Home » Uncategorized » Prince George’s Authorities Seize Service Dog Under BSL

Prince George’s Authorities Seize Service Dog Under BSL

Prince George’s County has gone TOO FAR this time, taking a service dog away from someone who needs her dog to get around and live a more normalized life…because of its breed.

Breed discriminatory legislation fails the Public Good because behavior cannot be predicted by what a dog looks like AND because it takes too many innocent Family Dogs who are of immeasurable benefit to their people whether a pet or a Service Dog, simply because of unfounded hysteria.

The Maryland Animal Law Center is working with the dog’s owner to challenge the county for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You can read more from the MALC about this case below.

The Maryland Dog Federation is pleased to be a participant in this case in order to challenge other troubling aspects of the breed ban; that the law as enforced in Prince George’s County in particular does not give a dog owner sufficient Due Process, and that the law was enacted improperly. We are looking for additional plaintiffs…Are you a Prince George’s resident who has had his or her Family Dog taken away under the county breed ban? The more participants we have, the better. It’s possible that your situation, your loss, will be the one that clearly demonstrates the need to eliminate this ineffective, unfair law. Please contact us at marylanddogfederation@yahoo.com, or fill out our survey at http://bit.ly/PGBanSurvey

Let’s fight this once and for all!

girl and dog

With a canine population in the United States of over 70 million, and billions of dollars spent taking care of them, we are clearly a nation of dog lovers. Dogs are family members that provide immeasurable health benefits to us; some very special canines provide invaluable, life-saving assistance to those in our community who are differently abled and tackle challenges head-on every day. Taking a service dog from someone because of a breed ban is a special kind of mean, an above and beyond kind of mean. The exact kind of mean the federal courts have already ruled against when they determined the Americans with Disabilities Act trumps ANY breed specific law. Breed discrimination is bad enough when families are torn apart; it’s worse when it prevents someone from getting around safely and living their life.

Announcement From the Maryland Animal Law Center:

We are pleased to announce our upcoming challenges to the Prince George’s County “Pitbull” Ban. Federal regulations for service animals preempt the ban, and our case involves a mobility-impaired polio survivor whose service dog, a “pitbull”, was impounded simply because of her ‘breed’.

Gary Norman, Esq., of the Maryland Human Rights Commission will be Of-Counsel in this and future cases. Mr. Norman is blind and an established civil rights leader, specializing in issues affecting the ever-growing disabled population. Mr. Norman, accompanied by his Guide Dog, Pilot, and will argue the case in the courtroom, alongside a sighted attorney. The service animal challenge should carve out a large exception into the “ban”; and, we hope the other arguments, the law was not passed by correct procedures and that its enforcement doesn’t comply with Due Process, will nullify the ban altogether. Enforcement procedures in Prince George’s County are unique to that county, don’t exist elsewhere in the state or country, and defy all precedent. The arguments here are novel, and we hope they succeed.



  1. GVPC says:

    Animal Law Center in Wheatridge, CO has also dealt with this issue in Denver, CO. They may be of some help.

    • Serena Vann says:

      What are they thinking!? If it helps people with disabilities, what is the problem? Discrmination against certain breeds is paranoid people who need another outlet! Build a place for paranoid people and let them become even more paranoid. Call it Paranoia City!!! They need some activities to get a life!!!!! Stop this madness! People discrmination next???????

      • d says:

        sadly…people have already been discriminated….. and you are right, paranoid, sad little people should be the ones banned and given something to do!

    • wylddogwoman says:

      If medicinal marijuana is legal in Maryland is allowed; then she should be allowed to keep her dog as she has an Rx for it!
      I would think the same type of exceptions would apply in this case.

  2. Minnesota Mom says:

    Google Sak v. Aurelia. The city of Aurelia did the same thing, and banned Snickers the service dog. It did not turn out well for them. Judge Mark Bennet was VERY clear in his ruling that violating ADA is NOT to be tolerated.

  3. beth says:

    this is ridiculous!! why are people who are supposed to be intellegent judging good, helpful dogs based on a breed. I pray she gets her dog back!!

    • gillian henderson says:

      i like your comment,well said.!! ITS the bad owners of dogs no matter what breed they are,my friend in the uk had a pitbull and he was the most loving and faithfull companion you could wish for,ITS HOW YOU BRING THEM UP.!!!!! gillian.

  4. RubyB says:

    Please use the term “Do an internet search” instead of Google. Google is mining all their searches and all gmail for your personal data so they can sell it. I do not like to support that behavior, so I use duckduckgo.com

  5. Lee says:

    I had this same thing happen to me in Kansas City Kansas. I lost in municipal court and was told my American Staffordshire Terrier Service Dog must leave or be confiscated. I couldn’t find an attorney to continue to help me and didn’t have the money to pay the attorney who had been working the case but didn’t want to continue so I ended up moving. I hope the issue is resolved in her favor. Good Luck!!

    • So sorry to hear that you had to go through all that. And your experience is unfortunately not unique. While there are federal laws to protect people with service dogs that may be of a “targeted breed”, justice is not cheap. It’s not at all unusual for a municipality, who literally has a paid staff of attorneys, to tie someone up with court costs and attorney’s fees until they run out of money and give up.

      • Susan VanDenburgh says:

        And what is “justice” about that? The system is it’s own people’s worst enemy! I hope you can elicit true justice in this case and add more support to the worldwide realization that BSL is WRONG! We need another Martin Luther King, Jr. to bring this to the public forefront. Maybe Mr. Norman can be that man. Fight the good fight for all the good dogs out there!

  6. Debbie says:

    Where do I sign a petition to let them know this is an outrage? These types of stories just make my blood boil.

    • Debbie says:

      must be a debbie, thing, cause my name is debbie to n I am with u all the way, this is a disgrace! I have a pit bull that is the biggest sissy, but 1 of the most intelligent dogs I ever owned, she is my companion dog! I dare some one tell me to get rid of her!! She is a rescue baby

  7. Melissa Tielke says:

    What an injustice, and especially since this is a SERVICE DOG! Somebody needs to step back and take a look at the big picture. It could be them someday. God did not leave them in charge of being judge and jury where His creatures are concerned.

  8. Riley says:

    As a handicapped person myself I think these people have no brains or end there darn kids to take care of the disabled ! Darn this makes my blood boil


  10. Patty Cannon says:

    By all means they should not be taking someone’s service dog regardless of breed. But they should also not be able to take a dog from anyone based on the breed. What will it take for them to understand it is not the breed, it is the way the dog is treated and taught by it’s owner.

    • Debbie says:

      NO it is not the breed, human’s r the biggest problem! My dog would come under the handicap laws due to my depression from Lyme disease n I would be going off if someone took her away! she is so lovable n kind I do not know where these idiots come off with this bs.. All over that stupid Mike Vicc bs!

  11. Obviously the politicians are jumping on a bandwagon that left a while ago. It has been proven for quite a while now that BSL DOES NOT WORK! Ask the people in Denver and many other cities, counties and states who have had to repeal their laws. It does NOT stop dog fighting, it does NOT create a safer environment. Have you not heard the saying… Punish the deed, not the breed? It is not the dog that is inherently bad… it is the people who abuse the dogs. Instead of wasting tax payer money on stupid and inane legislation, use it wisely and create more stringent laws and steeper punishment for those who abuse animals. Geez.. when did common sense get so damn rare???

    • Susan VanDenburgh says:

      I’m with you, Susan. There has become such a dearth of common sense these days and the public officials are the biggest example of such. Tax payers are being ripped off every day by municipalities who are punishing good dogs and their owners because of labels. Then the owners are left trying to prove the innocence of their animals at great cost to them. How about the proof that their accusers are indeed telling the truth. THEY get the luxury of “innocent until proven guilty” that is not afforded the dogs and their owners. The burden of proof should lie on the accusers not the defendants. That tax money should be spent pursuing animal abusers. It’s been long proven that those tendencies often lead to much worse violence by those who commit them (not that I believe there is much worse than taking any innocent life!). WAKE UP, AMERICA!

  12. wylddogwoman says:

    Does the law state they cannot be kept as pets? What is the wording?

  13. Liz Keen says:

    This is just crazy – once again a perfectly good working dog is judge because of its looks – no other reason – this crazy bsl needs to go now – countries all over the world and states all over america are revoking BSL – leave this dog alone and go get people who abuse animals please.

  14. debbie says:

    This is so pathetic and uncalled for. This BSL is definitely BS! Do not judge all one breed of dog just because some low life’s chose to abuse them to make money! This breed of dog is obviously successful as a service dog. A dog is a dog period. Also I might add if BSL applied to humans then would that mean that we all are judged as Hitler, Charles Manson, all pedophiles, rapists, murderers and any other poor excuse for our race which in my opinion includes those who support BSL!

  15. dogboy says:

    I never understand why people don’t just go and take their dogs back. I’d drive my car through a brick building if that’s what I had to do to save my dog. My dogs mean to me what kids mean to their parents; it would be a cold day in hell that someone would keep my “kid” from me.

  16. Lisa says:

    I live in the next county over…what can i do to save this dog…and possibly get him/her back to its owner?

  17. mokforjess says:

    This is an obscene abuse

  18. Jean Guzik says:

    Is there a petition we can sign. How can we follow the story and to know the outcome?

  19. michelle adi says:

    So sad, let’s not go after the people who abuse poor animals, let’s just kill dogs. People are making choices for , themselves, not for these beautiful dogs that ARE wonderful. I wish they would stop animal abuse and not be the abuser. Stop killing!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry I’m just so upset.

  20. Rose Bauer says:

    It is amazing how a crazy person abuses and kills a dog and they go to prison, which they should. But the authorities in this country feel they can drag a family pet away and kill it and that is not considered a crime!?! Then of course the police come into your yard and shoot your dog a dozen times and watch it spazing out in horrendous pain and suffer before it finally dies and this is not criminal??? The tides are changing and the people are not going to take it anymore.

    • Jean Guzik says:

      This didn’t have to happen. It’s beyond sad and unforgivable. This beloved service dog must be returned to it’s owner and this should never happen again. BSL does not work.

  21. Always Amazed says:

    If the owners care so much for their dog, why did they allow the dog to be impounded? Did this law firm direct the owners to ignore warnings and/or citations? A municipality doesn’t just rip family pets from their homes without reasonable warning. Get real, this is more PB propaganda BS!

    • Sir or madam, with all due respect you don’t know what you’re talking about. It is better to be silent and be thought the fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Fair warning: dog haters need not reply.

    • They don’t rip pets away without reasonable warning? That would come as a surprise to a lot of people in this country who lost their family pets to BSL.

      Perhaps you should ‘get real’.

    • Steve Barker says:

      Always Amazed: Go spend some time in Ontario and you’ll find out otherwise real fast. I have dozens of cases of immediate confiscation, no warning, no warrant, and in many cases, no charges. Just took the dog, based on LOOKS ONLY, not because of any anti-social behaviour.

  22. Katie says:

    They do take them immediately if its a Pitt or Pitt mix, because the media has given this breed such a bad rap – that the state can not “take a chance” that this animal would harm someone.. It is complete crap.. Many people believe that pit-bulls are just looking for someone or something to attack.

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