An Opinion-Pit Bulls
I interrupt this regularly scheduled writing blog to express an opinion.
I am the owner of a dog named Quizz, who happens to be known as a Pit Bull mix. What he really is doesn’t matter, he has the large blocky head and muscular frame telling people he is a ‘Pit Bull’. I have a good dog, whom I love deeply.
The phrase ‘Pit Bull’ is misused by the media, thereby creating false information by which people judge dogs. ‘Pit Bull’ is used to describe a variety of dog breeds – American Staffordshire Terrier, Mastiff, American Pit Bull, and Boxer. These are just a few that are identified as a pit bull. See if you can spot the Pit Bull.
These dogs are smart, energetic, loving, stubborn and have the greatest desire to please people.
The ruling in the case of Tracy vs. Solesky, was announced April 27, 2012 from the Maryland Court of Appeals.
“…if the plaintiff (person bringing the suit) can show that the dog that was the cause of his or her injury was a pit bull or cross bred pit bull, or that the owner should have known that the dog was a pit bull or cross bred pit bull, the dog’s owner, or person who has the right to control the dog, will be held liable to the plaintiff for the plaintiff’s injuries.” – Boston Law Group, LLC
There are numerous problems in this ruling. While the language of the case allows there are responsible owners and ‘good’ Pit Bulls, it still goes on to state that any dog thought to be a ‘Pit Bull’ or ‘Pit Bull mix’ will render the owner liable for any damages regardless of the situation.
The Maryland Judiciary is demanding that we hold these dogs to a higher standard than we hold most humans. If a dog is teased, assaulted, attempting to protect its owner, any resulting bite will still be the responsibility of the owner. Yes, that means a criminal can sue the victim.
For years, Pit Bull rescue groups have been fighting against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). This ruling in Maryland is a back door approach to BSL. Like in the human world, no dog breed should be targeted because of appearance or myth. If this where to happen to a human population, there would be civil rights groups marching in the streets and legislation banning the behavior. Instead, the target is a voiceless creature, who always loses.
A dog is not a piece of property, not a weapon, nor a punching bag. A dog is a living being with feelings, fears and phobias. They do not come preprogrammed to be obedient or to fit, like a puzzle piece, into any dynamic. But they can learn, becoming certified therapy dogs, search dogs, agility dogs. They can heal from traumatic events, becoming exemplary pets.
A Pit Bull is simply a dog. Not a demon or the scapegoat to blame for people’s lack of understanding of animals or people behavior.
My suggestion would be for the Maryland Courts to rethink their stance. Nothing good ever comes from singling out a group or breed.
Thousands of pit bulls die every year because of this kind of thought process. Let’s not add to the numbers through ill-conceived rulings and blatantly biased legislation.
- Md. Court Rules Pit Bulls ‘More Vicious’; Owners Could Be Held Accountable For Attacks (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Teaching Your Mom About Pit Bulls (notesfromadogwalker.com)
- 2 pit bulls being nursed back to health (myfoxny.com)