POLL: Are Pit Bulls 'Inherently Dangerous?'

The pit bull task force met in Annapolis on Tuesday in an effort to ban any legislation that specifically targets individual breeds.

Maryland's pit bull task force held its first meeting in Annapolis on Tuesday.

Lawmakers formed the group after the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling back in April, .” In the event of an attack, it is not necessary to prove that a pit bull had a history of violence; if the owner/landlord knew the dog was a pit bull or pit mix, that person is automatically liable for damages.

This issue hit close to the south county community in May when a at Tracey's Elementary during a lacrosse practice. 

The new task force plans to discuss legislation prohibiting any dog from being named "inherently dangerous."

Since the , Marylanders have railed in defense of the pit bulls, saying the ruling unfairly targets one type of dog. It could also limit housing options for those who own pit bulls.

According to WBAL, animal rights activists feel as though a number of dogs could be abandoned and euthanized because of the ruling.

When the 10-year-old boy was injured from the pit bull bite, several readers left comments on Patch and on the Facebook page in the defense of the breed.

Patch reader Jennifer P. wrote, "I volunteer at an animal shelter and have worked with a variety of dogs. It really just depends on the individual animal. Our sweetest dog right now is a pit bull mix. I completely trust her—she is so snuggly and loving. It's those little ones that snap at you! I've had far more dogs under 10 pounds bite at me than any big dog."

Patch reader . She talked about the breed's overall power. 

, "Empirical evidence is that they can still be the best at tugging and doing horrendous damage and seem to favor the elderly or young neighbors, both humans and other dogs. When pit mongers say 'pits are wonderful pets when raised correctly,' naive people buy pit puppies and more pit breeding and more pit overpopulation happens. Pits suffer disproportionately from severe abuse and negelect. Pits are victims too. Ban their breeding. Stop making more vicitms!"

WBAL reports that Tuesday’s task force heard from 25 witnesses including dog owners, attorneys, animal advocates, insurers and landlords. The task force has scheduled another meeting for July 3 to come up with recommendations, according to WBAL.

Tell Us: What do you think about the court ruling? Are pit bulls “inherently dangerous?” Vote in our poll and tell us why you think that way in the comments.

Chris DeJoseph June 26, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Gwen, no dog is programmed as a perfect pet, regardless of breed. Anyone who thinks they are is as stupid as you. Any dog has the potential to hurt and kill. Open your eyes and stop being so bigoted against one type.
s fred August 16, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Kids are mauled by all kinds of dogs. It's physically impossible for a pit to "lock its jaws" - do the research. On average more bites and attacks happen from YELLOW LABS - look that up, too. And the majority of ALL dog attacks (any breed) are done by dogs that are either abused, neglected, starved, chained, trained to attack other dogs, or a combination of all of those things. The media feeds the "pits are vicious monsters" craze. Pits used to be an American symbol and bred to be "nanny dogs". The ignorance is ridiculous - go educate yourself. And don't just look up "pit bull attacks" bc then that's all you'll find - look up "dog attacks" look at statistics, look at what condition ANY of the dogs that attacked were in. Almost all of them attack bc of their life NOT bc they are "bred bad" - and that's any breed. Humans are the monsters here, not the dogs.
Lauren August 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I am absolutely disgusted by some of the comments written STEREOTYPING "pit bull" type dogs and their owners. The breed specific legislation that was passed is absolutely awful and will only do more harm than good. The people that should be punished are the irresponsible dog owners of ALL types of dogs, not just pit bulls. There are plenty of cases of dog attacks and dog bites by other breeds; however, they are never publicized on TV because it's not what the public wants to hear. No one wants to hear that a Labrador or Cocker Spaniel could be dangerous. Pit Bulls get a bad rap and are rarely ever displayed in a positive light, and neither are their owners. I own 2 pit bull dogs and I am not a gangster or thug or drug dealer. I am an elementary school teacher and a volunteer at BARCS animal shelter in Baltimore. My dogs are FAMILY dogs. They cuddle on the couch, give plenty of kisses, are well behaved and do not deserved to be stereotyped as "inherently dangerous." I just wish some positive light would be shed on this breed, instead of selecting the few bad cases to report on. ANY dog in the hands of the wrong owner can be dangerous or vicious. We need to start thinking about who to blame and how to retrain our thinking about these phenomenally loyal dogs!! MY pit bull is MY family!
G Dub August 22, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Ever seen a Pointer point ? Who trained them to do that ? Nobody. They have been selectively bred for that attribute. Ever seen a retriever retrieve ? Most dogs will "fetch" a stick, but the retriever breeds instinctively give up their quarry when they bring it back. Ever seen a "Staghound" bring down a large deer by the balls ? Why don't they use St Bernards to do that ? It's because many years of selective breeding made the staghound instinctively behave that way. Dogs have been bred for specific purposes over the years. Some for physical features, others for instinctive behaviors. The bull terriers have been selectively bred for many years as fighting dogs. It's what they do best, and they do it better than any other breed. I'll grant that Chihuahuas may bite more people than the pit bull breeds. But no Chihuahua is capable of crushing a child's skull. I don't trust any dog - not even my 11lb Havanese. Any dog, when provoked, is capable of biting anybody. My dog *will* bite you the third time you blow in her face, but she ain't gonna rip your face off. I would never have in my home, and I would prefer if my neighbors did not have in my neighborhood, any dog that has been selectively bred to attack and kill.
Chris DeJoseph August 23, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Kicking that dead horse again, are we? Funny how expert organizations, professional trainers, veterinarians, and animal behaviorists will all tell you that no breed or type of dog is more or less likely to bite, yet an amateur hate group (dogsbite.org) has so many people convinced otherwise. Do yourself a favor, stop believing everything you hear on the news and on the internet. Learn to think for yourself and question everything. Hate begets hate, don't be another sheep in the flock.


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