“He will lick you to death though. He will lick you to death.”

Said an owner of a pit bull during a rally to protest Maryland’s recent court decision on pit bulls.

In case you hadn’t heard, a recent court opinion holds all pit bulls and pit bull crossbreeds are “inherently dangerous.”  One blog explains:

The majority decision singles out pit bulls and declares them all dangerous. It implies that owners of them, and the landlords who rent to those owners, should ignorantly assume, as the judges did, that they are lethal and unpredictable beasts. And it makes suing their owners much easier.

Under previous case law, a victim intending to file a lawsuit after a dog attack had to prove that a dog’s owner, or landlord, knew it had a history of being dangerous. Now, under this new precedent, they can merely show that the owner knew their dog was all or part pit bull. That would be sufficient basis for a claim.

In other words, it’s no longer necessary to prove that a particular pit bull is dangerous, only that it’s a pit bull, or part of it is.   [via ohmidog.com]

It is not so easy figure out what is and is not a pit bull.  Lots of different dogs look like pit bulls, but not all of them are truly pit bulls.

So, this decision makes it hard for dog owners, landlords and shelters to figure out what they should do.  And since the change in the law was made by the Court and not the legislature, there won’t be any regulations issued alongside it to help clarify the situation.

What are the real world repercussions of the pit bull ruling? Insurance will be more expensive, landlords will start to ban pit bulls and possibly all dogs to avoid costly insurance and future liability, pit bull owners will have a difficult time finding housing and will start dumping their dogs at shelters, no one will want to adopt the abandoned pit bulls, and dogs — who have done nothing wrong — will be put down for no reason.

Photo credit:  MKD

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~ by siouxsielaw on May 18, 2012.

6 Responses to ““He will lick you to death though. He will lick you to death.””

  1. Things like this bother me to no end. It has been said that “ignorance breeds contempt.” If this is indeed the case, than the ignorant is wearing black robes, and should be held in contempt.

  2. My brother adopted a dog from the animal shelter. The shelter listed her as a beagle, but we knew she had pit bull in her. She’s absolutely the sweetest dog, and she is so mild mannered. I couldn’t imagine her hurting anyone.

  3. Sounds like the judge is a cat person. It isn’t right to lump all pit bulls, or any breed for that matter, into one category as every dog is different and much of their behavior comes down to how they have been trained and how they are treated.

  4. I’m a large-dog owner (Standard Poodle). I have never in all my years been bitten by a pit or pit mix. Not at the dog park, not at the dog beach, not out in public.

    I have, however, been bitten by many purse dogs.

    Yeah.

  5. Thanks for the comments. Now I think I should have suggested that all dogs big and small should sport collars that say “I’m a pit bull.”

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