Ashleigh Mayes feels like a lot of folks are always waiting for her pit bull mix, Otis, to make the wrong step.
"These guys [pit bulls] aren't the only ones that bite, you know. I guess that's really my big thing," she said.
Mayes is worried a recent string of pit bull attacks could lead Garland County officials to ban her best friend.
"I really think anyone who is a responsible dog owner needs to be concerned about one breed being banned," she said. "Because I mean you're just one dog attack away from it being the breed of your dog."
A Garland County courtroom, packed with people and opinions Monday night.
"We are not voting tonight to ban pit bulls from the county. Let me be clear," said Justice of the Peace Mary Bournival.
The public meeting was held to discuss "vicious and dangerous dogs," according to the agenda, and what additional regulations are needed.
"As you know, we've had several pit bull attacks in the county," Bournival said. "What we have now in the county obviously falls short of protecting the people. So no, it does not go far enough."
Bournival put gruesome pictures of disfiguration on display during the meeting.
"These photos are disturbing," she told the standing room only crowd. "If you don't want to see them, I suggest you turn away. These are not strangers from across America. These are our neighbors, friends, our family members."
Bournival, adding during her opening statement that some dogs like pit bulls are simply more aggressive and should be recognized as such.
"People who own these dogs are not getting these dogs for having a sweet and gentle nature," she said, to which a round of yells were issued from the audience.
Owners like Mayes, obviously disagree.
"I have a hedgehog that I'm more afraid of than this guy," Mayes said. "Dogs aren't mean unless they are exposed to that. Unless they are treated badly, unless that's all they know."
Bournival, despite her perspective on aggressive breeds, said everyone should be heard in the discussion, including pit bull owners and those on the bandwagon for a ban.
"We need to take all of those into consideration to make a reasonable, enforceable ordinance," she said. "I will tell you none of the justices are fans of breed-specific regulations. But we can't take that off the table. If it comes down to that as being necessary, that would be something we would discuss in the future."
Mayes is hoping all sides will be heard in the debate, and that education and moderation will play a role.
"I think it comes down to leash laws, and fencing laws. I think it's about education and responsible pet ownership. I think more penalties for those that abuse animals could help. Because again, any dog is capable of biting and attacking, but the ones that do, I think are the ones that have been mistreated.
"I absolutely believe every voice matters," she added. "And I hope that's the case here in Garland County."
The comments from the public will be considered by a committee of law enforcement, veterinarians, and justices of the peace to present to the quorum court for a vote at a later date.