that dog bans could not work with rational, science-based facts. What I discovered was that there is not a single peer reviewed study that proves that dog bans work. There is not a single medical journal, veterinary journal or law journal that could prove that one dog breed is any more dangerous than another. In fact, even if they tried to prove it, their theories were debunked in their research. All dogs are individuals and context is everything in the dog world. I was so excited to not only prove that breed bans cannot work but to discover that it’s impossible for them to work since all dogs have teeth, therefore, all dogs have the propensity to bite. Furthermore, in my research, I delved deep into the pro-pit bull ban proponents. I discovered that the loudest voices and strongest dog ban advocates were not experts in any field that would give them credibility, but rather, they had strong ties to media outlets and rallied with their opinions and feelings rather than any sound scientific argument. I also spent a lot of time in my research looking into studies about fear and the effects that fear can have on people. Fear has long lasting effects on our minds. We can spend a lot of energy obsessing over something that seems prevalent (i.e. reading about a dog bite in the news). This kind of obsessing leads us to have irrational fears based on something that seems to be recurring in multiple news outlets. What people do not understand about dog bite stories is that they are often reported quickly and rarely discuss the context of the bite. The dogs you read about in the news are dogs that are statistically always a selection of the following situations:-unneutered/unaltered-chained dogs (dogs that live outside and are not socialized)-at-large dogs-dogs that are abused/neglected (either physically starved or injured)-dogs that have a physical ailment i.e. neurological problems-fearful dogs (often as a result of shock, choke, and dominance training)
I also wondered how such news reports were quick to blame a dog in a situation rather than their caretaker. For instance, when an infant is
“randomly” attacked by a dog; it’s usually a story such as “a 2 year old walked into the neighbor’s yard.” My first question is, “what is a 2 year old doing walking around without an adult?” News reporters are often so busy worrying about getting the story out first that they are carelessly causing hysteria amongst the ignorant masses. I long for the days of journalism and quality detective work.
Lastly, in my research, there was the instance where certain cities enacted a “pit bull” ban for example that bragged that after they removed “pit bulls” from their community that they successfully eliminated pit bull bites. What they didn’t talk about was that other dog breeds became the main biting dog in their community. I also found that a dog breed that is a majority in region, like a Husky in Canada, for instance, was often the dog with the most recorded bites. This seems logical since if there are more of one type of dog in a community that the likelihood of that type of dog having more bites. What I argued for instead of breed bans since they clearly did not work in a single case was for cities to enforce leash laws, tethering laws, and for education for people with dogs and even people who did not have dogs. Education is the only answer to reduce dog bites. Education costs a lot less and can save a lot more lives, both canine and human.
Deirdre Franklin, who founded Pinups for Pitbulls, discusses how she connected Pitbull advocacy with her Pinup work. She is graduating shortly from Drexel University with a Master of Science Degree in Public Policy. Her master’s thesis, which she recently successfully defended, is entitled Public Policy: Community Safety Through Breed Bans?. It is a sixty three page paper, and she discusses the major points of it during the interview. The science that supports breed neutral laws is explored, as well as the overwhelming consensus against breed bans from professional and animal welfare groups. The lack of objective data and any relevant credentialling of Colleen Lynn of dogsbite.org is covered, along with the culture of incivility promoted by “Maul Talk” a sister site of DBO. A thoroughly enjoyable discussion with someone who is obviously highly educated on the topic of breed discriminatory legislation.
May 28, 2013
The organization Pinups for Pitbulls is shooting their 2014 calendar in a photography studio in Overbrook.
Deirdre Franklin started the group in 2005 to promote a better image for pit bulls.
Pinups for Pitbulls helps rescue organizations and brings awareness to issues like Breed Specific Legislation, which targets pit bull-type dogs and restricts — or even bans — people from owning that breed.
The group believes pit bulls aren’t the problem – irresponsible people are.
“We try to get that education out there and help people understand that there is a much broader issue going on,” Franklin says. “People need to spay and neuter their pets and use positive training instead of using choke, or force or shock, which a lot of people do which creates fearful dogs.”
The calendar is their biggest fundraising tool, and this year’s theme is “adventure.”
An estimated 2,800 pit bull-type dogs are euthanized (read: killed) each day in the United States alone, adding up to approximately 1 million lost lives annually. Sadly, simply being born a pit bull-type is practically a death sentence for dogs awaiting their forever homes in shelters, largely due to misconceptions about their “breed”. And that’s where Pinups for Pitbulls (PFPB), Inc.comes in. Founded by pinup model Deirdre Franklin in 2005, the nonprofit is a tireless advocate for pit bull-type dogs and dispeller of negative perceptions about these innocent animals. In honor of National Pet Month, we chatted with Franklin about her work, next year’s fundraising pinup calendar (which PFPB has become known for), and how we can combat negative attitudes toward pit bull-breed dogs.
The full Russian article can be viewed here: The Dog Island Magazine.
Special thanks to Anya Gladun for translating the article from Russian to English. Read the translated article here.
Enjoy this positive Pit bull press featuring an interview with our founder, Deirdre ‘Little Darling’ Franklin. She discusses the media hype, science and facts, and how to move forward. Download your free copy at the link below.
Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors, Rita Hayworth… once posted in the lockers of G.I.s during World War II, today Pin Up Girls are taking new directions and themes. One of these exciting new directions comes from an organization I discovered a while ago. It’s Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin’s organization, Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc., founded in 2005. I stumbled upon ‘Little Darling’s Pinups for Pitbulls’ 2013 calendar cover picture on Facebook and I loved the art work, and of course, the dogs. After browsing through the pictures and reading the mission and vision of this organization I wanted to learn more about it and contacted this terrific, creative non-profit group. They got right back to me and were pleased to participate in our ongoing series of interviews…
With a selfless motto that everyone deserves to have a wonderful quality of life, Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin employs love, companionship, integrity and loyalty into her self-started organization Pinups for Pitbulls. Helping dogs nationwide, Franklin’s charitable work has been recognized by media outlets including American Dog Magazine, Animal Planet and other high profile publications. Speaking to Helping Paws NJ, Franklin shares all on her very own little darlings as well as her other successful volunteer efforts.
First appearance on Pit Boss: Watch Episode >>
(their very first episode ever)
Deirdre ‘Little Darling’ Franklin and Ronald with Geisha
Photographer: Shannon Brooke
Make up & Hair: Jennifer Corona
Most recent appearance on Pit Boss (March 2011) Watch Episode >>
Deirdre ‘Little Darling’ Franklin with Ashley and Shorty Rossi the Pit Boss
Photographer: Riley Kern
Make up & Hair: Jennifer Corona
“Misconceptions about deviant behavior aside, it’s what’s underneath the buttoned-up exterior that fuels America’s long-running fascination with being inked. The unconventional glamour and the desire to mark our pasts in a secret place fuels our curiosity. There is perhaps no better example of this than the pinup, the woman who saw soldiers through World War II, first on posters and then on their biceps. At the Marriott, women dressed as pinups sold buttons and mango salsa in the name of animal advocacy: They call themselves Pinups for Pitbulls.”
Since the dawn of advertising, lovely ladies have been used to sell everything from soap to pickup trucks. But the women of Pinups for Pitbulls are more than simply beauties or burlesque queens. Founder Deirdre Franklin, whose stage name is Little Darling, describes a modern burlesque artist as “a strong woman who’s expressing herself in an art form that’s liberating.” Part of a subculture that’s revived a classic American art, they’re also using their talents to save a classic American dog…
We got the opportunity to chat with Little Darling, Founder and President of Pinups for Pitbulls, the non-profit group who is hosting the event. Pinups for Pitbulls’ volunteer staff works year-round to raise funds for pit bull-friendly rescue groups and individual bullies in shelters across the country. The group’s annual calendar featuring a pit bull-loving pinup for each month is their biggest seller and aims at educating the public on Breed Specific Legislation and other issues…
PFPB was awarded FIRST PLACE for “Voice to Stop Illegal Dog Fighting” in The American Dog Magazine’s 1st Annual Humanitarian Awards. There were 25 different categories, 253 nominees, and a grand total of 258,841 individual votes!
For the full list of winners visit: The American Dog Magazine >>
Deirdre Franklin’s love for Pit Bulls began while volunteering at a shelter. She attempted to adopt a Pit Bull-type dog, but was declined because of the dog’s appearance. That shelter, like many others, had a kill-Pit-Bull policy, regardless of the dog’s demeanor, history, or temperament…
Pinups for Pitbulls and their celebrated pin-up calendar feature beautiful and elegantly strong pinup models with their beloved Pit Bulls companions. This non-profit group has been helping to reverse the damage the media has caused these bully breeds with sensationalized and down-right false news stories to create a buzz and sell newspapers. We at Blow The Scene were fortunate enough to catch up with Little Darling, founder of Pinups for Pitbulls, just weeks before their highly anticipated 2011 calendar release on Oct. 23, 2010 and the accompanying multi-city event, Pitbull Awareness Day!
Interview with Deirdre ‘Little Darling’ Franklin
Little Darling, Founder of Pinups for Pitbulls is interviewed by Greg Coy on Pit Bulls, Pin ups, and Breed Specific Legislation.
Interview was on Jan 2, 2008
Comcast Network 8 in Philadelphia, PA
Discovery-News.com: In light of the Michael Vick dog fighting indictment, a group of 12 women, including Discovery News’ Kasey-Dee Gardner, are releasing an annual Pinups for Pitbulls calendar to raise awareness and education.