For decades, pit bulls have been demonized by society and portrayed as hellhounds. They’ve become the most feared, hated, and abused of all companion animals.
The media reports of vicious attacks along with government bans on keeping a pit bull has doomed the fate of millions of abandoned dogs around the world languishing in shelters where most must be euthanized. In America alone, hundreds of thousands of pit bulls are euthanized every year.
Pit bull owners themselves encounter discrimination struggling to find apartments and renters insurance companies that will welcome and accept their beloved dog companion.
Sophie Gamand has been photographing adoptable pit bulls for free around the US since 2014. Too many of these dogs have been waiting for homes for years. By adorning her models with handmade flower crowns, Gamand celebrates their inherent personality, vulnerability, and individuality.
Posted and shared widely on social media, the portraits and their accompanying stories–at once charming, candid, and deeply affecting–have not only led to hundreds of dogs finding loving homes, but the images have also spurred efforts to de-stigmatize an animal whose reputation for violence says more about people than the true character and behavior of the dogs themselves.