Maryland Forms Pit Bull Task Force
The Senate and House majority leaders put the task force in writing on Wednesday.
The leaders of Maryland’s General Assembly have created a task force to study the recent court ruling on pit bulls, according to The Washington Post.
The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled at the end of April that pit bulls were "inherently dangerous" and in the event of an attack, it was not necessary to prove that a pit bull had a history of violence; if the owner/landlord knew the dog was a pit bull or pit mix, that person is automatically liable for damages.
"Right now, Maryland is the only state that has made this declaration with regard to pit bulls," Delegate Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), chair of the newly-created pit bull task force, said on WBAL Radio Thursday.
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Citizens have rallied in opposition to the ruling, which they say unfairly targets one type of dog and limits housing options for those who own them.
Lawmakers introduced multiple bills to overturn the court's decision during the special session in May. The bills were not considered, as the session was solely to address the state's budget.
The House and Senate majority leaders wrote a letter to the governor this week announcing the creation of a 10-member, bipartisan task force.
Members of the task force are Senate Judicial Proceedings Chairman Brian Frosh; Senators Lisa Gladden, Joseph Getty, Jamie Raskin and Norman Stone; and Delegates Curtis Anderson, Eric Bromwell, Ben Kramer, Heather Mizeur and Michael Smigiel, reported The Baltimore Sun.
“Now, there's talk about a July session and if there is in fact one, this task force has to meet a couple of times and come up with its recommendation before July 9," said Anderson on WBAL Radio.
If not, he said there would be ample time before January to "come up with a comprehensive look at what the Court of Appeals was saying and what we need to do."
Another task force member has urged the state not to delay. "Waiting till August will be too late," Delegate Smigiel wrote on his blog. "Thousands of dogs will be let loose or euthanized in the interim."
In Howard County, Animal Control is still accepting -- and adopting -- pit bulls.