Court decision on pitbulls rallies supporters


It is the term ‘inherently dangerous' that raises the most concern in this debate, a broad stroke animal activists say a Maryland court painted with the wrong brush.

"Absolutely.  We believe they are already very concerned and we're concerned as well."

Tina Regester with the Maryland SPCA says the ruling of Pitbulls deemed inherently dangerous extends liability to not just the owner of the dog, but a landlord, a doggy day care...even parks.

Already the SPCA has seen an influx of calls wondering if the shelter can take their dogs because their landlords say they will no longer, but there is only a certain amount of space in Maryland shelters.

"Absolutely.  We only have space for about 50 dogs in our shelter so if there is no room here than folks are going to need to find other places and this is a concern," said Regester.

A growing supply fueled by a legally dictated lower demand may very well equal rapid euthanization.

And that is just one of the general overall concerns people have with this ruling, but it is the one on one relationship people have with their dogs that drove them out to Lawyers Mall in Annapolis today for their protest.

[Has your dog ever bit anybody?]  "No."  [Mauled anybody?] "No."  [Bad temperament?] "No.  He will lick you to death though.  He will lick you to death."   

Casey Medairy was at the rally representing her two year old pit.

He is her baby she said, at the rally to say the court shouldn't be able to force her to discriminate against a family member.

That is a strong belief all of the pit owners had on the mall, not only by protest against the high court's ruling, but in support of a bill that would help change it.

"What the court just did was say that any mix of a pitbull which, we don't even know what that is.  Is it 5 percent or 51 percent, is going to be an inherently dangerous dog.  [And this bill brings it back to a dog by dog basis?] Absolutely, based on the dog's activities and actions," said Maryland Delegate Michael Smigiel who is sponsoring the bill.   

Smigiel's legislation, if passed would clarify the law in the state judging ‘inherent danger' by a dog's character and not by its race, religion, color or breed.

Delegate Smigiel says he was already told his bill would not be considered in this special session, but the legislature may take it up in July during the special session scheduled to debate table games.

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