End Meaningless Dog Discrimination


Target: Legislators of the General Assembly in Maryland

Goal: Ban discrimination of pit bulls in the state of Maryland

Six states, including Maryland, are considering a reversal of harmful breed-specific legislation. In Maryland, a 2012 ruling made it difficult for pit bull owners to obtain housing while in possession of an allegedly dangerous animal. Maryland’s General Assembly recently held a hearing to undo this discriminatory ruling, and many hope the passing of an anti-BSL bill will lead to a permanent ban on dog prejudice in the state. Urge the legislators of the General Assembly to reverse breed-specific legislation.

Breed-specific legislation was originally enacted to prevent dog bite fatalities and injuries by inherently dangerous dogs. Since then, science has shown that pit bulls, the victims of the legislation, are not inherently dangerous at all. Some forms of BSL restrict these dogs, such as requiring them to wear muzzles in public, while others ban ownership altogether.

In addition to being utterly futile, BSL has harmed innocent animals as well as their families. Upon BSL implementation, hundreds of dogs were seized from their homes and euthanized immediately, despite having no history of aggression. Among the dogs involved in fatal attacks, 84% were previously neglected or abused, and 86% of them were unneutered males. Science thus shows that pit bulls are the victims of discrimination and mistreatment, not predisposed aggression as BSL claims.

Kristin Auerbach, spokesperson for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Northern Virginia, said that “BSL not only impacts people in Maryland, but contributes to the overall perception of pit bulls as different, which inevitably works its way into the public conscience and effects adoptions, shelter policies, and even other public policy.”

And that was exactly the result of a 2012 Maryland ruling that made pit bull owners, and their landlords, directly responsible for dog attacks.  The scare-tactic law caused landlords to perceive pit bull owners as a liability, and owners now struggle to find housing. Thankfully, Maryland is considering a reversal of this ruling. Residents hope the session will be more successful than last year’s attempt, where the legislation was shot down in the General Assembly.

Urge Maryland’s General Assembly to reverse breed-specific legislation.


Dear Legislators of the General Assembly in Maryland,

Now that the state of Maryland is finally considering a reversal on breed-specific legislation, it is important that the new anti-BSL bill be passed in the General Assembly to pave way for future progress. Last year, a similar bill was shot down, and now animal lovers statewide and struggling again this year to obtain equality for their pets.

The new bill provides relief from a 2012 ruling that made pit bull owners and their landlords “strictly liable” for dog attacks. This scare-tactic law has resulted in the misguided belief that pit owners are a liability, and it is a discriminatory form of BSL that has no place in the government today. Pit bulls are not predisposed to aggression and there is no scientific evidence to support the theory that banning or restricting them makes a society safer. Please pass legislation that would reverse this prejudiced ruling.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Amber via Flickr

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  1. it is the way they are treated that gives them a bad name, I no a couple that are a gently as a lamb,

  2. All of my (fairly long) life, I have taken in stray dogs and cats. One of those I have now, my pit bull Susie, is one of the gentlest animals I have ever had. There is much unfounded propaganda against pit bulls. A related problem is dog fighting. These sleazes train pit bulls to kill, continuing their bad reputation, and steal the pet dogs and cats of others to kill as training. I oppose the death penalty, but would love to see life without parole for the scum involved in dog fighting. In most of the cases I have seen of pit bulls “turning” on someone, it was an unsupervised kid who was hurting the dog.

  3. Don’t rely on breed stereotypes to keep yourself safe from dog bites. A dog’s individual history and behavior are much more important than its breed, and since you don’t always know a dog’s history or behavior, it’s not a good idea to make assumptions. Instead, concentrate on prevention: educate yourself, teach children about proper interactions and behaviors with dogs, and learn how to recognize risky and escalating situations with aggressive dogs. These steps — not BSL — will lead to fewer dog bites – The American Veterinary Medical Association.

  4. deb spanhake says:

    let’s try and better humanity and become that compassionate caring non judgmental and start with not judging breeds but owners who are the ones who give the breed bad a rap those humans who change these dogs into killers!

  5. Barbara Van Tuyl says:

    Perhaps the legislators in Maryland are not aware that not so long ago Pitbulls were revered as “nanny” dogs and sought as companions and guardians for children. Their inherent loving personalities, willingness to protect what is theirs in the way of children and families and the home in general, endeared them for many years while the “haters” were turning on German Shepherds, Rottweilers and heaven knows what else. It is high time these ignorant and reprehensible accusers learned something about the breed and stop judging them by the dogs that have been brutally and horrifically victimized and tortured into fighting by the likes of the Michael Vicks in the world, to name a prominent one. Maybe these narrow-minded legislators can see their way clear to understand the individual cause of a given incident (a dachshund, yorkshire terrier, toy anything or a Great Dane can bite or attack someone, given enough provocation or abuse). Maybe Maryland can get beyond their dark, one-focused glasses and reverse their scare-tactic laws.

  6. Ive seen one of the most sweet & calm pitbulls ever & thats Cesar Millan( the ” dog whisperer”) pit bull dog, Daddy. People get bitten because they fear pit bulls & they sense this energy therefore the dog attacks it. If pple wouldve been afraid of like golden retrievers, that dog would attack too. Like Cesar says ” its the owners not the dog”.

  7. Anne-Mari Gavin says:

    I, and MANY like me, would like to see ALL dog and cat breeding STOPPED until all the animals in shelters have homes. Severe fines for anybody who have a dog/cat on their property that are not STERLILIZED. Thousands of innocent animals are daily put to sleep because there are too many on earth. STOP THIS HORRIFIC PRACTICE OF PUTTING DOGS/CATS TO SLEEP – STOP BREEDING PLEASE!

  8. Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

    I have a pitbull mix dog companion and he is the most intelligent, protective and loving of creatures. The problem is humans and not the innocent dogs which are the victims of ignorant and irresposible owners.

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