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Chained to a cause

Babes and Bullies members are chaining themselves to dog houses for 11 hours on Saturday at UNM. The group is participating in Chain Off 2011. This national event is held every year on Fourth of July weekend to highlight the plight of dogs that spend their whole lives on chains.

The demonstration from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. will and raise money for Kaya—a pit bull rescued from starvation in late May by New Mexico Dogs Deserve Better. Babes and Bullies will have a booth out there on Saturday and will sell merch. All proceeds will benefit Kaya.

Pit bulls tote around quite a reputation–from bad-ass guard dogs to evil attack hounds—and in keeping with the bad boy tradition, they are irresistible to babes.

Nearly 25 percent of the dogs placed in Albuquerque animal shelters are pit bulls, according to Babes and Bullies. The group started a couple years to fundraise, raise awareness and act as a resource for pit bulls and their owners.

Babes and Bullies is one of many groups across the country that challenges the premise that all pit bulls act aggressively. The group isn't a rescue service, but many of the women act as foster guardians for abandoned dogs.

While pit bull advocacy groups cite the breed's loving and loyal disposition, their history in dog fighting is hard to ignore. Over the past 160 years, pit bulls have been bred to obey humans, but their behavior against other dogs is another matter, according to the Pit Bull Rescue Central. Traditionally used as fighters, the dogs are trained not to back down in confrontations.

Megan Cooley, president and treasurer of Babes and Bullies says that the perceptions of pit bulls acting aggressively comes from their loyal disposition.

“They're so loyal to their owner, they'll do anything,” she says. “People take advantage of that.”

While many cities banned pit bulls entirely, the Albuquerque City Council ruled instead to place dogs of all breeds in three categories: “potentially dangerous,” “dangerous” and “irresponsible owners.”

Owners that fail to restrain their dogs are civilly liable for any harm caused. Of the 27 instances reported on the city’s website, 20 involve pits.

Kirtland Air Force# base is the only area of the city that bans the dogs, a move that Babes and Bullies spoke out against in March.

 
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