One grandmother in Parma, Ohio is taking the fight to city hall to represent a group that cannot speak for themselves, pit bulls. Denise Krawczyk Geschwender has been dubbed the “pit bull loving grandma” by the Huffington Post and the title fits. Denise has been working hard to have a ban on owning pit bulls lifted in her city.
According to the Huffington Post, Geschwender is a grandmother and paralegal who came to this issue after falling in love with a sweet pup at a shelter where she volunteers. She learned she couldn’t adopt the dog because of her city’s breed-specific legislation, which bars residents from owning pit bulls as pets. The pup she longed to adopt eventually found a new home, but Denise said she felt discriminated against after the ordeal. Denise says she is a law-abiding citizen who was unable to bring home a dog she loved due to a discriminatory policy.
Geschwender tried conventional means of getting political attention, attending city hall meetings and signing petitions. However, when those avenues did not work, she moved on to a more unconventional awareness campaign. Denise can frequently be seen wearing a shirt that reads, “Save a Pit Bull, Muzzle A Politician.” Denise says she frequently walks past the mayor’s house in the shirt and wears it proudly when she is in town.
Unfortunately, her efforts have not paid off for Parma pit bull lovers. The Parma City Council told Cleveland.com they had no plans to re-evaluate the policy. Safety Committee Chairman Brian Day said that while he appreciates the passion and dedication those lobbying for the removal of the ban have shown for the cause, council must look out for the safety of the city’s 80,000 residents, and would not be taking any immediate steps to rescind the pit bull ban. Day notes when speaking about pit bull bites:
“Those (injuries) are far beyond what you would get from any other dog.”
Though her cries for change have yet to be heard, Denise said she doesn’t plan on giving up her fight for pit bulls until she sees the ban lifted.
“Mayor DeGeeter is my neighbor. He only lives a few houses from me. Although I have yet to catch him outside while I walk past his house with my shirt on, I know it’s only a matter of time. I’ll never give up hope to have the ban lifted.”
Denise isn’t the only one fighting against pit bull discrimination and stereotyping; one photographer uses her camera lens and some flowers to create a beautiful tribute to the softer side of pit bulls.
What do you think about Denise’s cause? Do you think breed-specific bans that limit those in a specific city from owning pit bulls are discriminatory?