Pit bulls have attracted a lot of negative attention on the South Plains this year, but one Lubbock man is out to turn the tables for his beloved breed today at the third annual Bully Convention.
Toby Santos, owner of Flatland Gottyline Kennels in Lubbock, said he's hosting the convention at the Lone Star Ampitheatre from noon to 6 p.m. today to show pit bulls aren't a violent breed by nature, only when mistreated by their owners.
"What I'm trying to do here is bring people who like the pit bull and people who don't necessarily like the pit bull and show them that when bred right and treated right, they truly are man's best friend," Santos said.
The convention, which Santos said will bring in dogs from 17 different kennels outside Lubbock, will feature two shows with different breeds of pit bulls as well as local entertainment for lovers of the often-feared animal.
The show will be divided into the XXL class, or the more traditional pit bull, and the Bully Class, which will showcase the shorter, wider version of the breed.
As a self-proclaimed animal lover, Santos said his heart goes out to those victims of pit bull attacks, including other animals killed by loose dogs.
But he said it's important for people to realize the ultimate responsibility falls on dog owners who don't treat the breed with care.
"These dogs were bred to bait bulls, but they were also bred never to hurt a human," he said. "I would be mad if I was chained up my whole life, too."
Entrance to the showcase will cost dog owners $10, and general admission to the show will cost $5 per person or dog. The profits, Santos said, will go to the Lollipop Kennel in Lubbock, which runs a pit bull rescue service.
"Hopefully everybody will come out and see what we're trying to do here," he said.
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