Monday, April 30, 2012
Judged Just Because of "Who" They Are
All pit bulls to be considered dangerous under court ruling
Pit bulls are inherently dangerous animals, the state's highest court has ruled, a decision that could lead to stiff penalties for people found responsible in attacks — even if the dogs have never been violent before.
"It is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull or pit bulls are dangerous," the court ruled Thursday.
The case stems from a 2007 attack on a child in Towson that led several local governments to reconsider the laws governing pit bulls. The animals are banned in Prince George's County.
But some who oppose the ruling argue that a dog's breed is not a reliable way to predict whether the animal might become violent. They worry that the decision will make it more difficult for pit bull owners to find housing, and discourage others from adopting the dogs.
In a dissenting opinion, one justice said the decision establishes a troublesome precedent.
The decision is in response to a Baltimore County Circuit Court decision in the case of 10-year-old Dominic Solesky, who was attacked by a neighbor's pit bill in 2007.
Pauline Houliaras, president of B-More Dog, which formed in 2007 to fight anti-pit bull legislation in Baltimore County, said the group is "extremely disappointed" with the court's decision.