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Maryland Court of Appeals Ruling Calls Pit Bulls “Inherently Dangerous”

May 23, 2012 by The Parrish Law Firm

In a controversial decision, the state of Maryland has wagered a new type of campaign – one that wagers against pit bulls and pit bull mixes that reside within the boundary lines of the state, reports MSNBC.com.

In a May 2, 2012 ruling, the Maryland Court of Appeals asserts that as a breed, pit bulls are “inherently dangerous”; thus, any owner of a pit bull or a cross-bred pit that attacks is subject to not only strict legal action by a victim, but also liable for damages that ensue as the result of an attack. Furthermore, any landlord who rents to a pit bull owner is also considered liable any violent incident that may arise.

However, not everyone is universally satisfied by the recent ruling.

According to a representative from the Maryland SPCA, a non-profit organization that provides dog adoptions to potential animal owners, three pit bulls are currently under its care, two of whom are available for adoption in the near future. Yet, the SPCA is discouraged by the decision, asserting that the new law could deter its efforts to place abandoned pit bulls into loving family homes.

“We believe that an animal’s behavior should be the determining factor in whether or not the animal is considered dangerous,” said Cheryl Bernard Smith of SPCA. “We don’t believe that a particular breed should be pinpointed for that.”

This isn’t the first time that Maryland has faced scrutiny regarding the ownership of pit bulls within the state. In fact, in 1997, it was illegal to own or possess a pit bull or a pit bull mix in Prince George County.

Any perpetrators who were found in violation of the law were subject to a harsh penalization of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

As the current ruling stands, pit bull owners are now fully accountable for the behavior of their dogs.

If you or a family member has been the victim of a dog attack in Northern Virginia, you need the diligent dog bite attorneys at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call us today at 703-906-4229, or contact us via email for your free case consultation.

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