Monday, January 5, 2009

Pit bulls need love too; owners try to break bad reputation

They have a reputation for being aggressive and mean, and Michael Vick owned them as his prized fighting dogs, but people in one city say pit bulls get a bad rap.

Now, they’re doing something about it. A pack of pit bulls walk the streets of Jacksonville, but it’s not what you think.

Their owners say they’re proving a point: that these so-called aggressive dogs are nothing but fun-loving animals.

“We just got together, for the community, to show them that pit bulls or aggressive dogs, so-called aggressive dogs, are not what people think they are,“ said Delmas Morrison, pit bull owner.

Delmas Morrison first started bringing his dog here a year and a half ago.

Owners try to meet at the Pet’s Mart in Jacksonville every Sunday afternoon.

They want their dogs to socialize.

Chris mercado’s been bringing his dog for two months now.

People have been finding out about these pet get togethers by word of mouth.

“It’s important to get your dogs used to other dogs, let them walk, everybody talks about how the breed, they’re killers and this and that, you get to see them interact with plenty of other dogs,“ said Chris Mercado, pit bull owner.

So far, so good. Walkers say they haven’t had any problems with the dogs.

“He loves it, he gets out and gets to sniff around and play around with other dogs and that kinda thing so it’s a pretty good experience,“ said Jonathan Kinard, pit bull owner.

The walk isn’t only a good way for dogs to get to know each other, but also for the dog owners.

“He’s spoiled, he doesn’t get out much so it’s a good way for me to socialize too with other people,“ said Donna Wallace, pit bull owner.

The idea is catching on, and a couple of dozen dogs come out every week, but some people are still wary about seeing the pit bulls strolling the streets.

“Some will go way around, out of their way, to get around us but we led our dogs on a walk,“ said Morrison.

If you want to learn more about the dog walk, organizers and upcoming events just type in the keywords: “dog walk” right here on WNCT.com

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