Md. lawmakers urged to reconsider pit bull ruling
A doggy daycare in Northwest D.C. is calling on Maryland lawmakers to give pit bulls a fair shake.
The invitation comes after the Maryland General Assembly failed to pass a bill that would have overturned a court ruling that labels the breed as "inherently dangerous".
Maryland is the only state in the country singling out pit bull owners by making them liable for injuries caused by their pets.
Some people say their dogs are being wrongly stereotyped.
Lisa Schreiber has a pit bull of her own and cares for dozens of them at Wagtime. Her daily interactions with the dogs fuel her disappointment with The Maryland General Assembly's breed-specific ruling.
"Who's going to be the judge on whether it looks enough like a pit bull to be singled out?," Schrieber asked.
As the law stands, if someone is attacked by a pit bull, he or she doesn't have to prove the dog has a violent history for the owner to be responsible for damages.
It also means landlords can be held accountable in dog bite cases on their property.
"There is a law established already that requires everyone by law to report a dog bite. If they are bitten by a dog, they are required to report it and I think that should be enough if it's enforced properly," Schreiber said.
Workers at Wagtime want state legislators to visit their pit bulls before voting on the issue again.
Wagtime employee Caitlyn Edwards said, "I think a lot of the problem is that the legislators are not in a position where they would know these dogs, and all they're doing is basing it off the stereotypes that they've heard time and time again."
The court that issued the "inherently dangerous" ruling is expected to reconsider its decision later this week. Lawmakers say it's possible, but unlikely the ruling will change.
The Maryland House and Senate drafted several versions of the bill, but neither side got what they wanted. In the end, the Senate president declared the difference between the bill were too great to work out a compromise within the four-day session.