One group of Lubbockites claims pit bulls are good dogs with a bad rap. And the group is starting a social club to prove it. The group calls themselves BARK. BARK stands for "Being Aware, Responsible and Knowledgeable" and the 18 people who showed up Saturday believe dog attacks, specifically pit bull attacks, aren't dog problems, they're people problems.
"It's the owners' responsibility to avoid this," said pit bull supporter Cathy Wells. Cathy volunteers for The Humane Society and Hearts and Hooves. Yes, the same Hearts and Hooves whose miniature horses were attacked by pit bulls earlier this month killing two of the horses.
"I'm not against the animals. I want to get educated so when I speak, ignorance isn't coming out," Cathy said.
Leading the group is 30 year pit bull owner Eddie Gamez. Over the past 30 years Eddie has owned 12 pit bulls and bread three of them. Eddie says pits are unlike any other dog.
"You have to have them contained in a secure back yard with a good fence and even then I think they need to be chained up because these dogs are athletic, they're muscular, they can jump. They're not dangerous. You just have to have... It just takes the right owner to be responsible to know that they have an animal that needs extra special care. It's not like any other dog. They're not for everybody," Eddie said.
Eddie believes the pit bull problem in Lubbock is simply because there are too many dogs and too many irresponsible owners.
"Every other yard has a pit bull and like I said they don't keep 'em contained, they don't keep 'em chained up they don't keep 'em, they don't have a good fence," Eddie said.
And Eddie's response to those who say chaining, containing and fencing a dog is cruel? "People say, oooo, I don't keep my dog chained up, that's cruel, well pit bulls need to be chained up," he added.
Another topic of discussion Saturday at the BARK meeting was banning breed specific dogs. The general consensus was it's a bad idea and some in the group cited specific cases where banning dogs only added to dog problems in other cities.
If you would like to attend a meeting of BARK to learn more about pit bulls from pit bull owners, the group meets every other Saturday at 11a.m. at the Maggie Trejo Supercenter.
|Mayor Miller's Statement Concerning Dangerous Dog Situation|