Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled that “pit bull” dogs are “inherently dangerous.” This makes the state of Maryland’s policy toward dogs the most unfriendly in the United States.
In essence, the ruling states that if a pet bull dog injures someone, not only is the dog owner liable, but so is the owner of the property where the incident occurred.
As of the time of this ruling, Maryland landlords, veterinarians, dog day care centers and groomers are forced to consider banning pit bull type dogs from their properties. As we all know there are aggressive dogs in every breed and the assumption that pit bulls are more dangerous has no basis – it is wrong.
The law itself is confusing – pit bull mixes and mixed breed dogs may be excluded, making it open to interpretation by insurers and property owners. People renting apartments and homes are considering moving out of state to save their dogs. Families unable to move are facing the possibility of giving up their beloved dogs. Maryland shelters are preparing for dogs who will probably be surrendered to them.
The HSUS has launched the Protect Maryland Dogs project to help with resources they will make available. The Maryland helpline, 1-855-MDDOG633-651(1-855-633-6471) offers recorded information about the ruling. They have a website as well at http://humanesociety.org/protectmddogs.
Please sign the HSUS pledge to stand with Maryland families and let the State Legislature know that their decision is bad for dog owners, bad for business and bad for Maryland.
The HSUS will continue working to keep families and their pets together.