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Maryland Legislative Recap

(Tuesday, April 09, 2013)

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned late yesterday without passing Senate Bill 160, which would have overturned the Tracey v. Solesky court of appeals ruling.

The original ruling, issued in April 2012, declared all "pit bulls" as inherently dangerous and held landlords liable for any actions caused by these dogs on their properties. On reconsideration in August 2012, the Maryland Court of Appeals stated that this ruling does not apply to mixed breeds. It is still unclear how the court defines a "purebred pit bull".

The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department is very disappointed that this legislation to overturn the decision was not passed by the General Assembly. The AKC was pleased to work with the Maryland Dog Federation, and is very grateful for the Maryland Dog Federation's extensive work and dedication to this issue. The AKC also thanks the many clubs, dog owners and breeders who took the time to contact their legislators on this important issue.

The General Assembly did pass House Bill 1203, which requires insurers offering homeowner's or renter's insurance to provide written notice at the time of application and each renewal that states if the policy does not provide coverage for specific breeds, as well as a list of the specific breeds not covered in the policy. This bill now goes to the governor.

AKC GR and the Maryland Dog Federation will continue working with the Maryland General Assembly to address the issues associated with the Tracey v. Solesky ruling, and restore the rights of responsible dog owners in Maryland.

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