A recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that pit ulls are “inherently dangerous.” The decision stemmed from a 2007 case in which a pit bull attacked a child. Due to the ruling, it will be easier for plaintiffs to hold owners of pitbulls responsible for bites, even if the dog does not have a bite history. Previously, a plaintiff had to prove negligence on the part of the owner.
On Wednesday, Maryland state legislatures formed a task force to analyze the court decision and make recommendations. Several lawmakers filed bills which effectively overturn the court’s ruling during a special three day session this month. However, none of the bills have been acted on. Another special session will be held in July and these bills are expected to be considered at that time.
In a letter to Governor Matin O’Malley, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. wrote “[The court decision] will have profound effects on dogs, dog owners, property owners, tenants and landlords. Therefore, we are appointing a Joint Task Force to study the court decision and make possible recommendations.”
Many pitbull owners and animal lovers question this Maryland court decision. Although some believe pitbulls to be a dangerous breed, there have been other recent news stories showing the heroic side of the breed. In one story, a pitbull saved her owner’s life by dragging her to safety from an oncoming train. In another news story, a pitbull stayed by his deceased friend was hit by a car and died. The pitbull stayed for over 14 hours and refused to leave the dog.