WILKES-BARRE — The third annual National Pit Bull Awareness Day event and carnival brought two hundred area residents and their pets to Kirby Park on Saturday to celebrate the positive traits of the breed.
Dozens of vendors also participated in the event both to raise money and awareness.
Event coordinator Autumn Drury, of the Positive Promise Pit Bull Foundation who sponsored the event, said it was also a celebration of all breeds of pets and their owners.
“Blue Chip Animal and other rescue organization are providing an opportunity for all breeds to find good homes,” Drury said. “This event reflects a supportive attitude for all animals, including pit bulls.”
Attendees, many who were pit bull owners, said although many people are afraid of pit bulls, the breed is often good with children and a pleasure to own.
Jessica Bono, of Nanticoke, recently adopted Rosco, a pit bull mix. He said the event was simply fun.
“Every year there is a good turnout and everyone is always so nice,” said Bono. “It’s a chance for my dogs to get to meet other dogs.”
Event activities included recall training workshops, award testing, raffles, free T-shirt giveaways, food sales and informational tables.
Erin Byrne, of the American Kennel Club, was on hand to do good citizen award testing. The award indicates that a dog can safely and successfully interact with others. Good citizen dogs often, after additional training, become therapy dogs.
Alison Santiago, of Pawsitively Motivating Dog Training, assisted owners in training dogs to come when they are called and emphasized the benefits properly trained dogs provided to the community.
Christine Moskowicz, president of the foundation, said she looks forward to her own pit bull, Sage, becoming a therapy dog.
“I actually adopted Sage two years ago on Pit Bull Awareness Day,” said Moskowicz.
Mary Kettle, of Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, shared her personal experiences as a dog owner.
“I have brought my own dogs to visit a nursing home,” said Kettle, “and the residents often look forward to the visits, asking when we will be coming back.”
Vendors also provided unique items for the canine set, including handmade collars and leashes and homemade doggie treats.
Kayla Sakowski, of Nanticoke, with her pit bull mix Marbles, summed up the sentiments of many attendees.
“Pit bulls are sweethearts,” said a smiling Sakowski, “and a great emotional support.”