Md. Court Labels Pit Bulls A Dangerous Breed, Pitting Advocates Against Critics
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Maryland’s highest court labels pit bulls dangerous. The ruling sparks a heated debate pitting people trying to protect animals and children against each other.
Adam May has new reaction.
This issue is very contentious. Pit bull advocates are lashing out on critics of the breed.
Five years ago this week, Dominic Solesky almost bled to death after he was attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull in Towson.
“It tackled him, bit him in the face, drug him to the ground, bit him in the arm, and ultimately it got him in the femoral artery,” said Tony Solesky, father.
Ever since Dominic’s father has been in a long legal battle trying to sue the dog owner’s landlord for negligence.
On Friday, Maryland’s highest court ruled the case can move forward, declaring when an attack involves specifically pit bulls, it’s no longer necessary to prove the individual dog was dangerous.
“It gives people like my son who are mauled–not bitten–the right to seek recourse. It’s all about accountability,” Solesky said.
“It’s similar to racial profiling in a way,” said Pauline Houliaras, B-More Dog.
Pit bull advocates are outraged by the ruling.
“You can’t look at physical characteristics or appearance and determine if that dog is gonna be aggressive or not,” Houliaras said.
Shelters already packed with pit bulls fear an influx of the dogs.
“We’re getting a lot of calls of people threatening to be evicted if they don’t rid of their animal,” said Jen Swanson, Humane Society.
Solesky says he is just trying to protect other children.
“If people are turning their dogs over to shelters because they don’t have the kind of accountability necessary for owning this kind of dog, then that’s where they should be because I don’t want those dogs out there,” he said. “I would like to think the people who advocate for them don’t want them with people who aren’t committed.”
It’s hard to find accurate statistics on pit bull attacks. While one study says pit bulls are no more dangerous than other dogs, another by the CDC says they’re the most common dog involved in fatal attacks.
Pit bull advocates are vowing to fight the ruling.