The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that pit bull owners will be liable for attacks by their dogs. Their ruling has changed the legal landscape for pit bull owners in Maryland, because previously liability was tied to whether or not a dog’s owner knew if it had bitten anyone before. Now pit bull owners are liable even if their dogs have never bitten anyone previously. Even landlords of properties where pit bulls live will be liable under the new ruling.
The court reportedly said pit bulls are inherently dangerous, “Over the last 13 years, there have been no less than seven instances of serious maulings by pit bulls upon Maryland residents resulting in either serious injuries or death…” (Source: CBS News)
Is it pit bulls that are inherently dangerous, or is it the people who train them to fight or to be aggressive who are the problem? By saying pit bulls are inherently dangerous, is the court saying these dogs are genetically predisposed towards attacking humans? If so, it would appear they would need to have conducted scientific research to clearly show how it could be possible for them to be more violent due to genetics, and they haven’t done this research.
One pit bull owner in Maryland said his dog is not inherently dangerous and the ruling could make pit bull owners face higher rents, because landlords will want more money to pay for increased insurance rates. He also said the ruling might cause even more pit bulls to be euthanized.
Pit bulls are some of the most bred and most euthanized dogs. Most are euthanized in shelters, and some are not even put up for adoption because it isn’t likely they will be adopted.
Pit bulls are illegal in Prince George County, Maryland.
Image Credit: Dante Alighieri / Wiki Commons