The 5th annual southwest Kansas Bully Walk is coming this Saturday for all pit bull dog owners.

The walk begins at 3 p.m. at the corner of 4th Avenue and Mulberry Street near Lions Park and will conclude at the Dodge City Visitors Center at Wyatt Earp Boulevard and 3rd Avenue.

"In 2013 when the city lifted the ban on pit bulls to allow newly registered animals, I came across the National Pit Bull Awareness Day event and decided to do one of my own," walk organizer Dawn Meredith said. "I went to the commissioners, who at first were a little reluctant to allow the walk, but they approved it and now we are in our fifth year."

According to Meredith, there are some rules that need to be followed for those who participate.

"Owners are completely responsible for their own dogs and their behavior," she said.

"We must follow all city ordinance guidelines.

"Local dogs must be registered and insured, all dogs must be on a 6-foot or shorter leash with no retractable leashes, they must be muzzled and be current on vaccinations.

"I must have a copy of proof of vaccinations for each dog present."

There will also be a police escort to assist with directing traffic as well as ensuring the safety of the animals.

Educational materials regarding pit bulls and Breed Specific Legislation will also be available.

According to Meredith, BSL means that organizations and citizens would like to see vicious dog laws enforced that are based on an animals actions and not their breed.

"My dog shouldn’t be classified as a vicious dog simply because of how she looks, it should be based on her actions," Meredith said.

"We want to show people that pit bulls can be a part of the community.

"We have had our pit bull since 2005, and we have not had one incident with her.

"She is a rescue dog that we found malnourished and very skinny because no one wanted to take care of her.

"We brought her in and got her registered.

"That first day she ate from my husbands hand and cuddled up for the night with my daughter without showing any signs of aggression."

According to the walk's Facebook page, the route for the event is as follows:

From Lions Park walkers will go east on Mulberry Street to 2nd Avenue, then south on 2nd Avenue to Vine Street, west on Vine Street to 3rd Avenue, then south on 3rd Avenue finishing in the grass area of the visitor's center.

For more information visit Facebook.com and search 5th annual southwest Kansas Bully Walk.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com