In order for a bill to become law, both sides of the General Assembly (the House of Delegates and the Senate) must vote on and pass identically worded bills. HB78 and SB160 are two such identical, “crossfiled” bills being considered in the House and the Senate. The Maryland Dog Federation supports HB78 and SB160 because it nullifies the “Solesky Ruling” by the Court of Appeals.
UPDATE – 2 14 13 – GOOD NEWS! HB78 has been voted FAVORABLY out of Judiciary committee, no amendment. We now await the affirmative vote of the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee. After that, the bill goes to the floor of the General Assembly for a vote. At that time, YOUR emails of support to your representatives and your county delegates and senators are STILL needed!
Put it simply to your representatives: “Please SUPPORT HB78/SB160 when it comes to you for a vote”
HB78/SB160 will reverse the April, 2012 breed-specific ruling of the Maryland high court declaring “pit bull dogs” inherently dangerous”; forcing landlords to demand tenants get rid of their innocent family pets or face eviction. Contact your own state legislators AND members of your county delegation (email links are below). Ask them to support HB78 and SB160 to reverse the April, 2012 breed-specific ruling of the Maryland high court declaring “pit bull dogs” inherently dangerous”; forcing landlords to demand tenants get rid of their innocent family pets or face eviction.
Since April, thousands of Maryland tenants have been forced to choose to give up their dog or try to move where their entire family was welcome. Many dogs have been surrendered to already overburdened shelters, often euthanized as a result. Other families have been shattered with pets moved to safety, forced to live in their car while they figured out their options, or have filed lawsuits against their landlord to stay in their homes. Many of those dogs aren’t even the breed mentioned in the Solesky ruling!
Delegate Simmons, sponsor of HB78 says, “[T]his is a reasonable compromise that will restore some measure of sanity and predictability to the ownership of animals in Maryland and the rights of people who have been injured. By restoring landlords to their common law liability, it will also eliminate any incentive landlords had under Tracey v. Solesky to force their tenants to get rid of their dogs.”
Breed-specific laws have been proven time after time to be ineffective and not predictive of whether a dog poses a danger. An estimated 1.3 million dogs share our Maryland communities; the vast, vast majority of them are well managed, benign family pets. Good animal control and liability laws must be based on the actions and behavior of pets and owners; not physical appearance.
HB78 and SB160 also affect home owning dog owners. It will dictate a new standard of “rebuttable presumption” for all dog owners if their dog injures someone. In other words, it will be presumed that a dog owner knew — or should have known — their dog was dangerous before it injured someone and the owner will be forced to prove otherwise. The federation strongly supports these two crossfiled bills AND will continue to monitor the effect of rebuttable presumption on Maryland dog owners.
Links to your county delegation members (senators and delegates).
Allegany Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoal.html
Dorcester Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacodo.html
Queen Anne Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoqa.html
Kent Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoke.html
Garrett Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoga.html
Washington Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacowa.html
Wicomico Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacowi.html
Worcester Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacowo.html
St. Mary’s Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacosm.html
Somerset Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoso.html
Talbot Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacota.html
Baltimore City: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacobcit.html
Montgomery Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacomo.html
Prince George’s Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacopg.html
Howard Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacohow.html
Harford Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoha.html
Frederick Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacofr.html
Calvert Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacocal.html
Charles Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoch.html
Carroll Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacocarr.html
Caroline Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacocaro.html
Anne Arundel Co: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/07leg/html/gacoan.html