Society

Pit Bull Attacks Md. Woman 1 Day After State Overturns Court Decision that Breed is 'Inherently Dangerous'

| by Denise A Justin

One day after the Maryland House of Delegates unanimously approved a bill that overturned the Maryland Court of Appeals decision labeling Pit Bulls as “inherently dangerous,” an Edgemere woman was attacked and seriously injured by at least one of her two pit bulls. One of the Pit Bulls was later found a few blocks away and was so aggressive that Baltimore County Police officers were forced to shoot and kill it, the Baltimore Sun reports.

At about 2:40 p.m. on Feb. 22, police responded to the 7600 block of North Point Road in Edgemere for a report of an injured person. According to a statement by spokesman Officer Shawn Vinson, police determined the injured woman had been seriously mauled by at least one of her own pet Pit Bulls. She was transported with severe injuries to John Hopkins Bayview Hospital.

The Pit Bulls--one white and one brown--both ran from the scene after the attack and were loose for several hours. Police and Animal Control employees began a search of the area for the dogs.

An alert was Tweeted on Baltimore County's public safety account just before 6 p.m. about the two Pit Bulls, as police officials alerted neighbors in the area of the possible danger of the two dogs running loose in the Edgemere-Fort Howard communities, according to Dundalk Patch.com.

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About five hours after the attack, the white dog was found in the 8200 block of North Point Road. The dog continued to exhibit aggressive behavior and was shot and killed by officers, according to the police statement.

A short time later, the brown pit bull was found and captured by Animal Control personnel, who are holding the animal pending an investigation. Police will release more information as it is available.

That morning the Washington Post reported that Pit Bull advocates had won “a small measure of victory” on February 21 when Maryland House of Delegates unanimously approved (133-0) a bill that overturned the 2012 decision in which Pit Bulls been singled out by a Maryland Appeals court as “inherently dangerous.”

The decision was in response to a Baltimore County Circuit Court decision in the case of 10-year-old Dominic Solesky, who was attacked by a neighbor's pit bill in 2007. Dominic’s plight was so tragic that it led several local governments to reconsider the laws governing pit bulls.

The court decision had also made Pit Bull owners, and their landlords, automatically liable in the event that their dog bit or injured someone.

The measure approved by the Legislature will make it easier to hold all dog owners liable for injuries caused by their pets, regardless of breed. In the past, plaintiffs suing the owners of dogs had to prove the dog was dangerous. Now it will be up to dog owners in liability cases to prove in court that their dog is not dangerous, the Washington Post states.

Related Article: Maryland Appeals Court Holds Landlords & Owners of Pit Bulls Liable for Attacks

Sources: (Patch, Baltimore Sun, Washington Post)