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Dakin to celebrate pit bulls Saturday

LEVERETT — What do Helen Keller, Fred Astaire, Woodrow Wilson, Mary Tyler Moore and John Steinbeck all have in common? They have all owned pit bulls.

On Saturday, Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society will celebrate what many owners have called a “misunderstood” breed by offering classes and workshops at its Springfield shelter as part of National Pit Bull Appreciation Day.

“While commonly associated with the criminal underworld of dog fighting and gang violence, most pit bulls lead happy lives as family pets,” said Dakin Executive Director Leslie Harris. “Sadly, they are also the most common type of dog surrendered to both municipal animal control agencies and humane societies like Dakin.”

Harris said pit bulls are athletic, loyal, intelligent and trainable.

She said she would like people to visit Dakin at 171 Union St. in Springfield from noon to 4 on Saturday to meet some pit bulls.

Jim Helems, a certified dog trick instructor, will hold a special free class at 12:30 p.m., and there will be a Pit Bull Parenting workshop offered by Jill Haley Rose, who will educate people on how to train, exercise and manage their pit bulls.

The free workshop, for humans only, will begin at 2 p.m. Register in advance by calling 413-781-4000, ext. 129 or emailing: training@dpvhs.org.

PittieLove Rescue will also be there on Oct. 26 with adoptable dogs in need of good homes and Kane’s Krusade, a local nonprofit whose due mission is to promote the positive attributes of pit bulls so they stay in loving homes, will be there.

For more information, visit: www.dpvhs.org.

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