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POLL: Are Pit Bulls 'Inherently Dangerous?'

The pit bull task force meets in Annapolis on Tuesday. Back in May, a 9-year-old boy was bitten by a pit bull in Pasadena.

Maryland's pit bull task force will hold its first meeting in Annapolis on Tuesday.

Lawmakers formed the group after the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling back in April, .” In the event of an attack, it is 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.

This issue hit close to Pasadena on May 23 when a .

The new task force will meet to discuss legislation prohibiting any dog from being named "inherently dangerous."

Since the court ruling, Marylanders have railed in defense of the pit bulls, saying the ruling unfairly targets one type of dog. It could also limit housing options for those who own pit bulls.

According to WBAL, animal rights activists feel as though a number of dogs could be abandoned and euthanized because of the ruling.

When the 9-year-old boy from Pasadena was seriously injured from the pit bull bite, several readers left comments on the site in the defense of the breed.

Patch reader Cindy wrote, “Pit bulls are no more dangerous than any dog that has teeth! I am so sick of hearing this kind of stuff! It is only because the media can't wait to jump on a pit bull bite. If they don't know what kind of dog it is they almost always say it looks to be a pit bull mix.”

Patch reader Kathryn wasn’t so quick to defend pit bulls. She talked about the size of the breed’s jaw.

Kathryn wrote, “All dogs can bite, but let's not ignore the strength and power in a pit bull's jaw compared to, as examples, a retriever (who is bred with a narrower gentle jaw to not damage what it retrieves) or a small breed like a Chihuahua. Painful teeth? Yes. Crushing jaw? No.”

WBAL reports that Tuesday’s task force will hear from 25 witnesses including dog owners, attorneys, animal advocates, insurers and landlords. The task force has scheduled another meeting for July 3 to come up with recommendations, according to WBAL.

Tell Us: What do you think about the court ruling? Are pit bulls “inherently dangerous?” Vote in our poll and tell us why you think that way in the comments.

debbie bell June 24, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Breed matters. With countless combination, US dog fighters only use pits. Check out the videos Youtube "Bullseye hang time". Show me a video of a non bully breed hanging from a rope for hours, still tugging more. It took many decades to create a dog that will do this. Imagine this dog's teeth clenched on your testicles or a woman's breast (happened in the last month). It is not the dog's fault, but it is the fault of the breeders and pit mongers. Stop with the "all dogs attack and maul" garbage. Dog fighters only use pits because they are the best at biting and not letting go, not giving up. Most dogs bite and release because their goal is to make the intruder/enemy leave, so they let the intruder leave (and live). The pit goal is the mauling. That's why they don't let go, they don't let the intruder/enemy/victim (neighbor dog/visiting child) leave (or live). No, not all pits will maul, but the worst part is that pits were created to not give warning first. Ban pit breeding. Now that dog fighting is illegal, make pit breeding illegal too, if only for the sake of the horribly abused pits themselves.
debbie bell June 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM
The folks on this list all defended and loved their pit bulls to death, that is until they were killed by their/their family members pits. If pits can be overcome by their man-made instincts to tug and not stop (maul and kill) with the result that an adult human family member is killed, we shouldn't be surprised when they kill neighbor dogs and humans too. I might be ok if pits only killed their "consenting adult" owners or perhaps their children, but the neighbors and passersby (pets/people) are victims in even greater numbers! Dorothy Carter in 2002, Roberto Aguilera, Lorinze Reddings, Brandon Coleman, Raymond Tomco , Pamela Rushing, Blanche Bodeur, Tina Marie Canterbury (chilling 911 recording on youtube), Mary Diana Bernal, Cora Lee Suehead, Kelli Chapman, Chester Jordan, Gerald Adelmund, Carter Delaney, Christine Staab, Ethel Horton, Edward Mitchell, Michael Winters, Mattie Daugherty, Justin Lane, John Reynolds, Johnny Wilson, David Haigler, Michael Cook, Joseph Hines, Jennie Erquiaga, Tonia Parks, Darla Napora, Carmen Ramos, Linda Leal, Mabel McAllister. May 2012, just had to add a new name: Clifford Wright. This list doesn't include kids under 18, doesn't include owner arm amputations, neighbor deaths, the neighbor dog, sleeping on its lawn furniture. Pits pay the price for their man-made mauling mutations. Pit mongers and pit breeders are ultimately the ones responsible for injured and dead pit victims, and for suffering/dead pits too.
debbie bell June 24, 2012 at 03:01 PM
If you actually cared about pit welfare and dog welfare, you would want the mauling and killing abilities and instincts of the pit bull (a man-made expert at killing other dogs) to be permitted to become extinct. No one who actually cares about dog welfare would want to perpetuate THE dog that is the best at killing other dogs.
debbie bell June 26, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Read pit bull books written before the pit propaganda began in the 1980's. Written by pit bull fanciers, as the dog fighters called themselves. Pits were created to be dog aggressive, they were created to fight each other. Simply saying "nanny dogs" and "protectors" doesn't make if fact. I can say that pioneer women caught rattlesnakes and gave them to their children as pacifiers, and that is where the idea for baby rattles originated... it doesn't make it true.
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 02, 2012 at 02:14 AM
No I'm not saying they all were but if the story were told the whole story not just the media hype. I'd bet more then half were. Everyday 5,6,7 times a day kids walk by my yard barking at stomping their feet at banging on the fence when my dogs are outside. Does not matter how many time I tell them and their parents it needs to stop, the same kids everyday do the same thing. any animal including humans react aggressively to being taunted & teased. My dogs are both bully breed Am Staff ( for the ignorant people you call them pit bulls). Also it's not the fact of spaying and neutering that has us bully owners mad ( i believe that should be a given with all domestic animals to cut down on the amount of animals that die in the shelters daily)It's the fact that society is so
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 02, 2012 at 02:15 AM
dam ignorant and want to eradicate a breed, do to ignorant humans. And this is for the woman claiming all so called pit bull attacks end in mutilating mauling and death, again i have been bitten by a bully it did let go the second it felt it had my ankle in its mouth it did not rip me apart it did not mam me it did not tear my foot or leg off I did not even have to go to hospital nor did i require stitches. My dogs drop it when told to do so they do not tear shit apart and the do no keep tugging they do exactly what they were told to do DROP IT, they even do that for everyone else not just me. The 3 year old across the street threw his ball in the yard,he told them to drop it, guess what they dropped it he came into the yard
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 02, 2012 at 02:15 AM
and got it, OMG imagine that. It's called proper training, love and care. They do show signs if they are going to attack something or if they don't like what is going on, again know your dog before you get it so you know how to train and care for it....... EDUCATION. Simple really you don't know the animal don't approach like you do, do not tease torment or even fight around any animal none of them like it and all of them will usually
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 02, 2012 at 02:17 AM
try and stop it it's not the dogs fault it's the humans fault. The dog is a good dog no matter what anyone says because that dog is doing what it was taught to do. good dog bad human ignorant society for not taking accountability for our short comings.Will all you haters finally be ok when in fact there are no more large breed of dogs around because you were all to ignorant to take accountability for our actions because if the succeed in this breed then whose to say the next one on the chopping block wont be your family pet. This is not to offend anyone we did not stand for gassing and eradicating the Jewish race why on earth are we all ok with doing it to an animal what makes you all think you are above these dogs and you deserve to be here more then them. the feel and hurt and suffer and love just like you or me. They are living beings with every bit as much of a right to be here as you do it is called cohabitation get used to it animals were here long before us...
debbie bell July 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM
While that's nice your experiences with pits are all sunshine and lollipops, that just reinforces my belief that pit mongers simply lack any empathy for those who have suffered horrific losses when pits simply do exactly what they were created to do, maul and kill without any training AT ALL. Many pit victims are just neighbors or passersby who didn't even see the pit before it attacked them. Typical pit mongers attitude: blame the victim, say that the neighbor child should not be at the playground as that "teased" their perfect pit. Even holding the penniless pit owner accountable for their dog's attack, after it simply acted like a "good pit bull" and shredded a jogger's leg, to the point of amputation, doesn't give that jogger back his normal life. If you own a pit it should never, ever be outside alone, even when in a fenced yard. If you choose a power breed DESIGNED TO KILL FOR NO REASON, it is your responsibility to keep your pit safe, and passersby safe too. The tragedy is that the pit mongers say you need to "train" a pit to bite, tug, not stop. False. Cruel humans created the pit bull to do it without any training. A "good" pit will kill, even without training. Stop listening to the pit mongers propaganda.
debbie bell July 06, 2012 at 03:23 PM
How is the elderly SLEEPING beagle, tied out in the shade on her front lawn while her owner waxes his auto nearby, going to prevent being killed by the neighborhood pit who LEAPT FROM A 2ND STORY WINDOW to invade the beagle's territory to KILL? The distraught owner followed the TRAIL OF BLOOD back to the pit's home when it carried the dying beagle. I have never encountered a more dishonest, insincere group of people than the pit mongers. They intentionally choose a dog that was designed to kill "my pit might not start a fight but she will finish it" and then when a pit does exactly what cruel humans created the pit to do: kill without warning, kill with reason, they deflect all responsibility and say "the neighbor wouldn't have been killed if she'd stayed indoors." INSANE!
debbie bell July 06, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Agree completely. No responsible pit owner is punished, as his dogs are spays/neuters. It will take decades/centuries to make another pit bull using selective breeding of other breeds. If that happens, add that dog-killing expert dog to the mandatory spay/neuter law. And enforce it!
debbie bell July 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM
If breed has no meaning, why have any breeds at all? Simply adopt any dog and train/manage its behavior, right? You bought your dogs. When you bought your dogs, homeless dogs died. I'm supposed to think you actually care about dog welfare? Caring isn't what you say, it's what you DO. Pit mongers only care about themselves and having their "egos stroked" by their pit.
debbie bell July 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
You are a horrible dog owner if you permit your dogs to be outside when in danger of abuse by passing children! And you admit you let it happen OVER AND OVER! That is stupidity.
debbie bell July 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
How does the victim know what word to use when your pit escapes and attacks?
Beth McCarty July 11, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I own a pit mix. She has the incredibly large mouth. She is a fuzzy brick. I read these articles from time to time. She is licensed, I pay extra for my home owners insurance. I have friends over. I crate her when anyone comes in the house. She never stays in the backyard for more than what it takes to do her business. She is a kind and good dog. ---- With that all being said. She is a pit mix. I am not stupid. I know she has the potential to maul and kill. I chose to adopt a pit at 3 years old. If she hurts someone. I will do what it takes to make it right and take responsibility. But I do appreciate having the right to have her. So when I say don't ban the breed... I am not stupid. I take care to keep her safe and those she has the potential to harm. I don't think she will ever attack anyone. She has spent hours on end with toddlers, elderly, loud teenagers, cats and other dogs. I feel for those that have been mauled and the families of the victims that have passed. But I take my dog ownership seriously. Just as I take driving seriously, home ownership, and owning firearms. It is all a matter of know the potential and never taking it for granted.
Diane Jessup July 16, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Wow. Why bother trying to discuss anything with someone like Deb Bell? She is obviously an extreme case of phobia. It appears to be her life's work to fear and hate a "witch" (in this case dogs of a certain appearance). These kinds of people try and act like they "love" dogs and kids, and want to protect them, but when you look closely at their actions, their is no "love" or "protection", just hate and fear directed at animals who are only as dangerous as their owners allow them to be. The fact that the VAST majority of the millions of "pit bull" type dogs living in the US are fine companions means nothing to her and her kind. They are filled with hate and fear and I pity them. Sadly, they are more destructive to "innocents" than the dogs they fear could ever be. Diane Jessup www.WorkingPitBull.com
Joan Lee McMaster July 16, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Agreed. Paranoia based on 2nd hand facts and ignorance do more harm then good. Maryland should count the actual number of these dogs living in peace w responsible owners. And keep to facts. Many pit bull terriers pass canine citizen tests, work as therapy dogs, tracking and rescue dogs. 100s of thousands live peaceably as part of families and cause no problems for anyone. Should all of these decent dogs be taken from their families due to ignorance based on the actions of a few? Come on people have the guts to look at the whole picture and the truth of the matter. Think of what you are doing.
Diane Jessup July 17, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Not to mention people like Deb Bell and Merritt "Craven" Cliffton act like they only have a problem with "pit bulls". But it begs the question what they would have thought about Dobermans during the 1970s, when THEY were the fad breed, or Saint Bernards when THEY were the fad, or what ever breed will soon replace the pit bull as the fad breed with another poor breed. The problem has been - and always will be - poor management of poorly bred fad dogs. That is why there is almost no record of "pit bull" attacks despite their popularity in the USA, prior to the mid 1980s when they became a fad breed, and popular with dangeous owners. When pit bulls, rottweilers, and other breeds that frighten these types are gone, believe me, their hate and fear will turn to the next breed.
Evan Geiger July 17, 2012 at 02:39 AM
28% of how many deaths between 1979 and 1998? Also thats like over 14 years ago my friend, what are the amount of deaths in the last 10 years and what percentage of these deaths are verifiable American Pit Bull Terriers? Heavens sakes, any American Pit Bull Terrier owner will own up to the fact that we've had a problem within in our breed, but we also have to deal with the reality that it has more to do with the type of people that have been attracted to the breed over the last 30 years than the dogs themselves and maybe you're all good with paying for the sins of others but whether you like it or not the percentage of deaths by actual APBT is a tiny percentage despite what our breed has gone through of the last 30 years. If you want to make this personal in regard to breed why is it owners of small dogs think its okay to own dogs that have been shown to bite people more so than any other types of dogs? I don't think, whether its a 50lbs pit bull or a 10lbs dog of any breed that being bit unprovoked is acceptable. So you can hide behind the fact that despite the reality that there are more ill-tempered small dogs than there are pit bulls, that you're safe due to the fact that your little dog can't do as much harm as a more powerful breed. I'll tell you what, when they pass a law that stipulates that when any breed bites someone unprovoked they will be terminated I'll jump on board, because I'm not afraid of my dog being vicious but I am afraid of being discriminated against.
Evan Geiger July 17, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Don't forget the old reliablbe blood hound before that!
Evan Geiger July 17, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Look, I don't give a dang what you own so long as you are responsible for it. You can be afraid and scared of pit bulls all you like, for all I care it can be your personal crusade to rid the world of this terrifying breed and for some it is and on many levels they've had success and yet they never focus on issues so much greater than the tiny percentage of people killed by a small percentage of irresponsible owners. This has always intrigued me where each individual finds proverbial boogey man. Heaven forbid they ever focus on the amount of people that are killed in car accidents due to drinking and driving or just simply speeding, heck some of these pit bull haters are probably replying to this article from their cell phones while driving drunk for all I know. The point is we don't see laws being passed so that cars are governed only to go as fast as the fastest posted speed limit in the USA, not saying that these fear mongers wont focus on that as well some day and I didn't intend to give them more ideas, just saying. Fear is a powerful motivator there is no doubt and while I can have compassion for these people I find it hard to do when they themselves don't take a serious look at the numbers and find compassion for the greater majority of responsible owners. By the way I don't mean to scare you anymore than you already are but some where there is a peanut lurking and they kill even more people than pit bulls =-O BAN PEANUTS BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 25, 2012 at 06:04 PM
debbie bell, when you read something do you actually comprehend what is being said? Now to me if someone stated that daily the have to tell someone to stop something they are not allowing it to happen. Maybe before you speak you should actually comprehend what has been said or don't open you're mouth. My dog's do not even give a rats ass these ignorant humans are doing this it really does not faze them, but see not all dog's are like mine, so it is my responsibility to educate stupid people such as yourself on proper educate with animals.Especially because I am totally sick of the media hype and the ignorance of humans like you giving my dog's a bad wrap not to mention the idiots who train them to be fighters. You do not and can not breed anything to kill it has to be taught. A human is not born with the knowledge to kill it's not until he becomes a hunter or joins the military, or his parents let him watch the shit on T.V. do they know how to.
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 25, 2012 at 06:05 PM
So you see we must train something to kill and be aggressive. all puppies tug and pull until they are taught not to so are you say because my dog as a puppy played tug o war he's a killer if so then every f'n dog that does that are killer's. Also I might add every day my dog's leave my yard and play street ball with the neighborhood kids, and o my gosh there are cats, kids and dogs around, imagine that they still just play ball in the street with the kids. Wow I really thought they would chase and maul to death any thing in it's path because that is what they were breed to do.
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 25, 2012 at 06:05 PM
More people die in car crashes every day then from a Staffordshire attack so maybe we better ban them because these are actually made with no emotion and don't know better if taught because you cant teach them. Lord knows the human is not responsible now are they. Ban the gun because the person hold the gun pulling the trigger is not responsible for killing that other person the gun did it. Fuck how pathetic humanity is you think owners don't take accountability what about all of you. By the way even someone saying let go or no or even ouch my dog's will let go.If they haven't already let go they know when it's something that is ok to have in their mouth or when it's not. So go ahead and keep saying its the dog fool. that's what I would do because we idiot humans are not the ones who have trained them now are we. Damn when did society become such a ignorant species on this planet?????If the occasion should arise that my dog bite hell yes I will take accountability, that is what responsible owners do, We also know the potential of our dog's we train them and take the necessary measures to ensure their safety as well as society's.
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 25, 2012 at 06:06 PM
All you ignorant people out their let me ask you this when it's your kind of dog being discriminated against what are you going to do how are you going to react and are you even sure you're breed is not all ready on the dangerous dog list for hell sakes they have a pug on that list folks. Again let me reiterate for ya all do you're research and know what the hell rolls out you're mouth's because you could just be signing your dog's death warrant as well.. Happy thoughts all.
Terri T Fletcher Yengich July 25, 2012 at 06:14 PM
but I also know if someone try's to come in my house rape me or kill me or my family or the neighborhood kids my dog's will not allow that and if it ever happens hell no it will not be my fault this person got his ass tore apart by my dog it will be that persons for being in my home for trying to cause bodily harm to me. I have the right to protect myself I just chose not to do it with a gun I chose to did it with my dog... And yes he will do that I know this. So don't go sneaking into my home.......
Tom Sharp July 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Remember the good old days when dog owners were generally stable and sane individuals. Where did all of these nuts come from and could we get them to go back to just owning cats? They're giving us all a bad reputation.
Joan Lee McMaster July 27, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Agreed. Responsible owners and good dog's should not be punished for the actions of a few.
MLSandler September 04, 2012 at 08:16 PM
It is a complete and utter myth that any of the Bull Terrier types' bite is stronger than any other dog. A) Science has never done a conclusive dog bite study. B) Bully's do NOT have locking jaws - those are on fish and snakes. C) General science has found that "domestic dogs" average 320 psi (pounds per square inch), with ABPT being on the LOW end of that scale. Have you not seen the latest attack of a Labrador who mauled a little boy's face? ANY breed can attack. Chihuahua's are known for being aggressive little monsters, but hey, since I can't fit my AmStaff in my handbag I guess my dog must be the meaner right? Responsible owners, education and DEED Legislation. http://www.understand-a-bull.com/PitbullInformation/Urbanlegends.htm
MLSandler September 04, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Not true. The GOOD owners want the BAD owners held responsible. There is a difference. My dog was rescued from a fighting ring. Those people have been arrested and being taken to trial in KCK. I am his new owner and I am responsible for his behavior and well-being now. If he attacks a dog at the park, it is MY responsibility. Guess what, he doesn't attack anyone anymore. I have trained it out of him. He's loyal by nature, he just wants to please. Pleasing me means not lunging, growling or attacking.

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