Dog Owners Try to Shed Breed's Bad Rap

Saturday, May 16th 2009, 11:06 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -- Pitbulls' bad rap is getting a close cousin of the breed in the dog house in one Oklahoma town.

American Bully is the nickname for the 'Bully' pit bull terriers. They're known to be more muscular, shorter and mellower than the average pitbull. The dogs were on display this weekend at the second Annual Oklahoma Bully Expo.

"They're a lot more mellow, and we're able to bring 200 to 300 bullies  in one room in here and not have an altercation," dog owner Thomas Green said. "That's the main purpose of the show to show the positive side of the breed."

However, some people feared the expo would promote dog fighting.

"We felt that it wasn't open or disclosed exactly what they were," said Stephen Eberle with the Oklahoma Animal Protection Association.

Eberle said part of what raised a red flag is a MySpace page that advertised the event.

"All the breeders and all the people attending these shows they typically use MySpace pages often linked to or joined by groups that fringed on dog fighting so there was a concern."

But after plenty of emails and blogs from the breeds fans, the show went on as scheduled.

"They promise there will be no puppies for sale at both events, nor will there be paraphernalia to train for dog fighting," Eberle said.

Miranda Grogg attended the show for the first time on Saturday.

"I trust these dogs with my kids, they're very protective," she said. "I couldn't ask for better dogs."