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Maryland Group Wants Pit Bull Ruling Overturned

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — There is growing anger over Maryland’s high court ruling after a pit bull attack. An organization that promotes animal rights legislation is asking the governor to pass new legislation during the General Assembly’s special session next week.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the force behind the movement.

The 2007 pit bull attack that mauled 10-year-old Dominic Solesky is having far-reaching consequences.

“He grabbed my leg, he started shaking me around and dragged me around the alley,” Solesky said.

Solesky’s is among several pit bull attacks in recent years.

“He came under the gate and bit my leg,” said another child bitten by a pit bull.

The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that “when an attack involves pit bulls, it is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull or pit bulls are dangerous.” This clears the way for Solesky’s father to sue the dog owner’s landlord for negligence and raising a protest for animal groups, including Maryland Votes for Animals, a legislative watchdog that now wants the governor to intervene.

“I have just been overwhelmed with the response from people who are very, very upset about this ruling,” said Chairwoman Carolyn Kilborn.

Kilborn is asking those who believe the ruling is unfair to urge the governor to bring up the issue in next week’s special session.

“In Maryland, current law is what we call a one bite rule, that all dogs get one bite before they are determined to be dangerous. But what this law does, what it says is pit bulls and pit bull mixes…are immediately considered to be inherently dangerous and we feel it’s absolutely wrong,” Kilborn said.

According to the Humane Society, Maryland is the only state to categorically declare pit bulls a dangerous breed.

A spokesperson for the governor tells WJZ they have received numerous calls and emails and are looking into the matter but the special session will focus on the state budget.

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