POLL: Are Pit Bulls ‘Inherently Dangerous?’

Maryland’s pit bull task force will hold its first meeting in Annapolis on Tuesday.

Lawmakers formed the group after the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling back in April, which declared pit bulls are “inherently dangerous.” In the event of an attack, it is not necessary to prove that a pit bull had a history of violence; if the owner/landlord knew the dog was a pit bull or pit mix, that person is automatically liable for damages.

This issue hit close to Pasadena on May 23 when a 9-year-old boy was seriously injured by a pit bull that bit him.

The new task force will meet to discuss legislation prohibiting any dog from being named “inherently dangerous.”

Since the court ruling, Marylanders have railed in defense of the pit bulls, saying the ruling unfairly targets one type of dog. It could also limit housing options for those who own pit bulls.

According to WBAL, animal rights activists feel as though a number of dogs could be abandoned and euthanized because of the ruling.

When the 9-year-old boy from Pasadena was seriously injured from the pit bull bite, several readers left comments on the site in the defense of the breed.

Patch reader Cindy wrote, “Pit bulls are no more dangerous than any dog that has teeth! I am so sick of hearing this kind of stuff! It is only because the media can’t wait to jump on a pit bull bite. If they don’t know what kind of dog it is they almost always say it looks to be a pit bull mix.”

Patch reader Kathryn wasn’t so quick to defend pit bulls. She talked about the size of the breed’s jaw.

Kathryn wrote, “All dogs can bite, but let’s not ignore the strength and power in a pit bull’s jaw compared to, as examples, a retriever (who is bred with a narrower gentle jaw to not damage what it retrieves) or a small breed like a Chihuahua. Painful teeth? Yes. Crushing jaw? No.”

WBAL reports that Tuesday’s task force will hear from 25 witnesses including dog owners, attorneys, animal advocates, insurers and landlords. The task force has scheduled another meeting for July 3 to come up with recommendations, according to WBAL.

Tell Us: What do you think about the court ruling? Are pit bulls “inherently dangerous?” Vote in our poll and tell us why you think that way in the comments.

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