Maryland Court of Appeals Alters Pit Bull Ruling, Still Doesn’t Get It

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After the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that pit bulls and pit mixes are “inherently” — and by implication, uniquely — dangerous dogs, making owners and landlords strictly liable for these dogs, the Maryland General Assembly failed to reach a legislative solution in a special session. Now the state’s highest court is backpedaling on the ruling, slightly. So slightly, in fact, that it only underscores the court’s lack of understanding on the issue.

The Court of Appeals has refined the breed-specific ruling to apply only to “purebred” pit bulls, and to let pit bull mixes off the hook. Laughably, the judges cited a lack of evidence that mixes are dangerous. Right. As opposed to the great wealth of evidence as to the unique risk of purebreds?

This “reconsideration” is primarily an affirmation of the ruling, left essentially intact even after critics highlighted the lack of factual basis, the strain it will put on animal shelters, and the likelihood of eviction for many responsible pet owners.

The judges ultimately felt that having to suss out whether a dog had a shred of pit bull in her lineage would produce chaos in the courts. I guess chaos everywhere else they can live with.



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