Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maryland Declares All Pit Bulls ‘Inherently Dangerous’

by Allyson Koerner

Last week, the Maryland Court of Appeals officially declared all pit bull-type dogs as “inherently dangerous.” As a result, owners are now more likely to forcibly give up their dogs.
Some feel this is a grave mistake and will have negative effects in the animal community.

“Anyone in custody of this type of dog including owners, landlords, veterinarians, kennels, animal shelters and rescue groups are considered liable even if the dog does not pose a threat,” AllPetNews reports.

There seems to be more than the classification of an animal that makes a dog dangerous. Lack of socialization, type of environment, good or bad qualities of an owner, along with many other elements contribute to whether a pit bull should be deemed dangerous.

However, the Maryland Court of Appeals says “when an attack involves pit bulls, it is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull or pit bulls are dangerous.”

The law doesn’t just include pit bulls, but also dogs that resemble pit bulls. Here are just a few of the actions that will go into effect immediately, according to AllPetNews.

1. Due to abandonment and/or forcing one to give up their dog, there will be an increase of stray pit-bull type dogs in Maryland.

2. More pit bulls living in shelters will be euthanized.

3. Citizens of Maryland will bear a financial burden and live in fear that they will have to abandon their pit bulls.

The law comes into effect ever since 10-year-old Dominic Solesky was mauled by a pit bull in 2007.
Most recently, a Maryland animal rights group, Maryland Votes for Animals, is urging others to ask the governor in a special session next week to pass new legislation regarding the law.

“In Maryland, current law is what we call a one bite rule, that all dogs get one bite before they are determined to be dangerous but what this law does, what it says is pit bulls and pit bull mixes…are immediately considered to be inherently dangerous and we feel it’s absolutely wrong,” Chairwoman Carolyn Kilborn of the animal rights group said.

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