Frederick News Post Editorial Discusses Challenges of Identifying Pit Bulls

A September 28 Frederick News Post editorial reports on landlords requiring tenants to remove potential pit bulls and opines about the challenges of determining whether a dog is truly a pit bull.  The editorial urges that the Maryland General Assembly address the recent determination by the Maryland Court of Appeals that pit bulls are inherently dangerous and their owners and landlords can be automatically liable for any damage caused by such a dog.  The Court had initially applied the same ruling for pit bull mixes but later eliminated them from the holding.

The terrible choice pit bull owners feared is finally coming to pass: Landlords are telling them to lose their dogs or lose their homes.  …

Just what is a “pit bull”? Even the court backed off including mixed pit bulls, which are even harder to define, as part of their ruling. It’s open to debate whether pit bulls are pure breeds, according to the American Pit Bull Registry.

“There really is no such thing as a true pit bull,” according to KC Theisen, director of pet care issues for the American Humane Society, in the CNS story.

Even canine DNA testing for proof of breed can have mixed results, although the Humane Society is recommending it to provide documentation for dogs, presumably in the case that residents need to produce the test for their landlord.

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