Fifty-plus years of media fearmongering coupled with targeted breed bans have produced what could be called "America's Most Wanted" dog: the pit bull. However, at the turn of the twenty-first century, competing narratives began to change the meaning of "pit bull." Increasingly represented as loving members of mostly white, middle-class, heteronormative families, pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs are now frequently seen as victims rather than perpetrators, beings deserving not fear or scorn but rather care and compassion.
Drawing from the increasingly contentious world of human/dog politics and featuring rich ethnographic research among dogs and their advocates, Bad Dog explores how relationships between humans and animals not only reflect but actively shape experiences of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nation, breed, and species. Harlan Weaver proposes a critical and queer reading of pit bull politics and animal advocacy, challenging the zero-sum logic through which care for animals is seen as detracting from care for humans. Introducing understandings rooted in examinations of what it means for humans to touch, feel, sense, and think with and through relationships with nonhuman animals, Weaver suggests powerful ways to seek justice for marginalized humans and animals together.