Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—A controversial pit bull ruling could be overturned. The dogs were labeled inherently dangerous by the high court, and now lawmakers say that’s not the way to go.
Rochelle Ritchie explains.
With signs in hand and others being made to show their support for House Bill 78, pit bull owners came together at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis, hoping to persuade lawmakers to reverse a 2012 decision by the Maryland Appeals Court that labeled pit bulls “inherently dangerous.”
“Every dog owner should be responsible for their dog no matter their age, breed whatever,” said Mindy Fitzgerald, pit bull owner.
Pit bulls were placed under the microscope of controversy after two boys were brutally attacked and left in the hospital for days.
An outraged father filed suit not only against the dog’s owner but the landlord.
“I never cared for this breed as a domestic pet,” said Tony Solesky, whose son was mauled by a pit bull.
House Bill 78 is already dividing lawmakers, who agree the inherently dangerous label should apply to all dogs and only the owner should be responsible for dogs that attack.
The court ruling in 2012 allowed for vets and even landlords to be held accountable.
However, when it comes to how innocent victims of dog attacks are compensated, lawmakers are divided.
Pit bull owners say they understand laws are needed to protect humans from vicious dogs, but when a dog is guilty by law without any acts of violence they are unjustly punished.
“I think it’s total crap. There’s nothing mean about this dog,” said Joe Nasatka, pit bull owner.
As the court ruling stands now, vets and groomers can also be liable for any damage caused by a pit bull.