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Fallout after Md. rules pit bulls a vicious breed

HAGERSTOWN — Dog lovers are sounding off about a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling that pit bulls are an inherently dangerous breed.

The Humane Society of the United States launched a campaign Wednesday seeking legislation to overturn the ruling.

The group says Maryland is the only state that officially regards pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs as categorically dangerous.

Maryland’s highest court ruled last week that when an attack involves a pit bull, plaintiffs in civil lawsuits don’t have to prove the animal’s prior violent behavior for the owner to be held liable for damages.

The decision sprang from a Baltimore County case involving a 10-year-old boy who was attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull in 2007.

The HSUS says the ruling means landlords can also be held liable in such cases.