It's easy to see why the Internet is going wild for a video of a little girl bossing around, then feeding, six big blocky-headed dogs. But several animal advocates are taking to social media with concerns about the viral clip.
In case you missed it (and please, then, give us the name of your deserted island), the girl in the video politely orders each of the dogs to sit. One by one, they comply, and she tells them to stay while she pours out buckets of kibble into a mound on the floor. The girl then counts to three, before telling the dogs "OK," after which they eat the food pile quietly.
"Six male pit bulls. People say it can never be done. They live and eat together. They're a family," a female's voice says. "That was a 4-year-old that was able to tell those dogs what to do and when to do it. Thank you. Have a great day. And love your pit bull."
There's obviously a whole lot to love here: The girl is adorable. Her pleases and thank yous to the obedient pups would melt the iciest of hearts. The dogs are stunning and wonderfully behaved. And -- unless you're the kind of person who believes ridiculous, untrue stereotypes about pits -- you have to appreciate the intended message.
So why is Facebook lighting up with upset pit advocates?
"I had to turn it off when the child bent down with the container of food," says Jacqueline Bedsaul Johnson, owner of Ray, one of Michael Vick's former dogs.
Johnson posted more of her thoughts about the video to Ray's Facebook page:
Ray's mom here. First let me say I would be saying the same thing if this was 6 poodles. There is a video of a young child getting ready to feed 6 hungry pit bulls making the rounds on the internet. Many people have been sharing to to show how safe pitties actually are. I have a totally different take on it. I am frankly disturbed by what I saw. Why would anyone allow a child to feed that many dogs in one place? . Most multiple dog household separate the dogs for feeding, if only by a few feet. Here at the sanctuary, dogs in multiple dog runs are always separated for meal time. Why? Because food is a trigger that can quickly cause aggression. All it would take is for one dog to act out for all of the dogs to become agitated and dangerous.
Gordon Shell, a retired MMA fighter whose work rescuing pits was chronicled in "the documentary The Dog Fighter," shared similar concerns on his Facebook page:
Saying this nicely......Please stop sharing and tagging me in the video of the 4 year old feeding 6 pitbulls by dumping a pile of food on the floor, the little girl is awesome, the dogs are awesome, but the entire recipe of that video and the risk involved for the breed is not awesome.
What's not awesome about it, Shell elaborated to The Huffington Post, is that dogs are dogs -- and dogs can bite, especially if they are grouped up around a valuable resource, like food, in the presence of little kids.
And if it's a pit bull that does the biting, well, that sure fuels some dangerous fires.
"Regardless of the breed or training of the animal we all have bad days or illness that can cause mood swings," Shell says. "It only takes one nip to make this video go from cute to 'News Flash' pit bull attack."
Steffen Baldwin, founder of the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio -- who spends a lot of his time rescuing abused pits -- echoes these worries.
"Knowing that there are pit bull haters out there waiting to jump on any possible news story and use it as an example to spread more misinformation are just ancillary concerns on top of the possibility of a dog-on-dog fight from eating in such close proximity," he says.
"And we succeed at doing so, and someone is injured, we blame the dog instead of looking at the big picture and realizing that most of the time it's due to our own negligence and ignorance," Daniel says.
Others, however, have a different issue with the video.
Actress Rebecca Corry -- founder of the Stand Up For Pits Foundation and organizer of last year's pit bull march on Washington -- says she's just sick of the pressure from those who like the video to spread it in the name of activism.
"That video does not end abuse, discrimination or save lives," she says. "I got attacked on Facebook for not sharing it by a so called 'pit bull advocate.' These uneducated humans make this cause that much more difficult. If you like something, share it, but understand that hitting the 'share' button doesn't make you an advocate."
The Huffington Post reached out to Nina Wahl, who first posted the video to Facebook, and will update this piece with any comments.
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