Pit Bull Bill Fails in the Senate

Pit Bull Bill Fails in the Senate

The recent Special Session convened in the Maryland General Assembly dealt with two proposed bills in which four days of debate were spent. One of the pieces of legislation was Senate Bill II designed as the supposed answer to the recent Maryland Court of Appeals ruling in Tracy vs. Solesky.

The Senate took what was a bad ruling in Tracy vs. Solesky and made it much worse by deciding that all dog owners would be liable for injuries to victims. This not only included injuries from a dog bite, but injuries incurred as a result of a dog’s impact. For example: if a dog’s activity caused you to fall down a flight of steps or off your bicycle, the pet owner is at fault. In addition, the Bill did include many exceptions in cases of trespassing but the language was muddied and unclear.

I commend the House Judiciary Committee for their amazing and unanimous bi-partisan work in reshaping the Senate version. The Bill was not breed specific, did not hold owners liable so long as their dogs were on a leash or their property, service animals were protected, and owners were made liable for loose dogs only. The House of Delegates voted 127-0 for approval by the Senate and I am proud to say that I supported this Bill. Unfortunately the Senate was not so happy and did not take up the amended House version of their Bill which is now leaving dog owners, animal shelters, and tenants in limbo.


Your Servant and Delegate Glen Glass



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Linda Hoffecker August 24, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Sounds like a great bill; what didn't the senate like? That it's not breed specific?
Christopher Kidwell August 27, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Pretty much that was the reason, Linda. Bottom line in the real world is that other breeds of animals bite far more than pitbulls. Pitbull bites are just more 'severe' because of the physical characteristics of the dog, such as the 'locking jaw'.
S. A. F. August 27, 2012 at 01:50 PM
As a pit bull owner I can say that any myths I had learned about pit bulls were dispelled. There are far worse dogs out there if you cross their temper. Akita's, German Shepherds and even Great Danes can have a bad temper if brought up wrong. It's never the animal. It's always. ALWAYS the person who brings up the animal.
Eddie Stevenson September 01, 2012 at 10:13 PM
99% of the pitbulls I have personally met have been sweet and playful. I cant own one due to a rent clause (though I have a rottie.)
Kate January 25, 2013 at 05:40 PM
The difference is this: other inherently dangerous breeds may tend to bite as much or even more, however usually more territorial behavior. Whereas the pit bulls are known for running loose and coming in other peoples properties and biting/maiming or even killing. Right now in my neighborhood, people are afraid to walk thier dogs because of two pit bulls that keep escaping thier yard and terrorizing the nieghborhood. One occasion, chewing up a small dog, and another attacking an elderly man. My german shepherd may bite, but only if someone comes in my yard. She does not try to escape just to bite people.


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