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Letters to the Editor – 1/11/13

Sen. Brian Frosh has been an advocate for the humane treatment of animals, and we look forward to working with him and his colleagues in the General Assembly to address the Maryland Court of Appeals’ dangerous ruling on pit bull dogs (“Frosh: It’s a ‘to-die-for job,’” Jan. 2, 2013). There is no scientific evidence or dog bite data to support the idea that some dogs are more dangerous, as organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control have repeatedly found. Breed alone is not predictive of any dog’s behavior, which is formed by a variety of factors including but not limited to socialization, living conditions and the owner’s behavior.

The Humane Society of the United States — along with animal advocates and pit bull owners from across the state — testified in support of Senator Frosh’s bill during the August special session. We are disappointed that the House and Senate were unable to work out their differences, and this problem for Maryland dog owners, landlords and others has been left unresolved.

The Court of Appeals decision in Tracey v. Solesky has had devastating unintended consequences on Maryland families and is simply not effective in protecting communities from dog bites. We look forward to continuing to support lawmakers’ efforts to address this ruling during the 2013 regular session.

Tami Santelli
Maryland Senior State Director
The Humane Society of the United States
Gaithersburg

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