A controversial Facebook post made by a Frankfort dog trainer has earned much local and national attention as many speak out in support of and against the sentiment.
Earlier this week, Piazza’s K-9 Services Unlimited posted an offer on Facebook to provide free dog training to anyone who surrenders a Pit Bull and gets a different breed instead.
“Anyone who gives up their Pit Bull and gets another breed, we here at Piazza’s K-9 Services Unlimited will train that dog free of charge,” the post read. “That’s right you heard it here. We want to help keep our communities safe…”
The post has since been deleted, but not before being reposted and going viral.
Owner Salvatore Piazza could not be reached for comment, however, in an interview with Spectrum News, the 35-year dog training veteran explained his post as being in response to people calling him for advice on aggressive Pit Bulls.
“I told them, ‘Take the dog back to wherever you got it,” Piazza said. “Whether it’s a shelter, whether it’s a breeder, take it back and I’ll train your dog for free. Whatever breed you get next.’ So I posted it online and people went crazy.”
A number of local organizations have responded in support of Pit Bulls and related breeds, including the Herkimer County Humane Society.
“At the HCHS we see dogs not breeds,” shelter officials said in their own Facebook post. “We also will always stand by our mission to help all dogs in need.”
Humane society members said they do not recommend returning a misbehaving pit bull to a local humane society as the first step. Instead, they suggest seeking a new trainer.
Victoria Porter, owner of Evolutionary K-9 Academy in Richfield Springs has responded to Piazza’s post by offering free training for Pit Bulls and starting a gofundme campaign to support her offer.
“I’ve started a gofundme campaign to help raise funds for training equip and to help people who maybe can’t afford all the training that they need for their dog, and for shelter dogs to get the help that they need,” Porter said. “There’s a lot of people who don’t like our dogs and that’s unfortunate.”
Porter said she has received more than 500 messages from around the country in support of her “No Bully Left Behind” initiative.
“I’m glad there’s a discussion going on, even though they’re hating me, and they’re attacking me, whatever,” Piazza said. “I’m so glad there’s a discussion going on because for all the people that are attacking me, I can show you many other posts where they’re saying, ‘Thank you so much.’”