Pit Bull Owners Fight Vicious Stereotype - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/13/04

Pit Bull Owners Fight Vicious Stereotype

There has been another arrest Tuesday in the Hancock County dog fighting ring. The Sheriff's Department says a man turned himself in Tuesday morning, and they expect three others to do the same by Wednesday.

Twenty two were arrested Saturday night. The Sheriff's Department expects 27 people in all will be charged in the case.

All of the pit bulls seized last weekend will probably be put to sleep because they're too aggressive to be pets. That has some people, who keep these dogs as family pets, once again fighting the pit bull stereotype.

"Sit Zelda, sit," Pit Bull Owner Kaylee Karl said.

Zelda is the fourth pit bull the Karl family has owned.

"They're wonderful dogs and it's all how you raise them," Kaylee's mother Kristie Karl said.

"They listen, they're playful, they protect our family and she's my best friend," Kaylee said.

The Karls say not all pit bulls are fighting dogs.

"You raise them to be a gentle dog and they're going to come out to be a gentle dog. Raise them to be a fighting dog and that's what they're going to want to do is fight. You don't introduce that to them," Kristie said.

Pit bull owner Jane Parent agrees.

"This is a very good dog. She don't harm nobody, she don't bite nobody."

Parent has owned her two and a half year old pit bull "Big Head" since she was a puppy. Parent, like the Karls, were shocked to hear about the weekend dog fighting raid.

"Disgusted. Irritated that they can do that to such a good animal."

The people who own pit bulls say they have no worries the animals may be dangerous because they've made them part of their families, not fighters.

Just so you know, all of those attested in connection with the dog fighting ring face felony charges. It doesn't matter if they were running the fights, owned the dogs or just watching, all are felonies which could result in fines up to $1,000 plus jail time.

by Al Showers

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