Advocates Look to Make Pit Bulls an Issue in Special Session

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Two weeks ago, BFB Senior Editor Betsy Boyd reported on a controversial decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals that found pit bulls to be an “inherently dangerous” dog breed, (thereby putting pit owners—and their landlords—at greater risk of liability in for an attack), a pronouncement with a dubious, unscientific basis.

Now, advocates for this much maligned breed are turning to legislation to reverse the decision. Maryland Votes for Animals, along with other such groups, has urged Maryland voters to contact Gov. Martin O’Malley requesting that a pro-pit measure be added to the agenda of the special legislative session slated for Monday.

But the odds that anything besides budgetary issues will be considered in the session are very low. O’Malley’s spokesman was clear that the governor will not introduce any canine legislation at the special session, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch’s spokeswoman Alexandra M. Hughes has said, “We’re only doing budget.”

However, it’s not out of the question that the issue could be taken up at next year’s 90-day regular session. And if, as pit bull advocates fear, we see a decrease in adoptions and increased discrimination by landlords in the meantime, the push for legislation may pick up steam.



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