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Pinups for Pitbulls Rolls Up the Victory Curls For the Pups Who Need It Most


Back in the day, pinup models donned their victory rolls to boost wartime spirits. Now, they do it to advocate for a much-maligned dog breed. Deirdre Franklin, the founder of Pinups for Pitbulls, explains how a burlesque hobby evolved into a life-saving non-profit.

We all know the pinup aesthetic: a glamorous, rosy-cheeked woman standing — or lounging — confidently and alluringly, giving a wide smile or sly pout to the camera. The classic pinup style popped up in the 1940s, when the “victory roll” hairstyle gained momentum; artwork of pinups would decorate World War II barracks, ships, submarines, and fighter planes. Burlesque, a fashion and dance style that has been around in varying forms since the 1840s, similarly took on new shapes in the mid-1900s. Today, pinup and burlesque are often celebrated for their body-positivity and self-confidence messages.

Deirdre Franklin, a lifelong dog-lover, found herself part of the burlesque community in the “MySpace era,” and she rapidly gained a fan base for her creative costumes. When she funded her animal advocacy efforts using donations from her burlesque fans, she realized she could combine her love of animals and dress-up into one productive, thrilling project: Pinups for Pitbulls, an organization that makes pinup-style calendar that raises money and awareness for Pitbull protections. Today, Pinups for Pitbulls is made up of a team of volunteers in over 20 states and saves 1,000 dogs annually. They have overturned breed bans, adopted out Pit Bulls, and changed countless peoples’ biases about Pit Bulls.

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Fighting Back: What to Ask for Instead of BSL (Feat. in PupJournal)

Special thanks to Arin Greenwood and PupJournal for featuring this piece by Deirdre S. Franklin from ‘The Pit Bull Life’ book.

Outlawing a dog based on how it looks will not keep us safe from a dog bite. What will keep us safe, on the other hand, is introducing breed-neutral laws for all dog owners to comply with.


We recommend:

  • Ask lawmakers for breed-neutral dangerous-dog legislation. This allows animal control to enforce true dangerous-dog issues without having to drive around speculating about whether a dog is a pit bull.
  • Ask lawmakers to support education efforts to ensure that parents are aware of the whereabouts of their children and the way that children interact with dogs.
  • Ban chaining/tethering or at the very least, require dog owners to be present when their dog is tethered.
  • Do not allow at-large dogs to roam. Enforce leash laws or enact leash laws if they do not already exist.
  • Penalize people that are noncompliant and elevate fines for repeat offenders. Fines can help increase funding for educational materials.
  • Encourage breed-neutral spay-and-neuter programs, and when possible, offer those programs at low or no cost to low-income dog owners.
  • Encourage the licensing of breeding, though this can be challenging, since backyard breeders are not necessarily going to comply without the risk of fines and enforcement.
  • Require licensing and necessary vaccinations, such as rabies shots. This is obvious, but many dog owners are not in compliance with licensing. This might be due to a fear of breed-specific bans, or ignorance.
  • Teach dog bite prevention to dog owners and non-dog owners.
  • Make whistleblowing options available to people aware of dogfighting activity in their community; for example, a toll-free phone number.
  • Note that breed bans are a violation of property rights.