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AG's office weighs in on pit bull ruling

Wednesday - 7/11/2012, 5:54pm  ET

tangerine.jpg
At the Washington Animal Rescue League's shelter, workers were quick to point out that identifying a pit bull is difficult. Meanwhile, Tangerine, a pitbull mix chewed on our microphone. (WTOP/John Aaron)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland assistant attorney general says a court ruling that pit bulls are "inherently dangerous" is not yet in effect, pending a decision by the state's highest court on a request that it reconsider the decision.

Kathryn Rowe, an assistant attorney general, wrote the opinion Tuesday at the request of Delegate Heather Mizeur, D-Montgomery.

Rowe writes that the attorney general's office believes the decision is not currently in effect, because of the motion for reconsideration.

The ruling by the state's highest court means pit bull owners could be liable for bites without previous evidence of a dog being dangerous.

A task force of Maryland lawmakers is examining ways to change the law to address concerns raised by the court ruling.


Mary Jarvis, Chief Operating Officer at the Washington Animal Rescue League, disagreed with the court's initial ruling, "For one, what is a pit bull? It's a mixed breed, so how do you say a mixed breed is dangerous?"

She added that pit bulls are "some of the nicest dogs we have" and any dog can be friendly or aggressive based on its upbringing.

At the League's shelter, workers were quick to point out that identifying a pit bull is difficult. They showed four dogs that were each considered a "pit bull mix," with none looking like the stereotype of the animal.

(Copyright 2012 WTOP and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)