POLL: Are Pit Bulls 'Inherently Dangerous?'
The pit bull task force met in Annapolis on Tuesday in an effort to ban any legislation that specifically targets individual breeds.
Maryland's pit bull task force held its first meeting in Annapolis on Tuesday.
Lawmakers formed the group after the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling back in April, which declared pit bulls are “inherently dangerous.” In the event of an attack, it is not necessary to prove that a pit bull had a history of violence; if the owner/landlord knew the dog was a pit bull or pit mix, that person is automatically liable for damages.
This issue hit close to the south county community in May when a 10-year-old boy was injured after an alleged pit bull bit him at Tracey's Elementary during a lacrosse practice.
The new task force plans to discuss legislation prohibiting any dog from being named "inherently dangerous."
Since the court ruling, Marylanders have railed in defense of the pit bulls, saying the ruling unfairly targets one type of dog. It could also limit housing options for those who own pit bulls.
According to WBAL, animal rights activists feel as though a number of dogs could be abandoned and euthanized because of the ruling.
When the 10-year-old boy was injured from the pit bull bite, several readers left comments on Patch and on the Facebook page in the defense of the breed.
Patch reader Jennifer P. wrote, "I volunteer at an animal shelter and have worked with a variety of dogs. It really just depends on the individual animal. Our sweetest dog right now is a pit bull mix. I completely trust her—she is so snuggly and loving. It's those little ones that snap at you! I've had far more dogs under 10 pounds bite at me than any big dog."
Patch reader Debbie Bell wasn’t so quick to defend pit bulls. She talked about the breed's overall power.
Bell wrote, "Empirical evidence is that they can still be the best at tugging and doing horrendous damage and seem to favor the elderly or young neighbors, both humans and other dogs. When pit mongers say 'pits are wonderful pets when raised correctly,' naive people buy pit puppies and more pit breeding and more pit overpopulation happens. Pits suffer disproportionately from severe abuse and negelect. Pits are victims too. Ban their breeding. Stop making more vicitms!"
WBAL reports that Tuesday’s task force heard from 25 witnesses including dog owners, attorneys, animal advocates, insurers and landlords. The task force has scheduled another meeting for July 3 to come up with recommendations, according to WBAL.
Tell Us: What do you think about the court ruling? Are pit bulls “inherently dangerous?” Vote in our poll and tell us why you think that way in the comments.