A DOG JOURNAL INTERVIEW WITH REBECCA CORRY
On May 3, 2014, the One Million PIBBLE March On Washington D.C. will take place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The organizer behind this amazing event is actress and comedian Rebecca Corry (Comedy Central, King of Queens, Last Comic Standing). Ms. Corry is also the founder of the Stand Up for Pits Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that raises money to positively advocate and educate about the true nature of Pibbles, and raises awareness about various issues such as breed-specific legislation, dog abuse, and dog-fighting. The Foundation hosts various events around the country featuring comedy, music, videos, and interviews. Despite her busy schedule, Ms. Corry was kind enough to answer a few questions for the Dog Journal:
Thank you for taking the time out to discuss the upcoming One Million PIBBLE March, which is scheduled for May 3rd on the West Lawn of the Capitol. I imagine that organizing a large-scale event on the West Lawn is a monumental undertaking. Yet here you are, just a few weeks away from the event. What do you hope to accomplish through the March, in terms of immediate goals and also looking further ahead?
I hope to be the much needed voice of the millions of voiceless victims that are abused, killed and discriminated against in our country every day. For over 3 decades pit bull terriers have been vilified and it’s time people realize that this is not an animal problem. This is a human problem. Banning the victims avoids facing the much more obvious and serious fact that we have a broken society. It’s time to wake up and do something about it. It has been proven time and time again that people who commit crimes against animals go onto commit crimes against humanity. That means you, your children or loved ones. Therefore this is all of our problem and pit bull type dogs are simply the victims in all of this. The direct reflection of a list of very serious issues and humans are who need to be held accountable. I hope this inspires others everywhere to continue to be heard. To lobby, to educate, to advocate and be dedicated to never stopping until fear based hate and ignorance comes to an end. BSL is discrimination enshrined in law and goes against the very fiber our country was built on. My hope is that one day we will look back at the past 3 decades with shame and disgust and that communities will be safe and humane for humans and pets.
Your dog, Angel, overcame horrible abuse and almost ran out of time in the shelter, but has now blossomed into a canine ambassador of sorts after you adopted her. That is an amazing story in itself, but what made you want to go the extra mile and start the Stand Up For Pits Foundation, and now, organize the One Million PIBBLE March?
What kind of person would I be to know what I know and do nothing? Doing nothing is not and will never be an option.
It seems that the animal-rights activists, shelters, rescue organizations, and other folks that informally make up the “dog-lovers” community can be very supportive of each other, yet there are sometime very serious disagreements. For example, I was dismayed to read that you have been on the receiving end of verbal attacks and even physical threats by certain critical individuals. What lessons have you taken away from your foray into advocacy, and your experiences with running the Stand Up For Pits Foundation and organizing the March?
If the animal community set aside their agendas, petty arguing and egos and worked together simply for the dogs, more dogs would live. Humans are the hardest part about saving dogs. I have had the pleasure of encountering some real amazing people but yes, when you pull back the curtain of the animal community it’s a mess and has to get better or they will be on this hamster wheel for eternity. One group refused to attend the rally because Barack Obama was invited. One egomaniac dog trainer screamed and personally attacked me because he didn’t like where the rally was being held. One lady who ordered a sweatshirt that didn’t get to her fast enough threatened to sue me. The list goes on and on of irrational and deplorable behavior when the goal is to save dogs. I encountered hundreds of them throughout this process and quite frankly, it disgusts me. But in the end, I don’t do this to make friends. I do this to save dogs. You can’t argue with dumb. So I don’t. I choose to focus on the great humans with great intentions who are smart.
There are many different ways in which people have advocated for dogs, but your use of comedy to raise awareness about the BSL issue is unique. When you first started speaking out on behalf of dogs, what was the reaction amongst your colleagues in the business and other friends and acquaintances? Were they aware that you were passionate about this cause?
The reaction of my colleagues has been absolutely amazing. Most of them don’t even have pit bulls and aren’t active in the animal community but they have stepped up selflessly and have gone above and beyond to support. I’m interested in meeting any and everyone in society who believes abuse and discrimination is wrong. Period. Those people who believe that, will get things done. They don’t want Facebook likes, sell t-shirts or get shout outs. They just want the ignorance to end. Those are who my foundation focuses on educating and encouraging.
The pictures of Angel that you post online are priceless. She has such personality. What is it about Pit Bull Terriers that made you fall in love with them?
There is not one single thing about a pit bull terrier that isn’t glorious. They are velvet farting hippos. They are always smiling and they are living breathing teachers of what love and living in the moment is truly about. I could answer this question with a novel. Instead, I’ll just say, they are magical and perfect and having the pleasure of being owned by one (yes, she owns me) has been the best experience of my life. A gift and a blessing.
Finally, I wish I could attend the March, because it sounds amazing. However, I’ll be stuck at home thousands of miles away. How can people who cannot attend the March support your foundation?
They can go to standupforpits.us and come support the events if it comes to their cities, they can donate to the foundation and if they want to support the march, t-shirts will be available for purchase until may 3rd (day of the march). 100% of profits (after cost) go directly to the march. Any and all funds raised over the needed amount will stay with the foundation and go towards producing the live events, educating, advocating and saving pit bull terriers.
Thanks again to Ms. Corry for her amazing work on behalf of dogs! The event host for the One Million Pibble March is actor Chris Williams (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Monk, Ugly Betty). The event will also feature Jamie Buehrle, wife of Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, Leah Brewer, owner of the first-ever hero Pibble, Elle the Hero Dog of 2013, Roo Yori, the proud owner of Hector, one of Michael Vick’s rehabilitated dogs, Officer Kelly Steinhorn of the Baltimore Police Department, who famously saved the abused Pretzel the Pit Bull, and others. In addition, the Stand Up for Pits Foundation has a wide range of support from such people as Kaley Cuoco, Whitney Cummings, Courtney Cox, Moby, Janeane Garafolo, Torrey Smith, Cesar Milan (who also sent this video message), and many others.
Click here for much more information about the Stand Up For Pits Foundation and the One Million PIBBLE March. You can also buy a t-shirt (as seen in the photo above) to help support the event online. Please share to help spread the word!