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Children's Hospital pediatrician asked to leave pet store after causing disturbance regarding pit bulls

MUKWONAGO, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin pediatrician was asked to leave a Mukwonago pet store last weekend for causing a disturbance.

She says the message she wanted to send about the dangers of pit bulls did not come across as she intended.

At an event being held about pet adoption and education, Dr. Laura Marusinec got into a debate with people there about how safe it is to own the divisive breed.

In a video that captured the encounter, Marusinec can be heard saying, “Why do I have to leave? I have a right to be here.”

When someone says she’s being rude, she responds, “I can be rude without having to leave.”

Marusinec released a statement saying “I have dedicated my life’s work to being a passionate advocate for the health and safety of children. Dogs can be a loving addition to a family home. My goal was to encourage parents to be sure they select a companion that is safe for their family. However, I realize now that my passion got in the way of me sharing my message in a more productive manner. For that, I apologize.”

According to the National Pit Bull Victims Association, there have been 23 deaths by pit bull this year, including nine children under the age of four.

The reaction from those who disagree with her has been strong, however.

Many have reached out to Children’s Hospital expressing disappointment.

Other advocates are taking advantage of October being Pit Bull Awareness Month to support the breed.

“Pit bulls can be really great family dogs,” said Kathy Shillinglaw with Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC). “It’s all really on how they’re trained just like any breed, so they’re not any different than any other breed. We’ve always been pit bull-proud here at MADACC.”

Shillinglaw says 45 percent of the dogs that come into MADACC are pit bull terriers, and it’s the breed they adopt out the most.

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