Maryland's "Pit Bull" Ruling and the BS of Breed Specific Public Policy

After a long two year journey marked by task force meetings, hearings, rallies, educational meetings throughout the state, and countless calls and emails, the “Pit Bull Ruling” was finally been overturned in April 2014.

B-More Dog was proud to be part of the coalition led with excellence by Tami Santelli of the Humane Society of the United States, which included the Baltimore Animal Welfare Alliance and numerous organizations throughout the state (see logos below) that were all committed to overturning the Court of Appeals ruling and establishing a dog bite liability law fair to all dog owners and bite victims. Special thanks to Delegate Luiz Simmons and Senator Brian Frosh for sponsoring and shepherding through the bills that became law.

Key features of Maryland’s dog bite liability law:

  • The bill that became law was the compromise bill, HB 73/SB 247, that so many of you made critical calls and emails about to gain your legislators’ support. Congratulations!
  • This is emergency legislation that went into effect as soon as the governor signed the bill, April 8, 2014 (instead of October 1, like most bills.)
  • The law is breed-neutral; dogs will be judged by their actions, not their breed or type.
  • Landlords are no longer held strictly liable for their tenants’ dogs’ actions.
  • Pit bulls are no longer deemed to be “inherently dangerous.”