Tonight’s honoree for National Pit Bull Awareness Month is Mary Harwelik, the woman behind The Real Pit Bull.
Mary got involved with the American Pit Bull Terrier breed in 1994, and brought her first pit bull, Krash, home in September 1994. Her original plan was to compete in show and working events with Krash, but after spending some time within the pit bull community, it became obvious to her that the breed needed an outspoken advocate to correct misinformation in the media, fight laws attempting to ban the breed, and get real about responsible pit bull parenting and training. Although still a purebred show and competition enthusiast, today Mary’s main focus is rescue and advocacy – she has definitely become that outspoken advocate.
The Real Pit Bull website was launched with the intent to dispel myths and provide basic breed knowledge. It is one of the oldest breed-related sites on the web, and before long, it became the go-to source for breed information. Mary began handling more and more phone calls, emails, consults with individuals, trainers, shelters and rescues on breed matters. What started out as a website was quickly turning into a jump-off point for real world advocacy and outreach.
The Real Pit Bull’s “unofficial” foundation date as an organization dedication to breed advocacy is 1997. Today, The Real Pit Bull, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity. RPB’s mission statement reads as follows: “The Real Pit Bull, Inc. (RPB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the American Pit Bull Terrier. Our mission is to serve as a breed advocate; rescue dogs in need; and educate those who impact the lives of pit bulls.”
Mary is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT), and has been working almost exclusively with pit bulls since 1994.
When I adopted Tiffin and was introduced to pit bulls, The Real Pit Bull was one of the first resources I became very familiar with. Mary is dedicated to providing information to equip pit bull owners with a practical working knowledge base. Over the years, I have come to know Mary as that outspoken breed advocate, always there with advice and suggestions. Mary has a true heart of gold for pit bulls, and I am honored to know her as a fellow defender of the breed, as well as a friend.
On behalf of Bless the Bullys and the National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign, thank you, Mary, for all that you have done for pit bulls through the years and for maintaining your unwavering loyalty and dedication to the breed. Keep up the incredible work!