Thursday, March 7, 2013

Conscience Check

The country is watching as Maryland approaches the tipping point.

In the coming days the Senate will vote on SB 160. If the Senate passes the bill they will effectively roll back the protections provided by the Court of Appeals ruling of April 26, 2012. Despite claims to the contrary, SB 160, if passed by the Senate, would deny future victims of pit bull attacks a legal remedy.

In 2012 there was a fatal pit bull attack every 16 days (see below for details). In a recent 57 day period* there were six fatal pit bull attacks: one every 9½ days. Each of those murders was committed by a family pit bull.

The Senators have been buffeted by a blizzard of advocacy. The advocates of fighting breeds tell the Senators that the Court ruling is discriminatory and would lead to the deaths of countless harmless family pets. The insurance and property lobbyists tell the Senators the Court ruling would be fiscally disastrous.

Neither the animal welfare advocates nor the lobbyists refer to the victims of pit bull attacks. They do not refer to the incalculable financial and emotional burdens of pit bull attacks. They do not mention the burden of grief and sorrow that fighting breeds have caused. Nor have they acknowledged the extraordinary record of fatal pit bull attacks.

We have repeatedly asked executives of Humane Societies, animal shelters, rescues, and animal welfare groups to take responsibility for their advocacy of fighting breeds by acknowledging the deaths that pit bulls have caused.

The Senators who are searching their conscience should ask themselves the following question:
Why do pit bulls kill more humans than all other breeds combined, even though they comprise less than 5% of the canine population?
With this fact in mind Senators must vote No on SB 160, legislation which would abrogate the Court's April 26 2012 ruling that pit bulls are "inherently dangerous".

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Ryan Maxwell, 7 yo, d. March 2, 2013
The pit bull went straight for his throat, and then his beautiful face.

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This post is one of a series on the Maryland pit bull conundrum. To view the index of all Maryland posts click here.

Statistics are from Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, published by Animal People. To view or download the current PDF click here.

* Jan 8 through Mar 6, 2013; see Fatal Pit Bull Attacks

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks