Target: Governor Martin O’Malley
Goal: Commend Maryland’s passage of a law to reduce the targeting of pit bull dogs and the people who associate with them
Recently, the state of Maryland passed what is known neutral dog bite liability legislation, correcting a court case which specifically targeted pit bulls. This new legislation will make only the dog owner responsible if their pet bites anyone, instead of third parties. Sign this petition and commend state of Maryland for this decision.
Pits bulls have long been targeted as aggressive dog breeds because of their use in dog fighting. This has led to many states adopting laws that target pit bulls, but this discrimination is not based on fact. Pit bull is an artificial term which actually covers several different dog breeds who share similar characteristics. A previous ruling stated that if a pit bull dog attacked another person and the victim sued, the dog owner and landlord would be responsible for the damage.
This previous ruling also made other third parties who associated with the dog liable. People and organizations like veterinarians, shelters, landlords, pet sitters, groomers, and rescue groups could be held liable for the behavior of the dog. The new legislation will place responsibility solely upon the owner, no matter what breed of dog is involved in a biting incident. The new rule was also supported by a coalition of animal welfare groups, animal shelters, dog advocacy groups, and rental housing groups.
Pit bulls continue to be targeted because of their history with dog fighting. Please know that the likelihood for a dog to bite depends on numerous of factors, like early socialization, living conditions, and the owner’s choices to spay or neuter their dog. No dog has a locking jaw, but pit bulls have been discriminated against because negligent and cruel dog owners train them to fight. Sign this petition and commend the state of Maryland for rectifying a discriminatory piece of legislation and advocating for neutrality.
Dear Governor Martin O’Malley,
The United States is full of dog lovers, so you can understand the uproar over the Tracey vs. Solesky ruling that targeted pit bulls. As you may know, the term pit bull is an incorrect term, as it identifies several dog breeds with similar characteristics. The previous ruling unfairly targeted pit bulls by identifying them as aggressive, and also made third parties liable for the dogs’ actions.
If a human decides to get a dog, they should be the ones solely responsible for the dog. Vets, animal shelters, and the landlord shouldn’t be liable and the previous ruling created tension between landlords and their tenants. I am writing this letter to commend your state for rectifying this legislation and advocating for neutrality.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Night-thing via flickr