Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The fight over the danger of pit bulls is raging on. A recent court ruling singles out the breed as more dangerous than other dogs. That’s causing problems for pit bull owners all over the state.
Meghan McCorkell explains how animal advocates are fighting back against what they call “racial profiling for dogs.”
There are three different petitions circulating online trying to override the appeals court ruling that labels all pit bulls dangerous dogs.
Mark Davidson may lose two members of his family.
“They’re my children,” he said of his two pit bulls.
His landlord told him: Get rid of your pit bulls or move out.
Davidson is in the same boat as many after an appeals court deemed pit bulls vicious dogs and ruled landlords could be held liable if they bite.
The ruling comes in response to the attack of a Towson boy in 2007.
“This is Sophie’s Choice. You’re forced to give up your family and that’s not fair,” Kim Wolfe of the Animal Farm Foundation, a New York-based animal rescue, said.
Since the ruling, local animal shelters have seen an influx of pit bulls come in.
“It’s hard. We’re always at capacity at our shelter. We take in over 11,000 animals a year,” Lisa Morabito of the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) said.
BARCS is now having trouble keeping up with the numbers coming in.
Animal advocates came together on Thursday to discuss strategies for dealing with the aftermath of the ruling and ways to fight it.
“We all want the same thing. We want safe communities and breed discriminatory laws don’t do that,” Wolfe said.
Stephen Lewis couldn’t imagine life without his 3-year-old pit bull, Lexi.
“Very attentive, very responsive. Just wanted to cuddle with us on the couch with us and nap,” he said of Lexi.
He equates breed-specific legislation to racial profiling for dogs. His heart goes out to owners like Mark Davidson who could lose their best friends.
Ten thousand dollars has already been raised to fight the appeals court ruling.
Members of the House of Delegates have introduced four bills that would override the appeals court decision. Those bills could be discussed if lawmakers convene for a second special session this summer.