Pit bull legislation unlikely to move

An American pit bull terrier. (Photo: Dante Alighieri)

Despite apparent bipartisan support, legislation that would overturn a court ruling that calls pit bulls inherently dangerous animals doesn’t appear to have legs during this special session of the General Assembly.

But it could return, perhaps during a second special session that may be called later this summer that intends to address expanding gambling in the state.

After the Senate passed the budget package Tuesday it returned to Annapolis to complete, Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Upper Shore, asked Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert and Prince George’s, to consider taking up one of several bills filed that would overturn the ruling.

Miller, though acknowledging his own interest in the pit bull legislation, said the special session was about finishing the budget, and that’s it.

Sen. Delores G. Kelley, D-Baltimore County, added that there were plenty of other policy bills that weren’t getting heard, so there was no one reason to take one up that involves animals.

“Laying in the House rules committee are dozens and dozens of very important policy issues that affect human beings,” Kelley said. “We’re going to have to wait to deal with that next year in a  regular session and I think we should in regard to this issue also.”

Miller said the Judicial Proceedings Committee could examine the issue in the interim between sessions, perhaps setting up later action.

9 thoughts on “Pit bull legislation unlikely to move

  1. In the meantime people are already being forced by landlords to give up their companions due to this horrendous ruling.

    In other words, dogs will DIE because of the idiots who did this.

    Perhaps President Miller doesn’t realize what is already happening to many dogs in Maryland as a result of this, or maybe the lives of a few dogs don’t matter to him, but it should.

    What if this ruling involved killing HUMAN children? To some people, their pets ARE their children, and that is EXACTLY what is and will be happening until this is overturned.

    I suppose if you are not at the mercy of a landlord, you don’t have to consider this; however, aren’t they there to do the PEOPLE’S business, including renters?

  2. While waiting for the bill to overturn the court ruling to even be heard, in the interim,thousands of dogs,will die needlessly. So many families will have to surrender their family pets due to threats of eviction from their Landlords. Already overcrowded animal shelters are being overwhelmed with the influx of surrendered animals. And consequently, no room means helathy, adoptable dogs are being euthanized. An animal’s life may not seem important, but ask the familys who have no choice but to surrender family pets they’ve raised and consider “family”, knowing they are most likely going to be euthanized,how important.

  3. Sen. Delores G. Kelley–do you really think this is not a “people” issue? Dog owners now face eviction because of a court ruling–that’s a people issue. Landlords are forced to evict good tenants with good dogs because of a court ruling–that’s a people issue. Maryland businesses–vets, groomers, dog walkers, pet sitters–that service dogs are now faced with refusing pit bull clients or problems with liability insurance–that’s a people issue. Could you really be this short-sighted on an issue that’s going to put as many as 84,000 dogs–and the people who interact with them–in jeopardy? You need to reverse yourself, or this is bound to haunt you come re-election.

  4. Dearest Senator Kelley,
    The issue isn’t just about animals, although the way we treat them is a clear reflection on us as a community. This issue is about families who will face heartbreaking decisions such as moving to housing that will allow their family pets (the sources will be limited), choosing between housing and dropping their family pets at the over burdened local shelter (where they will surely be euthanized), securing care for their dogs (what responsible owners do), and relocating altogether (taking their tax money with them). This is about causing strive for Maryland families, breaking up devoted families, and killing pets. It is surely a people and community issue.

  5. I see people here trying to equate a dog with a child, trying to use scare tactics in an attempt to make the issue more than what it is and thinly veiled threats about the next elections to try to use fear and intimidation to get their way.

    First a dog is not a child, a dog does not act like, think like, learn like or react like a child in anyway. Even Cesar Milan will tell you a dog is never a person and you can never treat a dog like a person, never expect a dog to act like or react like a person. Far to many try to see human emotion and motivation in these dogs and that is not only wrong but irresponsible because it means you put people in harms way by refusing to see your dog for what it is.

    As for the elections, perhaps you should look at just how small a minority of voters are pit owners and or advocates. If it was not for the organized calls to actions by the national groups and the response from their members it would just be the same few of you calling each and every senator and delegate.

    As for Sharon’s comment, This is about children and others being killed by these dogs in ever increasing numbers. This is about saving lives and preventing irresponsible people such as yourself from placing others in danger with out consequence. This is about justice for the innocent victims of those who care nothing for the harm they cause and try to blame everyone and everything except themselves and their choice of an inherently dangerous piece of property.

    As for the landlords, you have landlords who allow any animal, some that allow only smaller animals and some that do not allow animals at all. After this ruling you will still have landlords who do the same. The insurance might go up a little for those who allow these dogs but then that is as it should be. Since the actuarial risk associated with these dogs is so much higher than any other dog, since the damage they do and the medical costs associated with the attacks are so much more they should have to pay higher premiums and take extra precautions.

    One of your commenters mentioned the shelters and rescues. Perhaps you should have taken a look at the numbers even before this ruling. Where the largest shelter in Maryland is 90% pit bulls according to its president. Pit bulls fill the shelters because the very small but very vocal and well funded pit bull advocacy fights so hard to try to hide the truth and the danger of the animals and will fill shelters up with them while putting down or turning away other dogs.

    Mr Dunworth, you are right about one thing. This is about the strife, the tragedy, pain and suffering the innocent victims like Dominic Solesky and his family have had to live through for the last several years. It is about the added insult and injury the pit bull owners and advocates heap upon them after an attack in a misguided and deplorable effort to hide any blame from the animal. The total lack of compassion or even decency evidenced by the pit bull owners and advocacy after virtually every attack says volumes about how dire the need for just such rulings as this one are.

    The bottom line is the fact that Pit bulls kill far more people than all other dogs combined. Yet the pit bull owners and advocates spew out hate, abuse, threats and attacks verbal and otherwise against anyone who even mentions the truth about the dogs. Yes pit bulls are inherently dangerous but their owners and advocates have shown themselves to be just as dangerous if not more so.

    When one small group values a dogs life over a child’s life, it is a people issue. Yes this is a people issue, it is about them many victims whose only crime was to go out side their home, to try to play in their yard, to ride their bike, go skateboarding or catch a school bus. Only to have to risk their very life every day due to these dogs, their owners and the advocates.

    Human life is far to valuable and precious to be throw away just because a few people refuse to accept reality and want to continue getting other people hurt and killed by spreading their myths, misinformation and lies about pit bulls and the serious and growing danger they pose to us all.

  6. We are a country that now doesn’t want to face the consequences of our actions. This is a prime example. Pits are mauling and killing unlike any other breed in history and all the pit apologists are interested in is saving their choices. You chose a pit, you also chose all that goes with it. You made a decision to own a dog only designed for one thing, nothing of service to mankind like so many other breeds, a dog designed to kill, period. So now when the rest of us don’t want those dogs around, want the attacks to stop, want to feel safe in our own homes even, want recourse if we are victims, you pit apologists get your panties in a wad. Well, the time is here and now you pay the price of your choices. No sympathy here.

  7. After self studying canine behavior and putting it to practice in local animal shelters, the bully breeds became my favorite.I have tried for years asking our state to pass stricter laws on owners and harsher punishment for those engaged in using these animals in a dangerous manner.
    I found it very sad but interesting at the same time how and why these bully breads caused such destruction that they ended up on death row. I spent long nights sleeping in dark colosed inclosers in a marked off area with a sighn reading “danger keep out” on the door. I encountered dogs snarling, snapping, growling, but also fear, sadness, lonlyness, abandonment issues and a host of other things mixed in. People say animals are not people but I have learned and thousands of scientists will tell you the same, animals have feelings and emotions. They are not near as complex as ours and are limited to mans understandings of these emotions as how they relate to us. This is the big mistake people make with these animals. They think because their dogs can feel they must be raised as children.
    Working with these dogs (all bullys) I found that the ones used to fight (both the agressor and the bait dog) are the saddest of them all. I also found them easy to reach, accesable and cooperative when I asked them to change their behavior. More so than smaller breads who tend to be ankle biters (but becouse of their size concidered a non threat. Meaning that a pitbull can be rehabilitated easier than an agressive poodle per say.

    One the “the people” are correct about this issue is like the sharpea or chow chow, they have been ganetically altered to fight for hundreds of years. Did you know pit bulls are not therobred dogs? There are two main breeds of pitts in the USA, the pitt bull “TERRIOR” and the pit “BULL DOG”.
    In the 1800′s the original pit blood line was crossed with the bull dog to help butchers pull their meat carts becouse of their size and power. It was them who started fighting the dogs against the mighty bull (cow).

    That is when this very strong very devoted, loyal animals did everything it could to please its master, even if that meant to die.

    The terrior was introdused becouse of its underground hunting skills. It is almost a common instinct for a pit terrior to dig up whatever is making noise under there. Especially if you ask it too.

    My main point, These dogs are powerfull, strong and will do anything we ask them too. But they would rather not. They are relived when they are adopted by caring owners and generally no matter where they came from do well. The differance is they were simply given another job to do. They are a working bread, they have worked for people in a good way and do well with educated owners.

    Owners, now that is the problem here right? Really when we break it all down it is the owners fault. I spent years learning this the hard way like an intern learns on any job. One thing about dogs is that if you are training them wrong there is instant consequences of all kinds (in any breed). But the poodle is not going to eat someones face off if they believe it is the right thing to do. Most people can defend themselves from such a small attacker and the likelihood of it being dangerous is small.
    People are using the pits strenth and desire to please as an income and we have sat back and watched this happen without doing a thing. Look at the mike Vick dogs, the man was slapped on the wrist and sent back home only to be aloud to play again. Who does that? You all did! Everyone in the USA thought football was more important than turning hundreds of dogs into murdering machines.
    Are you aware of the process of “forcing pits” to “learn” to be inherently dangerous? You start when they are puppies by getting them used to pain. You pinch them, pull them around, roll them into walls, slap them, starve them and much more. When they grow they beat them then reword them for going threw it. Did you know that all the scars on a fighting dog is not from fighting and about half of them are from conditioning the dog to fight? They will starve them and the dogs know the only way to get fed is to kill the other dog.
    Now you say this is an animal issue, well Hun you are so wrong! This is indeed a people issue if I ever herd one. Funny thing is that in general the only pits you will kill off are the ones living in good homes that were raised correctly or rehabilitated.
    The owners of these pit bull fighters do not rent they flop. They have people on the outside prepare the pups, then move them to off site locations not to be seen until the underground fight has accrued.
    The transport of these animals is not secure to and fro and some escape. This is when you see these violent attacks on people. The dog is lost, feels it needs to take dominance because the leadership has been changed and perform what it is they “think” they are meant to do, kill and get fed.

    This law will not work and it can not work it’ll only hurt people and kill innocent dogs.
    Truthfully, I think any dog that is strong enough to cause this kind of damage should have restrictions placed on it.
    Your local long hanging pants want a be should not be able to adopt an animal that “could” be trained to be dangerous, as he should not have a gun without training, permits along with proper identification.

    If people have to pay for training, a special license, special equipment, insurance and be required to pay for temperament evaluations a few times in the dogs life. This would be no different than any other formal training in order to handle what “could” be used to kill something or someone.
    The dog should have an identifiable license, not the little cute ones seen on non bully breeds, clearly marking that the “owner” has full control of the animal and has been trained to work with both the dog and the public. Maybe even a vest for the pet saying I am a loved & trained pit bull.
    I am a realist and understand you can not make everyone happy but I also know if what you are doing is hurting people you are doing something wrong.
    This plan of mine sounds expensive, I am no math wizard and I feel the money crunch too. So where is the answer? This law isn’t it! They will and can hide the fighters or simply just switch breeds. I know this for a fact due to some volunteer undercover photography I took.

    What is happening now is people are being forced to give their dogs up but to whom? The state……aaa no sense? As sad as it is MD. uses humane methods to euthanize by injection and the cost will be outstanding.

    If really tough and expensive laws are passed down to owners new/old owners the reproduction of the pitbull will decrease immensely. Most pits are adopted without the knowledge of the risk and raise an emotionally unstable dog. (This to is the states fault)

    I own a bull pit bull and a pit bull terrier mix as well as an African basingi pit mix. Both are hard headed, don’t like to listen, can run like they were being shot at and are very difficult to handle. But I choose to handle it and would be willing to do anything or spend any amount to keep them.
    Are my dogs safe around the general public without strict supervision? No never. Do I take precautions when children and small animals are present? Yes I do. Is everyone this aware and this careful with their bully breeds? Not even close….Why not? Because our state is broke, spending money it doesn’t need to, welfare fraud and many other things. But with my ideas it would create revenue and jobs.
    Any bully bread without a vest, the owner has to pay the county for retrieving the animal, to get their pet back and a hefty ticket. If the animal is a stray like any other stray breed it can be given a behavior test and given a chance to be adopted by a devoted family who can afford the extra that goes into a bully breed.
    Finally, I would like to mention that the entire time I have worked with bully breads I have done it fully disabled, in constant pain with little problems. If anything they have taut me to stand strong even when I am sitting, to walk long even when it hurts and to never walk away from a challenge.
    The bully breed, your best friend or your worst nightmare. Lets give perspective adoptive applicants the truth about their breed choices, educate them and respect their first amendment.
    Please do not let Maryland use this law as a way out. This is Marylands fault and Marylands problem. But we “the people” can put this back on Maryland and force them to do the right thing. Mass murder is not it in my book! My dogs are not in danger but I have sympathy for the thousands of dogs and their owners who have not taken part in teaching their dogs to do the wrong thing.
    Maryland needs to find another way to handle the situation to control the dangerous dogs out there and make firm life altering consequences for those who breed these animals to kill.
    A man who trains a dog to kill a humane is a man with no empathy.
    To claim a dog breed is dangerous is like saying a fila brasileiro is a racist! The “WHITE DOG” taut by man to hunt and train black slaves.

    “The Fila Brasileiro was known for taking down not only cattle and other small animals, but larger game such as jaguars and even runaway slaves when it was still legal to own slaves in Brazil. The Fila Brasileiro will typically reach heights of 25.5-29.5 inches and an average weight of 90-110 pounds.”

    Point is I can go threw each working breed and find somewhere where someone has taken advantage of the size and strength of an animal.

    Thank You!

  8. I’m sorry but any dog has the potential to be violent (my dad’s kitten was killed by a great dane when he was a child, as a result he had a long fear of dogs). Any dog will react when pushed enough and lets face it children do not know when to stop or when they h are hurting dogs. Many cases of dogs mauling children (and yes this includes pit bulls) occur because the parents were negliegent and either leave them alone or d. Pit bulls require a shitload of maintenance but anyone who says they are inherently dangerous is a moron. THere have been plenty of cases where pit bulls never attacked their owners. I highly suspect that many of the dogs that went violent weren’t disciplined enough or trained enough. Coleen lynn lied about the incident (she didn’t produce records and given that craven desires had a photo of the dog that bit her she obviously has them).

    We are a country that now doesn’t want to face the consequences of our actions. This is a prime example. Pits are mauling and killing unlike any other breed in history and all the pit apologists are interested in is saving their choices. You chose a pit, you also chose all that goes with it. You made a decision to own a dog only designed for one thing, nothing of service to mankind like so many other breeds, a dog designed to kill, period. So now when the rest of us don’t want those dogs around, want the attacks to stop, want to feel safe in our own homes even, want recourse if we are victims, you pit apologists get your panties in a wad. Well, the time is here and now you pay the price of your choices. No sympathy here.

    A more accurate statement is that “when you actually look at statistics they kill no more frequently than other breads. The pit advocates want to point this out. there have been cases of dogs saving children’t lives and protecting families, so the idea that they only kill is stupid. When the paranoid make themselves feel better by making the dogs into the perennial boogeyman even though it won’t really stop attacks, the pit advocates rightfully point out that you are an idiot and a fucktard.

  9. I think this is ridiculous! I have a chihuahua, an American pitbull terrior, and am fostering another pitbull. Three dogs in all. Both of the pitbulls are the sweetest ever. (And I didn’t have them since puppies). I adopted from a shelter. I have noticed that my chihuahua, such a tiny little thing, is more aggressive than my pitbulls. People give pitbulls and all the bully breeds such a bad name and reputation, when they are the ones that have never had any interaction with that breed at all. People just listen to what others say without having any correct information about the breed. Its like that saying …don’t judge a book by its cover. If you’ve never been around that breed don’t judge or say any opinion about it. I LOVE my pits <3

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