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Baltimore neighborhood bans pit bulls following court decision

Following a ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals that purebred pit bulls are "inherently dangerous," a Baltimore low-income housing cooperative has banned all pure- and mixed-bred pit bulls from the neighborhood -- or face eviction. The aim is to decrease the likelihood of dog bites or attacks in the neighborhood. The issue of particular dog breeds being "inherently dangerous," more so than any other breed, has been a very hot topic lately, both across the country and in Maryland.

Armistead Homes Corp., which manages the housing cooperative, sent a letter to all residents last month, informing them that landlords could potentially be liable if a pit bull attacks a person on their property. According to the "Baltimore Sun," this policy could affect as many as 500 animals in the neighborhood.

Dog attacks, regardless of the breed issue, can cause very serious injuries to both adults and children, and are not to be taken lightly. Bite injuries alone can be very damaging cosmetically, and could be fatal if the attack is severe enough.

The person responsible for the animal ought to be the person responsible for the injuries, but often these cases of dog bites or personal injury become premises liability claims. The owners of the housing cooperative are seeking to avoid being blamed for animals that do not belong to them. This case is becoming a sticky situation because of the targeting of a specific breed. However, protection from injury by any pet animal, regardless of breed, should be a concern for any community.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Pit bull owners say neighborhood ban won't make them part with dogs," Kevin Rector, Sep. 16, 2012

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