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Md. Delegate Calls For Special Session After Dog Bite Legislation Fails

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PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The General Assembly’s failure to pass legislation on dog bites has one lawmaker calling for a special session.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains it’s a long shot, but not out of the question.

It was “sine die” and the dogs were out.

Pit bull owners are outraged over the failure to resolve liability for dog bites.

“So you’re telling me that you are going to take my dog from me?” a dog owner said.

The House and Senate struggled to the bitter end.

“Hopefully they arrive at some sort of compromise. I know there’s a lot of people that love their pit bulls. I also know there’s a lot of kids that have been mauled by them,” said Governor O’Malley.

But the Maryland General Assembly failed to resolve the court ruling that labels pit bulls “inherently dangerous” and imposes strict liability for damages on landlords and dog owners.

Delegate Ben Kramer is asking the governor to call a special session.

“I think he understands how important this is to the citizens of Maryland,” said Kramer.

The House and Senate agree that landlords should not be held liable. They could not agree on the liability of dog owners.

Kramer is asking the governor to bring lawmakers back just to pass a bill that releases landlords from liability, and worry about the rest later.

“Why don’t we focus on where there was common ground and where we can get the most bang for the buck, and that is to stop the hemorrhaging. Let’s stop putting people in the position of whether they need to give up their family pet or their home,” he said.

With landlords in the clear, the House and Senate can resume their fight over the liability of dog owners next year. A spokesperson for the governor says he’ll consider it.

Right now, the court ruling stands.

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