Pro Pit Bull Rally Planned For Thursday in Annapolis
Supporters hope their presence will sway legislators to overturn a Maryland Court of Appeals decision that made the pit bull owners more libel for bites than other breeds.
Marylanders from across the state plan to gather in support of pit bulls at Lawyer's Mall Thursday from noon to 1 p.m.
"We are holding the rally to try to encourage the Legislature to overturn Tracey v. Solesky," said rally organizer Pauline Houliaras. "We want the General Assembly to provide a solution now for Maryland families that have dogs rather than waiting until January."
Houliaras said she hopes to get as many people to attend as possible, but she said dogs are not permitted. Signs on sticks are not allowed either.
She also said she wants people to attend the judiciary committee hearings in both house of the General Assembly, which is back in town for a special session on gambling starting Thursday.
Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chairman Brian Frosh has been circulating a bill that would make all dog owners legally responsible for bites regardless of breed.
The bill comes in response to a controversial ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals this April. It stated that pit bull owners would face more liability in attack cases than owners of other breeds. This issue specifically 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 ruling also extended that liability to landlords and granted property owners permission to prohibit pit bulls or pit bull cross-breeds from their properties.
"We see this as a human issue because dogs don't live independently of families," Houliaras said. "When a family is evicted or denied a rental home because of their pet, it really becomes a human issue, not just a dog issue."
Houliaras said she hopes there will be a vote, but she isn't sure the assembly will have time.
"The issue right now is that there was a task force that was supposed to be working on this and because they didn't know whether there was going to be a special session, they didn't do a good job circulating the bill," Houliaras said. "I think it's going to be addressed; I just don't know whether it will go for a vote."
Will you be heading downtown for the pro pit bull rally?