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Pit Bulls Are ‘Inherently Dangerous,’ Rules Maryland Court

pit bulls

Pit Bull owners are furious over a new ruling that declares that their dogs are “inherently dangerous.” The Maryland Court of Appeals ruling also states that a pit bull owner, or a landlord who rents to a person who owns a pit bull, is now liable for any damages caused by their dogs.

The Washington Post reports that the ruling stems from a 2009 incident that saw a 4-year-old boy mauled by a pit bull. The boy survived but suffered severe damage to his face.

Pit bulls are already outlawed in some parts of Maryland. The new ruling, however, makes ownership of a pit bull a liability risk anywhere in the state.

Reuters reports that dog owners are usually given “one free bite” before they are held liable. Meaning, a dog owner is typically held liable if they knew that the dog was potentially dangerous. For pit bull owners the “one free bite” rule no longer applies.

The Maryland SPCA, which arranges pet adoptions, said that the new ruling was unfair since it targeted an entire breed.

The SPCA said:

“We believe that an animal’s behavior should be the determining factor in whether or not the animal is considered dangerous… We don’t believe that a particular breed should be pinpointed for that.”

Rodney Taylor, of Prince George’s County Animal Management, added:

“All dogs, if you don’t train them and show them love, can turn out to be mean animals. It has a lot to do with the owner and how you raise the pet.”

The Washington Post reports that the new ruling could cause trouble for landlords and pet adoption agencies. Landlords with pit bull tenants will have to decide if its worth the risk to allow a pit bull to stay in their building and adoption agencies say that the new rule will discourage people from adopting pit bulls.

Animal advocacy groups have already started petitions to “Stop Pit Bull Discrimination in Maryland.”

Do you think pit bulls are “inherently dangerous?”

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46 Responses to “Pit Bulls Are ‘Inherently Dangerous,’ Rules Maryland Court”

  1. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    Of course they are. They are bred for fighting. I don't care if a current owner has one that they think is adorable as a puppy and has had no issue. They are now like wild animals. It's in their blood. That is one screwed up breed. Let one step in my yard and see what happens.

  2. Marty-Tricia Carroll

    I believe any dog can be dangerous it just depends on their upbringing. I have a pit myself for years now and not once has she turned violent on anyone. Whenever my dog gets loose the kids in my neighborhood bring her right back w/o any issues. At times she just goes to my neighbor's house, whom is an elderly lady and sits w/her on her porch w/her 2 little Yorkies. Pits aren't dangerous their owner's are!

  3. Marty-Tricia Carroll

    I believe any dog can be dangerous it just depends on their upbringing. I have a pit myself for years now and not once has she turned violent on anyone. Whenever my dog gets loose the kids in my neighborhood bring her right back w/o any issues. At times she just goes to my neighbor's house, whom is an elderly lady and sits w/her on her porch w/her 2 little Yorkies. Pits aren't dangerous their owner's are!

  4. Curt Knull

    I just love the rants of uneducated idiots. Pit bulls were NEVER bred for fighting. In the late 1800's they were called "nanny dogs" because of their kind, tolerant nature with children. They were bred to be protecors, not fighters, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a more dangerous dog than an American Pit Bull Terrier. People like you make me sick.

  5. Curt Knull

    I just love the rants of uneducated idiots. Pit bulls were NEVER bred for fighting. In the late 1800's they were called "nanny dogs" because of their kind, tolerant nature with children. They were bred to be protecors, not fighters, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a more dangerous dog than an American Pit Bull Terrier. People like you make me sick.

  6. Sydelle Houston

    There was an incident a couple of days ago in NYC where a pit bull (even though he was tethered) jumped on and bit a 3-year-old who happened to walk by. The boy's mother freaked out, and it took several people to get that dog off the boy who needed stitches in his face and chin. The dog owner is upset because the mother wants the dog put down, claims he never did anything like this before, but can't be sure if it won't happen again. Not certain if pits are inherently dangerous, but I don't trust ANY breed with 200 pounds of pressure in their jaws.

  7. Michelle Porter

    That is messed up the own should be put down if that is the way it was brought up then something needs to be done to the owner cuz any dog can be scary

  8. Lulu Beebe

    Not only that….I have witnessed a docile dog lunge at someone due to that person projecting fear for no rational reason.

  9. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    @Curt Knull..Curt Knull People like you are disgusting. If the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is more dangerous then why am I not seeing their picture above in this article instead of a pitbull? What you say may have been true long ago, but not so much anymore. You are the uneducated one. Owners of pitbulls think it's some kind of status to own one. Oh yeah, they are such a bad asses aren't they just because they own one. They have a bad reputation and are dangerous. I know plenty of people who have been bitten by one. I guess insurance companies are uneducated too huh? Poor little pitbulls.

  10. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    Curt Knull And people like you are the type that thinks your special little pitbull wouldn't hurt a fly and then when they do bite, it couldn't have possibly been the dogs fault. Get real loser.

  11. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    Not really. My Aunt was bitten by one and that dog was a family dog and was not raised to fight. Her ankle hasn't been the same since. Also, someone else I know dog was killed by a pitbull. One chewed through a fence and got in the yard and killed one of their dogs. The idiot owner of the dog was letting the pitbull run loose in the neighborhood. There was another incident where a pitbull killed an elderly lady. That owner was warned over and over by law enforcement to do something with those dogs. Now his butt is sitting in jail and I hope he rots there.

  12. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    Trust me. It's a screwed up breed. This is my comment to another post………. My Aunt was bitten by one and that dog was a family dog and was not raised to fight. Her ankle hasn't been the same since. Also, someone else I know dog was killed by a pitbull. One chewed through a fence and got in the yard and killed one of their dogs. The idiot owner of the dog was letting the pitbull run loose in the neighborhood. There was another incident where a pitbull killed an elderly lady. That owner was warned over and over by law enforcement to do something with those dogs. Now his butt is sitting in jail and I hope he rots there.

  13. Curt Knull

    And I suppose your darling little Dobies have never gotten a bad rap huh, lady? What happens when a Doberman bites someone? A friend's daughter was bitten by a Doberman, was that her fault? My nephew was mauled by a Boxer! I suppose that was his fault too? My old man's black lab bit a passing bicyclist. Oh, but those are just isolated incidents, right? Have you any idea how many breeds have been lumped together under the "Pit Bull" moniker? The list includes(for starters), American Bulldogs, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, English Staffordshire Terriers, Boxers and, of course, the American Pit Bull Terrier. Some have even included the Akita on the list because of their bite pressure. Also, if you look really closely at the picture, you'll notice the male is actually an American Bulldog. As far as me getting "real" as you call it, I'm a Desert Storm vet, an award winning author, and a two-time cancer survivor, so choke on that.

  14. James Crismore

    U r an idiot tina. Get ur facts straight before u bash on a breed. They were bread for hunting and protecting. When i was young i was attacked by a golden retriever and my pit bull went after it and killed it.

  15. Curt Knull

    Yes, and why is it that the German Shepherd is the predominantly used attack dog by police and military? Seems to me, you want an attack dog, you want an aggressive dog right? Also, 70% of the dogs seized from the Michael Vick bust have been rehabbed and put into forever homes, WITH CHILDREN!!! Punish the deed, not the breed!

  16. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    Anyone who would put Vics dogs in their home with children should have their kids taken away. Michael Vic should still be in jail. He is a worthless POS and is just one of many who can be blamed for this F'd up breed.

  17. Linda McNamara

    There was a story recently on a Jack Russell attacking a baby. I do not know if the baby died. Read Cesar Millan's book 'Cesar's Way.' It will educate everybody. It is moving.

  18. Marty-Tricia Carroll

    I just don't understand why every time a Pit Bull attacks someone it gets NATIONAL attention, but never gets enough attention for doing something good. I read in a local paper how a Pit Bull saved his owner's life, but read on the INTERNET how a Pit Bull attacked someone. Pits never get attention for doing things like saving lives, protecting a family from a robber, rescuing children from burning houses, etc. These are some actions that are POSITIVE that they do, but never get attention for. When someone gets attacked, even if it was to protect their owner, "Oh, Pits are dangerous", "They need to be put to sleep", ets. I don't like that at all!

  19. James Crismore

    Tina I never said my pit cant be visious. In fact i know he can. You r the freakin loser by hateing on one bread. All dogs r mean because of you and others like that punk mike vick give our dogs a bad name.

  20. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    James Crismore LOL! Shows you how delusional you are. The breed is screwed up because of people like me? Yeah, because I'm responsible for making these dogs mean. What a moron. Thanks for the laugh of the day.

  21. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    James Crismore Of course your dog is going to attack another dog if he feels his owner is being threatened. So what. That's what dogs should do. But, to attack people for no reason? Go back to go back to sleep. People like you feel cool owning a pitbull. Look at me? I'm a bad ass. I own a pitbull. More than likely you are trash.

  22. Tina M Edmondson- Berry

    Hey and shouldn't your dumbass being in school instead of FB?

  23. Brandi Bradford

    I dont believe that information on this inaccurate website.IF you want to talk about educating yourself about the breed, where are the good facts.?? How about, I read a study saying that Pitbulls when raised right, top the personality test on number four or five. If a pitbull attacks, it can obviously be damaging, same thing goes with a german shepard. Pit bulls were NEVER bred to be aggresive towards humans. If anything, they were bred to be aggressive towards dogs. Sources need to get their facts straight.

  24. Brandi Bradford

    It's crazy that some people are still into this "pittbulls are dangerous myth". Ok, Pitbulls like any other breed can OF COURSE BE Dangerous, but that does not go to say that they naturally are. If anything, they would be more "naturally aggressive" towrds DOGS as…that's what they were bred for YEARRRS ago..so for the people who think that pit bulls are born aggressive, you guys don't know much about dogs bc a domesticated dog isn't a wolf.

  25. Sharrie Vadala-Hamlin

    Pit bulls are GREAT dogs. People are more like animals. MICHAEL VICK prime example. When you treat ANY dog this way you're not going to get the best outcome. These dogs are marshmallows. They were once America's favorite breed and in England they're called nanny dogs because they looked after children. Now think about this of all the world over that Pit Bulls are owned, why is it only in AMERICA that we hear about this problem than anywhere else? The dogs SHOULD NOT be punished because of the OWNERS IRRESPONSIBLE behavior, ALL dogs deserving a loving, warm and cruelty free home. We have to speak for them, if you're really got to know a pit bull, they're the best dog in the world. Read a book, the internet and you'll find they love pleasing their masters. So get really EDUCATED Maryland.

  26. Sharrie Vadala-Hamlin

    Pit bulls are GREAT dogs. People are more like animals. MICHAEL VICK prime example. When you treat ANY dog this way you're not going to get the best outcome. These dogs are marshmallows. They were once America's favorite breed and in England they're called nanny dogs because they looked after children. Now think about this of all the world over that Pit Bulls are owned, why is it only in AMERICA that we hear about this problem than anywhere else? The dogs SHOULD NOT be punished because of the OWNERS IRRESPONSIBLE behavior, ALL dogs deserving a loving, warm and cruelty free home. We have to speak for them, if you're really got to know a pit bull, they're the best dog in the world. Read a book, the internet and you'll find they love pleasing their masters. So get really EDUCATED Maryland.

  27. Sharrie Vadala-Hamlin

    The dog in those cages are ther mostly due to abuse and neglect, again OWNER RESPONSIBILITY. Even a person who's been abused is going to Have issues until they're taught differently. The animal because of it's neglect is acting out of fear it happening again, protecting itself this poor animal has no way of knowing at first you mean it no harm because it was treated so badly. Pitbulls are being used for the wrong reasons. IRRESPONSIBLE pet owners ate being allowed to breed them, fight them use them for drug protection. I sincerely feel if these types of people weren't allowed to own these dogs, you wouldn't hear half of what you hear.

  28. Sharrie Vadala-Hamlin

    The dog in those cages are ther mostly due to abuse and neglect, again OWNER RESPONSIBILITY. Even a person who's been abused is going to Have issues until they're taught differently. The animal because of it's neglect is acting out of fear it happening again, protecting itself this poor animal has no way of knowing at first you mean it no harm because it was treated so badly. Pitbulls are being used for the wrong reasons. IRRESPONSIBLE pet owners ate being allowed to breed them, fight them use them for drug protection. I sincerely feel if these types of people weren't allowed to own these dogs, you wouldn't hear half of what you hear.

  29. Christian Cervantes

    Finally, a state is doing the right thing. You people and your comments are ignorant. Pitbulls are very dangerous aniumals (if they aren't trained correctly). Why take a chance on a human life or even the life of an animal. We just had a California man mauled to death by a dog. All the owner will get is a slap on the risk and the dog will pay the price. Funny thing is, the dog wont understand why it's being punished but the owner will. All the court is ruling is that the owner of a potentially vicious animal – in this case a pit bull – be held liable under law. It's about time. I'm tired of seeing these cases where the owner washes his hands clean of the mess while the pets suffer. I have a dog. It's fair so quit whining.

  30. Sharrie Vadala-Hamlin

    I disagree, this law affects ONLY pitbulls. I believe yes the owner DEFINITELY should be held responsible if their dog does hurt somebody, but this law is unfairly singling out this breed that has a history at one time being America's favorite dog, in England they were used to look after babies. This law if passed should affect ALL owners ALL breeds. Any dog can become vicious if nit trained properly. I had the good fortune of having a wonderful warm and sweet pitbull named Sasha that came into my life 2 years ago why? Because some human TIED het to my sister's porch and LEFT her there crying cold and scared. Now you tell me where is the justice for this dog? People also get a slap on the wrist when they've abused their dog. I think the solution here lies within MAKING ANIMAL CRUELTY LAWS STRICTER then the people that make these otherwise gentle creatures turn wull think twice and these kind of people will NEVER be able to own a LIVING BREATHING thing. God made these beautiful creatures for us to enjoy and for whatever reason, whe've chosen to take that gift and do unspeakable things. Who are we to hurt these animals. I'm not even a fan of hunting unless you're going to starve to death. Michael Vick is a PRIME example if the EVIL that exists that is why we need to protect these babies that can't speak for themselves, we need to be their voice. I think banning pitbulls is unfair because them what happens to the ones in the shelters now not being able to be adopted, in shelters because their owners were cruel to them or used them as drug dogs, I've seen it happen and it's NOT the dog's fault. You tell me, if somebody abuses you, are you just going to sit there, or are you going to defend yourself? I mean really the dogs were either doing what they LEARNED or defending themselves due to abuse. I've always felt there should be a SPECIAL LICENSE issues to people who want to own pit bulls that way it would ensure more responsible pet ownership. All my animals are rescues, and I love ALL of them, and I hate to imagine what would've happened to these little darlings if I hadn't. Just like human babies, these dogs are born innocent and their behavior stems from what they're taught nit from who they are. So it's really unfair to single out one particular breed simply because of something they were taught, we must teach the teachers and the students will excel. What's ignorant isn't all the pit bull owners that love their dogs JUST AS MUCH as someone who loves their adorable acceptable golden retriever, we unlike the masses have had the good fortune to know one personally and have learned that they're just as well behaved loving sweet loyal and more afraid of their own shadow than anything else which is what makes them so much more adorable. I for one would NEVER give up my baby, she means too much to me, she's been a GOOD girl and she's been around EVERYBODY children, people other animals and in 2 YEARS NEVER once had a problem because I took the time that was needed to TRAIN her right. She knows she's loved and has nothing to worry about because she has a warm home to sleep in and a bowl full of food in her belly every day, and in return she has given me such warmth love and smiles too numerous to count. So NO I'm not going to side with a prejudice state that obviously doesn't know the first thing about these dogs before they threw down the gauntlet. I DON'T STAND FOR ANY KIND OF PREJUDICE. Today it's your dog, tomorrow it'll being something else. Any kind of prejudice has NO PLACE anywhere. You're TOO black, you're TOO white, TOO gay TOO different REALLY??? DIFFERENT is what makes things BEAUTIFUL, and so are these dogs. Punishing them for their owners misdeeds isn't going to solve ANYTHING, but you love and treat these dogs like you would any other dog and I guarantee you you will have a loving faithful companion on your hands not some "bloodthirsty@ vicious attack dog the media wants you to think you have.