As a result of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals’ ruling that certain “breeds” of dogs (“pit bull”, “pit bull crosses”, and “pit bull mixes”) would be declared de facto dangerous and subject to strict liability, the Maryland General Assembly has organized a Task Force to review the issue.
1. Contact Task Force, Support Anti-breed specific laws.
2. Attend hearing on Tuesday, June 19, in Annapolis
In reverse order…
Great breaking news! @MikeSmigiel, a member of the task force studying breed specific laws, tweeted this: “Citizens who sign up on Tuesday Morning will be allowed to testify before the Pit Bull Task Force”.
The hearing will be on Tuesday, June 19th, 10am
Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Hearing Room
Miller Senate Office Building, Suite 2E
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
Bring 20 copies …of your written testimony and any supporting material you would like to provide to the committee. Verbal testimony is usually limited to three minutes. Be polite, respectful and succinct. Legislators appreciate if you speak from the heart instead of the page. If you find your testimony duplicates others who have gone before you, there is no harm in simply saying “I echo the sentiments of those who said ____ and my written testimony is submitted for your review” (in fact, legislators appreciate it).
If you cannot be in Annapolis on Tuesday, please email your thoughts to the members of the task force today. Tell them you want them to take action and end breed-specific law in Maryland NOW!
Marylanders: Find your representatives http://mdelect.net/. Send an email to your representative too–let him or her know, especially if you live in Prince George’s County!
Task Force Members & their districts:
Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore)
The federation supports the following language be favored by the Task Force:
(A) FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING CRIMINAL OR CIVIL LIABILITY, A DOG MAY NOT BE PRESUMED DANGEROUS OR POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THE BREED OR HERITAGE OF THE DOG.
(B) THIS SECTION DOES NOT PRECLUDE A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION FROM ADOPTING OR ENFORCING A PROGRAM TO CONTROL DANGEROUS OR POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOGS PROVIDED THAT NO PROGRAM SHALL REGULATE DOGS IN A MANNER THAT IS SPECIFIC AS TO BREED OR HERITAGE.
For more details about the Strict Liability Decision in the Solesky case, or if you are an individual or business affected by this decision, go to the Maryland Animal Law Center Web site.