The Maryland State Legislature is considering two identical measures as early as this week that would seek to overturn a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling issued in early 2012 that said all "pit bulls" are inherently dangerous.
Maryland residents are encouraged to contact the members of Committees and ask them to support House Bill 78 and Senate Bill 160. Scroll down for contact and hearing information.
Since the Tracey v. Solesky ruling, many dogs have automatically been ruled as dangerous regardless of their actions. The ruling also stated that landlords should be held liable for allowing tenants to keep these dogs on their property.
House Bill 78 and Senate Bill 160 would overturn this decision. As a result, certain dogs will no longer be considered dangerous solely based on breed, and landlords may allow tenants to responsibly keep dogs on their property, regardless of breed. Maryland state law already has definitions of "potentially dangerous" and "dangerous" dog that are based on a dog's specific actions and behavior.
The American Kennel Club believes that these bills are an excellent step towards restoring the rights of responsible dog owners and landlords in Maryland.
What You Can Do:
AKC encourages Maryland residents to contact the committee members in support of these measures. Residents may also consider attending the hearings. The information is as follows:
House Bill 78:
House Judiciary Committee (click on the link to access contact information)
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
House Office Building, Room 100
Annapolis, MD 21401
** If you wish to testify in committee, you must take 35 copies of your remarks to the committee clerk at least 1 hour prior to the hearing, and sign the witness register before the hearing begins.
Senate Bill 160:
Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (click on the link to access contact information)
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
2 East Miller Senate Building
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
** If you wish to testify at this hearing, you must submit 20 copies of your remarks to committee staff by noon and sign the witness register by 12:45 p.m. Comments may not be placed in binders, plastic covers, or anything that cannot be easily copied.
The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) will continue to monitor these bills and provide updates. For more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Maryland Dog Federation at email@example.com.