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Liz Marsden has worked for almost 30 years as a dog trainer, including working with 11 of NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s pit bulls after he was sent to prison in 2007 for his role in a dogfighting operation.

But the Chaplin resident has disavowed the animal rescue community and taken an activist role in opposition to efforts at the state Capitol to prevent dog breed discrimination. 

“These are animals that were purposely bred to fight to the death,” Marsden said of pit bulls, a classification encompassing breeds such as the American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and bull terrier.

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Bubbles sported a Mickey Mouse bandana and quiet confidence as she pranced around the Holiday Park fire hall in Plum, turning left and then right, and sometimes sitting or lying on the ground.

Her classmates — including Crackers, Jackie, Mia, Onyx and Jake — did the same as the pack of Dobermans, shepherds, retrievers and other breeds worked on becoming therapy dogs or continued climbing the levels of therapy-dog certification.

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