Dog owners gather for Paws 4 Fun, discuss training and obedience - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Dog owners gather for Paws 4 Fun, discuss training and obedience

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Man's best friend was the focus of Paws 4 Fun at the Mississippi Trademart Saturday, an event just for dogs and the owners that love them.

"There are no dog parks in Jackson, so they don't really have a good opportunity to interact with other puppies and socialize," said Ashlee Huberman.  "It is just one of the few chances they have to see other puppies in the area."

Responsible ownership and obedience training were the focus.  It was a hot topic following Monday's incident in Pearl.  A police officer shot and killed one pitbull and removed another after the dogs got loose, killed two cats and threatened a neighbor.

"You need to punish the deed, not the breed.  My sister has a pitbull who is a therapy dog.  She goes to the library, the kids read to her," said event organizer Betty Hutchinson. 

She introduced us to five year old Hexie, a trained pitbull.  Hutchinson said  the dogs are just as friendly as any other breed.

"If more people came to training classes there would be less dogs in the shelters," said Hutchinson.

Not all shelters take pit-mixes.  "We do have to euthanize. We don't have a choice.  We try to tell the owner.  We say, "look, you're bringing this in, but it is going to be the last stop," said Ric Wooten.  Wooten is an Adoption Counselor at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League or MARL in Jackson.  He said for insurance reasons he can not adopt out pitbulls because of their violent history.

"Unfortunately the pits have been bred to fight and stuff," said Wooten.  "There's a lot of good ones, but you never know when they can change.  We're not going to take that responsibility."

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