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Do you agree with the Maryland Court of Appeals that pit bulls are 'inherently dangerous'?

Posted by on May. 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM
  • 9 Replies
A new ruling makes it easier for anyone attacked by a pit bull or pit bull mix in Maryland to take legal action against the dog's owner.

Maryland Court of Appeals ruling declares pit bulls as a breed are "inherently dangerous," and the owner of a pit bull or a cross-bred pit that attacks is strictly liable for damages, as is any landlord who rents to a pit bull owner.

The Maryland SPCA, which arranges adoptions for dogs that need homes, currently has three pit bulls under its care: a five-month-old Brutus is scheduled to be adopted this week, Ayoki is available and Valentina will be put up for adoption soon. But the SPCA is concerned that it may be harder to find adoptive homes and families may abandon pit bulls after the recent ruling.

“We believe that an animal’s behavior should be the determining factor in whether or not the animal is considered dangerous,” said Cheryl Bernard Smith, of SPCA. “We don't believe that a particular breed should be pinpointed for that.

"All dogs, if you don't train them and show them love, can turn out to be mean animals,” said Rodney Taylor, of Prince George’s County Animal Management. “It has a lot to do with the owner and how you raise the pet."

Woman, 81, uses hand sanitizer to fend off pit bull

"I guess I'm just a fighter," said Alberta Phillips, 81, who used a bottle of hand sanitizer to help fend off a vicious pit bull. WDIV-TV's Hank Winchester reports. The Maryland Court of Appeals decision dealt with the case of a young boy who suffered life-threatening injuries when he was attacked by a pit bull.

Pit bulls are banned in Prince George's County.

"Back in 1997 they passed a law saying you could not own or harbor a pit bull or a pit bull mix in Prince George's County,” Taylor said. “If you happen to have one or are caught with one you could be arrested. It does carry six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for having one."

Now the law finds pit bull owners throughout Maryland absolutely accountable for the behavior of their dogs.
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by on May. 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM
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Replies (1-9):
ana326
by Ana-Mexicana on May. 2, 2012 at 12:50 PM
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This makes me so upset. It's complete BULLSHIT! I've had pitbulls with my kids since my first born came home from the hospital. 9years ago. I had to give my sister my Pittbull because I had a very rough pregnancy. Chester may he RIP never did any harm to my kids or my sister's kids any other dogs or kids. His sister Krista is such a gentle giant she adores my 18 month old even when he's being a bratty and pulling her tail which we tell him not to do by the way. ! Dogs grow up to be the product of whoever trains and owns and loves them. Pitties are large and powerful. So are Rotties! and doberman! This law should apply, if passed at all, to EVERY BREED! Not just pits. I'm tired of all the discrimination against pitties!!!
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karladiego
by Karla on May. 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM
1 mom liked this

Any dog can be agressive, some are breed to be that way. But now when you get a dog most breeders are toning down or even making that agressive gene go away.  I have seen many pitbulls that are sweet like no other dog and seen chihuaha dogs chase people even biting (my neighbor has one). It's a shame that they generalized the whole breed for some bad apples.

catysanchez86
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM

i have pits n i feel completely comfortable with them around my 4 kids. my youngest can walk them n they dont pull. the dogs love laying down with my kids. its wrong how ppl these days think. its all about how u raise the dog. 

Baby.on.board
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM

I had a pit and I LOVED IT! we had to put him down because someone tried attacking him and the dog bit the guy. I don't think we should've, but we got threatened if we didn't. 

That dog did nothing to anyone until that man was taunting my dog.

sophiesmom07
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Any dog can be aggressive, BUT a small dog will more than likely do less damage.   I do have a bigger fear of pit bulls and large dogs. My friend had a pit for 7 years. He was a great dog, never any problems. One day, he just snapped. He attacked my friend and her sister.   The city put the dog to sleep. She still loves that dog, but admits she will never own a pit again. I think the law should apply to all breeds though.

RainyRain
by Reyna on May. 3, 2012 at 9:26 PM

This!

Quoting karladiego:

Any dog can be agressive, some are breed to be that way. But now when you get a dog most breeders are toning down or even making that agressive gene go away.  I have seen many pitbulls that are sweet like no other dog and seen chihuaha dogs chase people even biting (my neighbor has one). It's a shame that they generalized the whole breed for some bad apples.


LMJ1
by Lluvia-Mexicana on May. 3, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Isn't any dog owner liable for whatever harm they do, anyway?  I think this law is stupid.  We owned pitbulls, and they were sweet and nice.  My brother adopted one that was used for dog fighting.  It was a damaged dog, poor thing, but he was gentle, and was afraid of us.  He did, though, kill the neighbor's cat.  We did tie him up because, well, since he was rescued from the fighting pits, we did not know how it would react.  Other than killing a cat, it was a good dog until his final days.  Now, I'm a little sad. 

JeannetteG
by Jeannette-AZ/Mex on May. 4, 2012 at 5:16 AM

It's all in how the dog is raised and trained to act.

gammie
by on May. 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM
I had to put my Dog down because as he got older he got more aggressive and he was a Lhasa Apso.
There are bad seeds and they should not breed.

I do believe the law is wrong!!

They need follow the breeders to make sure they only breed the best.

But we do all know that there is money to be made on fighting dogs.
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