Petition Closed

There is so much for parents to worry about when they're raising a toddler; sharp corners and electrical sockets, heavy objects, glass--anything that isn't nailed down, really. But The Bump, an online community created by the founders of the popular wedding planning site The Knot, thinks that mothers of seventeen-month-olds need to add pit bulls to that list.

The Bump bills itself as a site aimed at giving "first-time parents the lowdown on fertility, pregnancy, birth, and babies with stage-by-stage advice, stylish ideas, local resources, and interactive tools." In a monthly informational email sent to subscribers, the company sent an email to mothers of seventeen-month-olds, which included the following text:

"By now your toddler has tons of new tricks, like opening every cabinet door in the house, chucking his toys across the room, stripping off his diaper, and shrieking like a banshee. You might also find that he is either terrified of dogs and strangers or shows absolutely no fear at all. Either way is fine, as long as you offer support and supervision -- and steer clear of pit bulls."

Pit bulls are no more dangerous than any other type of dog, but spreading fear and misinformation can be. Insinuating that moms should "steer clear of pit bulls" could lead to a perception that it's perfectly acceptable to leave a child unsupervised with other breeds and types of dogs, which it isn't. And by perpetuating breed myths, The Bump could cause family dogs to lose their homes.

Tell The Bump to issue a retraction to the subscribers who received the email. Pit bulls, toddlers, and their parents deserve better.

Photo credit: Jennifer Lee

Letter to
Public Relations Manager Jacalyn Lee
Online Editorial Assistant Kaitlin Stanford
Community Manager
and 2 others
Chief Content Officer, Editor-In-Chief Carley Roney
Chief Executive Officer David Liu
On January 17, 2011, a mass email from The Bump was sent to subscribers with the subject line: "Your Baby: Month 17." The email contained the usual tips and tidbits for new mothers, in addition to the following text:

"By now your toddler has tons of new tricks, like opening every cabinet door in the house, chucking his toys across the room, stripping off his diaper, and shrieking like a banshee. You might also find that he is either terrified of dogs and strangers or shows absolutely no fear at all. Either way is fine, as long as you offer support and supervision -- and steer clear of pit bulls."

Pit bulls are no more likely to harm a child than any other breed of dog, and all interactions between children and pets should be supervised and monitored closely, which makes the information in this email both misleading and potentially dangerous. Insinuating that moms should "steer clear of pit bulls" could lead to a perception that it's perfectly acceptable to leave a child unsupervised with other breeds and types of dogs, which it isn't. By perpetuating breed myths, you could cause family dogs to lose their homes.

The Bump bills itself as a site aimed at giving "first-time parents the lowdown on fertility, pregnancy, birth, and babies with stage-by-stage advice, stylish ideas, local resources, and interactive tools," but this mass email is anything but helpful. The thousands of parents who receive these monthly emails are curious about their child's development and are scared about potential injuries; they don't need stereotypes and misinformation about certain types of dogs. To counteract the damaging and harmful message that was sent, I ask that you please issue a retraction and let concerned parents know that it isn't the type of dog parents should be concerned about, but the type of interaction between pets and children.

Thank you.