In June 2008, a Denver resident named Desiree returned home from work to find this note on her door: "Call us about your dog."
Her pit bull, Coco, was missing from the backyard. The note came from Denver Animal Control, which had taken Coco under a city ordinance banning pit bulls. Desiree protested but to no avail.
"The hardest thing while Coco was on death row was going to visit him," Desiree said. "He didn't understand what was going on. He thought we were there to take him home. It broke my heart every time. He was in their 3-by-5-[foot] cell for nearly two months."
Desiree's tragic story is one of several profiled in Knoxville resident Libby Sherrill's documentary Beyond the Myth, which looks at breed-specific legislation. Denver, Miami, and Cincinnati have outright bans on people owning pit bills, even as pets.
"The only way to determine a pit bull is to go by physical characteristics, and many rescued shelter dogs that have some pit bull in them get tossed into that," said Sherrill, who has two pit bulls, Fern and Joey.
Beyond the Myth screens in Memphis on Wednesday, June 15th, at Malco's Studio on the Square. Part of the proceeds will benefit Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services' "Dog Days of Summer" program, which offers free spay and neuter services to pit bulls and pit mixes until the money runs out.
Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Advance tickets can be purchased for $12 exclusively at www.beyondthemythmovie.com and at the door that night at Malco Studio on the Square. Tickets for the VIP after party hosted by the Slider Inn are $30 and can be purchased online or at the door that evening. The after party features free Food, drinks, and entertainment by Kimber Cleveland, who recorded the music for Beyond the Myth's soundtrack.
"Beyond the Myth" Screening, Studio on the Square, Wednesday, June 15th, 7 p.m. $12 advance/$15 door. After-party: $27 advance/$30 door. Call 324-3202 or go to www.beyondthemythmovie.com for more information.