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Pit Bull Owners to Be Held Responsible for Attacks

Pit Bull Owners to Be Held Responsible for Attacks

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

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Read more: Dogs, News & Issues, Pets

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3:36PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

There is no such thing as a bad dog, there's only bad dogowners!

6:59PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

I think a pit bull owner should be hold accountable in case in which the pits are trained to be aggressive.

Now, how about starting to hold gun owners accountable for a child's death by another in his house with his gun? It has happened a lot and nothing happens to the people involved!

1:09PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013


12:51PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

As they should be...animals are always the innocent bystanders!!! It's about time people start applying logic.

11:10AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013


6:06AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013


5:52AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

All owners, regardless of breed or previous history, must be held responsible for their dog's behaviour - and this should be enshrined in the law.
Excuses about whether the owner knows about its dog's past don't hold water. Any sensible owner wouldn't leave anything to chance but would determine the dog's temperament before allowing it to get into a situation where it could be a danger to anyone or any other animal.

5:38AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Totally fair. Owners shall be responsable.

3:07AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Thank you for your article about these precious, affectionate dogs!! Pit Bulls ARE bred to fight by their owners and, if they've had more than one owner, how can their next owner know IF they've been taught to fight?! (New) owners unaware of their dog's "fight breeding" certainly shouldn't be held responsible for lack of knowledge conveniently with-held (in some cases) by the previous owners. These lovely dogs shouldn't be blamed for being subjected to the stupidity of fight breeding either. The only blame lies w/ those who breed these animals to fight - particularly because it's typically based on greed (monetary gain) and ignorance. I hope and pray the day will soon come when the law will recognize this...

11:47PM PDT on Apr 12, 2013


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