COMMENTARY | Breed specific legislation has officially hit the state of Maryland. Its first target is pit bulls.
Breed specific legislation has been a major topic lately. It has affected several states, bringing the total now to 41 states that have breed specific legislation. This legislation was created against certain breeds of dogs that have been known to be dangerous if not treated right by their owners.
Mind you, any dog can be mean and vicious if not treated correctly, or trained correctly. However, pit bulls are said to be breeds that are well known to have a dangerous nature.
The triggers for states to join into breed specific legislation are injuries from dogs. Whether you know it or not, the United States government does have incident reporting. Hospitals are required to produce a report of listed injuries each year, this is to help different departments determine safety risks, and get the word out about them.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has stated that effective immediately, the pit bull is deemed as dangerous. Landlords are demanding that people get rid of their loved pets or move. Their home owners insurance cost is going to go through the roof.
These demands are being placed, regardless of whether the pit bull is dangerous or not. Home owners insurance rates are going to skyrocket for all owners of the bully breeds.
Pit Bull in General
Pit bull is not an actual breed. Rather, it is a generalized grouping of breeds. Pit bulls, in my experience, are people pleasers, emotional, and more capable of humanistic characters than most breeds.
The court summary reads below:
Upon a plaintiff’s sufficient proof that a dog involved in an attack is a pit bull or a pit bull cross, and that the owner, or other person(s) who has the right to control the pit bull’s presence on the subject premises (including a landlord who has a right to prohibit such dogs on leased premises) knows, or has reason to know, that the dog is a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull, that person is liable for the damages caused to a plaintiff who is attacked by the dog on or from the owner’s or lessor’s premises. In that case a plaintiff has established a prima facie case of negligence. When an attack involves pit bulls, it is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull is dangerous.
What Does This Mean for Pit bull Owners?
Before, if any breed of dog bit, the dog was sent through temperament testing to determine if the dog was mean or provoked. These days are gone for pit bull owners and pit bull mix.
If your dog bites someone or something, whether in self defense or not ,there does not have to be proof that your dog is mean. Pit bulls will be euthanized, no questions asked, and their is nothing you can do about it. Regardless of the circumstances, the owner is liable for the damages if they knew the dog was even part pit bull.
How Maryland Is Taking Action
Many shelters are refusing to adopt out pit bull and pit bull mix dogs. Many animal shelters are discussing having adopters sign waivers, releasing the shelter from any liability of the dog.
Maryland is taking action by drawing attention to this situation via Facebook and various other sites on the Internet. Also, since people are being forced from their homes, or forced by landlords to surrender their pit bull, pit bull mix, or dog that even remotely looks like a pit bull.
Websites are going up about animal friendly housing to help people move that do not wish to give up their bully breed dog.