Have you been following the situation is Maryland?
The gist is that the Maryland Court of Appeals declared that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous.”
While this ruling isn’t legislative – in other words, it doesn’t actually ban bully breeds – it sets the stage for discriminatory renting and insurance practices, owner surrenders, greater burdens on shelters, and so on.
It baffles me how little the Maryland court learned about dogs before making the ruling. It baffles me to think about how many dogs’ lives will be lost because of this single, shortsighted ruling.
Beyond how simply heartbreaking this situation is, there’s this: It’s a massive setback in terms of public perception about bully breeds.
I should know better (I do know better… sigh) than to read the comments on all these articles, but I’ve been pouring over them. I’m amazed, completely flabbergasted, to read the misinformed rants that accompany the news articles about this ruling. It’s disheartening.
Anti-bully-breed folks feel vindicated and are posting things like, “There’s a reason this ruling is pit bulls and not cockers or labs – cockers and labs aren’t dangerous. Pits are.”
Of course, we know that cockers and labs do bite people. Any dog, regardless of breed, can bite. Instead of a dog-bite prevention focus or a responsible-owner focus, this ruling puts the onus on the dogs’ shoulders now. Not fair.
As you follow this story – or any other BSL story, really – here’s what I’m asking you to do: Leave polite, cheerful, informational comments in response to the article itself or in response to comments like the one I shared above. Try to educate without pulling from the deep emotional element of this debate.
I’ve read two comments that drive home the importance of being polite in our responses to this stuff. First, someone wrote on a newspaper piece, “The only thing more rabid than a pit bull is their owner.” While it doesn’t make any logical sense, the sentiment is clear.
The second one cracked me up. It said that the only type of people that poster hated more than pit bull owners were hybrid drivers.
Rant over! But as you follow this story, please, take action. Leave comments, engage in discussion, be polite, educate!