Pit Bull
Family Pet or Not, Pit Bulls are a Legal Target In Maryland

Generally Maryland and Montgomery County in particular are very friendly to dogs. Parks for Fido and friends to play are commonplace in Montgomery County and dog lovers walk their dogs frequently down shady neighborhood streets or along the C&O Canal.  However, people looking for a Bethesda home to buy might want to consider whether Maryland will be friendly to their particular breed of dog.

The Maryland Court of Appeals will not reconsider an April decision in which it ruled that pit bull dogs are”inherently dangerous.” Judge Alan Wilner, in a nine-page decision issued in August 2012, denied the motion for reconsideration with one caveat – as it applies to cross-bred pit bulls as from  pure bred pit bull dogs.

Judge Wilner said that “having re-read the briefs, relevant portions of the record extract, and the dissent, I am now convinced that, on the record before us, the application of the Court’s holding of strict liability to cross-bred pit bulls was both gratuitous and erroneous,” wrote Wilner. “I would grant the motion for reconsideration, in part, to delete any reference to cross-bred pit bulls, so that the Court’s holding would apply only to pit bulls that are not cross-breds.”

Left in place is the ruling by the state’s highest court that dog owners and their landlords are responsible for injuries caused by the dogs.

Aileen Gabbey, executive director of the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the decision disappointing except for “the one change that it no longer should include “mixed’ breeds.”

“It is still unclear how they are defining a “pure” pit bull,” Gabbey wrote in a statement. “This ruling negatively impacts both humans and pets in Maryland. Residents should not have to choose between their home or their beloved family pets. We will continue to urge the specially-formed task force to meet on this issue before the regular Maryland General Assembly session convenes in January.”  State legislators failed to overturn the court decision during the August special session.

If you are looking for a home in Bethesda or perhaps a townhouse in Kenwood Forest, please call the Lise Howe Group to find out how we can help you simplify your search.