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 Post subject: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court ruling)
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:32 am 
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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaki ... 9019.story
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A decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals, issued this week, distinguishes pit bulls and mixed breeds from other kinds of dogs. In the past, a victim intending to file a lawsuit after a dog attack had to prove that a dog's owner knew it had a history of being dangerous. Now, showing that the owner or landlord knew a dog is part pit bull would be sufficient for a claim.


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Kevin A. Dunne, attorney for the Solesky family, said Friday that "the Court of Appeals decision will likely cause there to be fewer pit bull maulings of the citizens of the state of Maryland."


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But Houliaras said she fears the ruling will prompt shelters to re-evaluate their adoption policies, possibly restricting pit bull breed adoptions, as well as causing more owners to relinquish their pets, and potentially causing higher euthanization rates of pit bulls and pit bull mixes.

"We agree that dog owners should be held liable for injuries caused when their dogs bite people, but this should be regardless of the breed," she said.


I got an email about this and the email made it sound as if this was legislation but this appears to actually be a precedent? Against which further court cases can use in their rulings. It seems an issue on both sides, one saying that a pitbull is inherently dangerous, thus allowing someone to sue a landlord if a tenant has a pitbull or a dog suspected of being a pitbull. The other side being, does this mean that the same can't be said for known dangerous dogs of other breeds?

I can only imagine that this would make it harder for people with any dog suspected of being a pit mix being able to get housing. And yes dog owners should be financially responsible for damage that their dog does. It'd seem better to make it so that owners are liable for their dogs, no matter the breed. This particular lawsuit was against the landlord though.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Yeah the maryland case was confusing, not sure what i think about it. While Im not anti-BSL, I fail to see how this is a positive step for either public safety or canine welfare

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Unless you have a doggie DNA test done, how can you know for sure that you have a pit bull mix? I have a dog who could be part pit but I have zero idea if that is the case

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:25 pm 
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You don't. I had a friend who lives in the Denver area (not Denver itself which does have BSL) and their Home owners insurance dropped them because their dog looked like it might have some pit bull in it. I met the dog, didn't look like a bully breed to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 5:10 am 
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I can only assume my stupid county (Prince George's, MD) will just use this to reinforce the argument that despite 20 years of no benefit and high cost to taxpayers, the pitbull ban is a needed thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:18 am 
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Frederick decided not to comply with the decision, according to this press release, so I'm guessing it's not actually legislation.

Actually, it looks like the county's animal shelter decided to ban pit bull adoptions, but then reversed their decision.

Anyway, this sucks and I'm really disappointed.


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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:31 am 
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eatsbabies wrote:
Frederick decided not to comply with the decision, according to this press release, so I'm guessing it's not actually legislation.

Actually, it looks like the county's animal shelter decided to ban pit bull adoptions, but then reversed their decision.

Anyway, this sucks and I'm really disappointed.


From what I understand it's not legislation but it is precident which will still have a huge impact when it comes to civil cases. It lowers the bar for lawsuits to accuse dog owners of "harboring" an animal known to be dangerous.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:07 am 
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alden wrote:
eatsbabies wrote:
Frederick decided not to comply with the decision, according to this press release, so I'm guessing it's not actually legislation.

Actually, it looks like the county's animal shelter decided to ban pit bull adoptions, but then reversed their decision.

Anyway, this sucks and I'm really disappointed.


From what I understand it's not legislation but it is precident which will still have a huge impact when it comes to civil cases. It lowers the bar for lawsuits to accuse dog owners of "harboring" an animal known to be dangerous.


Yeah, the precedent is someone suing a landlord over a tenant having a pit bull or potential pit bull mix. So it brings the 'responsibility' to landlords to ensure that their tenants don't have any dogs that might be a pit bull mix or else they could be sued if that dog bites/attacks anyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:14 am 
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Okay, that's pretty much what I was thinking, but I know very little about law and politics. Thanks for clearing that up.

I still think it's ridiculous. I think I'd be preaching to the choir to say any more about why. I know people have been calling O'Malley to try to get him to introduce counterlegislation.


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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:22 am 
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I hate these laws, I think reinforcing the idea that pitbulls are dangerous and therefore 'badass' just makes idiots who WANT a violent dog think it's even cooler, and then they teach the dog to be aggressive and cycle, cycle, cycle. I'm not a big dog person, but i've met well over 100 pitbulls in my day and only one of them was violent. I always make it a point to stop and pet pitbulls when I see them at Petsmart adoptions because a lot of people avoid them. I've had people see my petting the dog and getting big sloppy kisses and then they come over and pet the dog too.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:38 am 
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I was a kid when Dobermans and Rottweillers were the monster dogs but it certainly seems like that has faded for the most part, I have to wonder how long it will take for pittbulls to shake this forked up b.s. reputation.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:37 am 
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I am terrified of Dobermans, we had neighbors when I was young that would let their two run loose and we were told if they were out, we had to come in. I don't know if theirs were mean or not, but it stuck with me and they make me nervous. But i've only seen one Doberman in the past ten years, I guess they aren't 'popular' anymore?

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:46 am 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
I am terrified of Dobermans, we had neighbors when I was young that would let their two run loose and we were told if they were out, we had to come in. I don't know if theirs were mean or not, but it stuck with me and they make me nervous. But i've only seen one Doberman in the past ten years, I guess they aren't 'popular' anymore?



yeah probably not. I confess my knee-jerk reaction is to see them as a bit intimidating as well thanks to all the kids movies that had them as the evil dogs but maybe that's just because I haven't been around them enough to see the same stupidly happy face every other dog will get at one point in time or another.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Something interesting I was reading was a report of dog related fatalities in 2010. The most common aspect was that the dogs had little to no human contact (often lived outdoors, oftened chained) and were mixed breeds. Some of the mixed breeds were reported as pit bulls in the news yet dog experts said that they didn't appear to be pit bull mixes and it was indeterminate.

I have a 30 lb mixed breed dog and although she LOVES children more than anything. I'd be a bit hesitant to leave her alone with a child who is 5 or younger. She can get overprotective towards other dogs sometimes and although I've never seen real aggression towards people, you never know.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Yeah, Chester is a jack russell/beagle mix and looks like a happy little dog...but he hates kids and will rip their forking faces off. I've often had to yell at parents to stop their kid from running towards us because he bites.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:15 pm 
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We probably had Maggie 3 years before I saw her go crazy on another dog. The instance was when a dog approached me prior to approaching her and I was in between her and the dog. It has happened a couple times since but generally, I let her be between me and a dog and meet the dog first. Then she is fine but I'm always cautious with her and other dogs and kids/people she doesn't know because you do never know.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:25 pm 
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i wrote a comment on skeptical vegan's blog post. i'm spoilering it because it's long, and most of you probably already know the anti-BSL stance.
Spoiler: show
just because the term "nanny dog" wasn't around before 1971 doesn't mean they weren't loved and trusted family members who were great with kids prior to that.

same thing with "vegan" just because the word didn't exist before it was created doesn't mean there weren't any people eating a plant-based diet. it's semantics.

the reason why pit bulls are victimized is because they are so loyal. they want to please their people. (and it's convenient to have a dog that refuses to bite you all while you are forcing it to fight other dogs.)

i just can't believe that you would prefer killing dogs than advocate for better legislation and more jail time for victimizers. that's like saying you want to kill the children from abusive homes, because they're more likely to be violent than children from well adjusted homes. (it also says you are against having any children in any homes in a neighborhood that has a high rate of abuse. how does that make any sense!)

i don't know if any of those bite statistics account for the percentage of dogs of that breed that simply exist. (you're bound to see more bites from a breed that is way more prevalent than one that is relatively rare, but if the data is adjusted to reflect that, the outcome is bound to be different) also, these days "pit bull" is to dangerous dog as "kleenex" is to tissue. the media knows that if they slap "pit bull" on their story that it'll get a lot more hits than if they omitted the breed, which may or may not be pit bull. there's a great quiz with photos of lots of breeds of dogs, and you're supposed to pick out the pit bull. lots of times people have no idea what a pit bull looks like, so they'll just say "pit bull" if it looks like what they think a pit bull is supposed to look like. that skews the data, too.


anyway, yeah. what you learn when you're young sure does stay with you. i'm still a tiny bit apprehensive when approaching dobermen and to a lesser extent, rotties. we had a german shepherd when i was little, and he was a great dog, but even meeting german shepherds, that apprehension is in the back of my mind, because of the old timey BSL-esque stuff. it's not fair to those dogs.

even the "punish the deed not the breed" thing can be applied to humans. biologically, races and nationalities can be thought of as human breeds. can you honestly agree with segregation based on genetic nationality because a certain variety of human is abused more often than the other varieties? why punish the victim? (people who agree with BSL are agreeing with racial profiling.)

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Over here it's illegal to own Pit Bulls, but I've seen more than a few dogs who are definitely Pits, rather than Staffies, and they generally seem to be owned by idiots who have them as a status thing (or at least that's what it looks like outwardly), so I think BSL just encourages the type of people who shouldn't own these dogs (or any dog).

On a side note, I always find it funny when I see Dobermans portrayed as tough, guard dog types, as having grown up with them since age 8, I would consider them one of the soppiest and sweetest breeds of dog I've encountered. Just any dog has the potential to be dangerous if it's not treated well.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Disappearing Ink wrote:
On a side note, I always find it funny when I see Dobermans portrayed as tough, guard dog types, as having grown up with them since age 8, I would consider them one of the soppiest and sweetest breeds of dog I've encountered. Just any dog has the potential to be dangerous if it's not treated well.


Obviously you've never seen The Doberman Gang http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068491/ (one of my favorite movies as a kid)

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 3:00 pm 
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alden wrote:
I was a kid when Dobermans and Rottweillers were the monster dogs but it certainly seems like that has faded for the most part, I have to wonder how long it will take for pittbulls to shake this forked up b.s. reputation.


When I was a kid it seemed to be rotties and german shepherds who were the bad dogs you needed to watch out for. Its just hilarious to me now, knowing some german shepherds who think they're tiny lapdogs and run from chihuahuas and my dad got a rottie now who's adorable. I think Rottweilers can be scary for the fact they don't bark much, they watch and wait before they make a move.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:09 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
i wrote a comment on skeptical vegan's blog post. i'm spoilering it because it's long, and most of you probably already know the anti-BSL stance.
Spoiler: show
just because the term "nanny dog" wasn't around before 1971 doesn't mean they weren't loved and trusted family members who were great with kids prior to that.

same thing with "vegan" just because the word didn't exist before it was created doesn't mean there weren't any people eating a plant-based diet. it's semantics.

the reason why pit bulls are victimized is because they are so loyal. they want to please their people. (and it's convenient to have a dog that refuses to bite you all while you are forcing it to fight other dogs.)

i just can't believe that you would prefer killing dogs than advocate for better legislation and more jail time for victimizers. that's like saying you want to kill the children from abusive homes, because they're more likely to be violent than children from well adjusted homes. (it also says you are against having any children in any homes in a neighborhood that has a high rate of abuse. how does that make any sense!)

i don't know if any of those bite statistics account for the percentage of dogs of that breed that simply exist. (you're bound to see more bites from a breed that is way more prevalent than one that is relatively rare, but if the data is adjusted to reflect that, the outcome is bound to be different) also, these days "pit bull" is to dangerous dog as "kleenex" is to tissue. the media knows that if they slap "pit bull" on their story that it'll get a lot more hits than if they omitted the breed, which may or may not be pit bull. there's a great quiz with photos of lots of breeds of dogs, and you're supposed to pick out the pit bull. lots of times people have no idea what a pit bull looks like, so they'll just say "pit bull" if it looks like what they think a pit bull is supposed to look like. that skews the data, too.


I'll spoiler my response as well but preface it with saying that you didnt read my post and you admitted to skimming it in a subsequent comment, so folks should read your comment in light of it reflecting knee-jerk reactions to common BSL talking points & not as much reactions to the actual content of the post

Spoiler: show
Quote:
“just because the term “nanny dog” wasn’t around before 1971…”


No, but it does mean that the line “Astoundingly, for most of our history America’s nickname for Pit Bulls was “The Nanny Do”” and similar statements made by pit bull advocates in a false myth. If you wanna argue that they are great with kids, go ahead, but its dishonest and misleading to perpetuate a myth while doing it

Quote:
“i just can’t believe that you would prefer killing dogs than advocate for better legislation and more jail time for victimizers. “


I’m not sure how you got this out of the blog post. I DON’T advocate routine euthanasia and I do believe in far, far harsher sentences for dog fighters and other animal abusers. And I also believe in better legislation, but among other things this includes some forms of BSL & MSN as they are deemed appropriate by their communities. Did you even read the whole post or did you just assume that this was a pro-BSL, anti-pit bull post and have a knee-jerk reaction?

Quote:
“i don’t know if any of those bite statistics account…”


All of these were addressed in the post, I’m getting the feeling you didnt read it.


Quote:
(people who agree with BSL are agreeing with racial profiling.)

false. The genetic variation and its implication for domestic animals does not have direct bearing on the implications of genetic variation between human groups. Both the degree and nature of the variation is different along with other factors, treating the issues as the same is either naive or dishonest.
You wanna tell us next how those who support mandatory spay & neuter for dogs & cats are calling for the rounding up & involuntary sterilization of homeless humans?

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:28 pm 
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When I was a kid it seemed to be rotties and german shepherds who were the bad dogs you needed to watch out for.


and they too appear to genuinely be higher risk breeds from some of the dog bit statics and both have been the target of BSL in some areas, along with a number of other breeds such as Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Presa Canario, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Doberman, & Akita.

I think this is a poor argument to say "well we used to think rots were dangerous but now we think pitbulls are" so pitbull must not really be dangerous . Cant they both be higher risk? Its interesting to note that the breeds targeted as the bad guys around the world and in US history have by and large been hunting, guarding, and fighting breeds. So when people say "pit bulls arnt then only one" remember that plenty of other dogs have been bred for guarding, hunting, and fighting. Pit bulls arnt necessarily THE problem, but breeding for genetic variations resulting in certain temperaments and capacities is a problem, and its been done for a number of breeds.

Its also a very poor argument to say" I dont think pit bulls (or whatever breed) are dangerous cause my childhood doggie was a pittie and he was so sweet". Sorry, that kinda of reasoning doesn't fly. We could go back and forth with anecdotes about our child hood dogs all day and it would get us closer to the truth.

But I wanna state I had a rot as a kid, she was abused & abandoned and was the sweetest dog ever, however, Im not gonna ignore the very real potential of rots being a higher risk breed. I would still adopt one, in fact i would have a breed preference for a rot out of nostalgia. But Im not about to downplay their power or any potential risk.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:57 pm 
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SkepticalVegan wrote:
Quote:
When I was a kid it seemed to be rotties and german shepherds who were the bad dogs you needed to watch out for.


and they too appear to genuinely be higher risk breeds from some of the dog bit statics and both have been the target of BSL in some areas, along with a number of other breeds such as Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Presa Canario, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Doberman, & Akita.

I think this is a poor argument to say "well we used to think rots were dangerous but now we think pitbulls are" so pitbull must not really be dangerous . Cant they both be higher risk? Its interesting to note that the breeds targeted as the bad guys around the world and in US history have by and large been hunting, guarding, and fighting breeds. So when people say "pit bulls arnt then only one" remember that plenty of other dogs have been bred for guarding, hunting, and fighting. Pit bulls arnt necessarily THE problem, but breeding for genetic variations resulting in certain temperaments and capacities is a problem, and its been done for a number of breeds.

Its also a very poor argument to say" I dont think pit bulls (or whatever breed) are dangerous cause my childhood doggie was a pittie and he was so sweet". Sorry, that kinda of reasoning doesn't fly. We could go back and forth with anecdotes about our child hood dogs all day and it wouldnt get us closer to the truth.

But I wanna state I had a rot as a kid, she was abused & abandoned and was the sweetest dog ever, however, Im not gonna ignore the very real potential of rots being a higher risk breed. I would still adopt one, in fact i would have a breed preference for a rot out of nostalgia. But Im not about to downplay their power or any potential risk.

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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:43 am 
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SkepticalVegan wrote:
Quote:
When I was a kid it seemed to be rotties and german shepherds who were the bad dogs you needed to watch out for.


and they too appear to genuinely be higher risk breeds from some of the dog bit statics and both have been the target of BSL in some areas, along with a number of other breeds such as Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Presa Canario, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Doberman, & Akita.

I think this is a poor argument to say "well we used to think rots were dangerous but now we think pitbulls are" so pitbull must not really be dangerous . Cant they both be higher risk? Its interesting to note that the breeds targeted as the bad guys around the world and in US history have by and large been hunting, guarding, and fighting breeds. So when people say "pit bulls arnt then only one" remember that plenty of other dogs have been bred for guarding, hunting, and fighting. Pit bulls arnt necessarily THE problem, but breeding for genetic variations resulting in certain temperaments and capacities is a problem, and its been done for a number of breeds.

Its also a very poor argument to say" I dont think pit bulls (or whatever breed) are dangerous cause my childhood doggie was a pittie and he was so sweet". Sorry, that kinda of reasoning doesn't fly. We could go back and forth with anecdotes about our child hood dogs all day and it would get us closer to the truth.

But I wanna state I had a rot as a kid, she was abused & abandoned and was the sweetest dog ever, however, Im not gonna ignore the very real potential of rots being a higher risk breed. I would still adopt one, in fact i would have a breed preference for a rot out of nostalgia. But Im not about to downplay their power or any potential risk.


Reading your blog I have a few questions/comments that I'll throw into a spoiler as well since I haven't used that before and feel like it would be fantastic:

Spoiler: show
1. You seem to touch on the fact that identification is highly subjective but then never really come up with a solution to that problem. BSL is dependent on said breed being identified as a problem. If I said all Hungarians were dangerous people because I had misidentified a dozen people of various geographic backgrounds who committed violent acts my conclusion would be useless. Until breeds can actually be clearly identified then the basis of BSL is completely foolish at best.

2. BSL seems to consist of bans, there are very few BSL related laws that do anything short of banning possession of the animals so when you mention MSN are you suggesting that BSL should be for all intents and purposes redefined to allow possession of the animals but only in cases where they are not intact (or insert other circumstances - certain minimum acreage, no chains, or whatever the causation theory of the day might be)?

3. I completely agree that breeding is at the core of the issue.

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Ugh I saw all these cave paintings complaining about vegan cheese options. I don't miss those days. -Isa


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 Post subject: Re: Maryland - Pit Bulls considered 'dangerous' (court rulin
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 10:17 am 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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I do think that mandatory spay/neuter laws protect pit bulls, not just to prevent more from dying in shelters but to devalue them to abusers.

However, I wish that type of BSL would not be conflated with pit bull bans, which kill innocent dogs, continue to make the dogs appealing to dog fighters, and make a lot of our lives really difficult when we adopt pit bulls and don't have the money to buy a house.


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