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Court Of Appeals Won't Reconsider Pit Bull Decision

Court removes references to pit bull mixes while leaving owners and landlords responsible for injuries caused by pure-bred dogs.

UPDATED (4:27 p.m.)—The Maryland Court of Appeals will not reconsider an April decision in which it ruled that pit bull dogs are"inherently dangerous."

Judge Alan Wilner, in a nine-page decision issued Tuesday, denied the motion for reconsideration with one caveat. (The full decision is attached to this story.)

"That said, having re-read the briefs, relevant portions of the record extract, and the dissent, I am now convinced that, on the record before us, the application of the Court’s holding of strict liability to cross-bred pit bulls was both gratuitous and erroneous," wrote Wilner. "I would grant the motion for reconsideration, in part, to delete any reference to cross-bred pit bulls, so that the Court’s holding would apply only to pit bulls that are not cross-breds."

Left in place is the ruling by the state's highest court that for injuries caused by the dogs.

Aileen Gabbey, executive director of the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the decision disappointing except for "the one change that it no longer should include “mixed’ breeds."

"It is still unclear how they are defining a “pure” pit bull," Gabbey wrote in a statement. "This ruling negatively impacts both humans and pets in Maryland. Residents should not have to choose between their home or their beloved family pets. We will continue to urge the specially-formed task force to meet on this issue before the regular Maryland General Assembly session convenes in January."

Tony Solesky, father of a Towson boy who was attacked and severely injured by a pit bull in 2007, applauded the decision.

"I don't see anything in the ruling other than everyone got their day (in court) and then they got some more," said Solesky.

State legislators during a special session that ended last week.

Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller said last week that a standoff with the Maryland House of Delegates over amendments to the proposed law .

The earlier decision was part of a case involving Dominic Solesky, who was 10-years old when he was attacked by a pit bull named Clifford while playing Nerf tag in a Towson alley.

Solesky suffered severe wounds to his leg which the Court of Appeals called "gruesome." The boy underwent five hours of surgery and multiple blood transfusions during a 17-day hospital stay.

Karl Schuub September 26, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Your example of the dog in NC; was a lab-pit mix. Maybe for a second he got his full pit attitude and freakin' killed a kid. Your other example of the mastiff/rhodie doesn't surprise me however it's a rare day when you see either a mastiff or a rhodie at the shelter but pits on the other hand are blowing out the doors they shoved so thick in there and at every shelter. Pit owners must be the most irresponsible, slacker group of pet owners around or that wouldn't be the case.
Brook Hubbard September 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM
"The only dog here that is with a law enforcement agency is your bottom video which is the Miami Police and it is a German Shepard." You specifically said "the Police do not use any dog other then German Shepards to engage suspects." You did not say Police from the US; is there a reason we should only look at Police from the US? Also, I have proven TWICE with previous links that US Police use the APBT. In addition, the dog in the fourth video is a Malinois or "Belgian Shepherd" and it even says that IN THE VIDEO DESCRIPTION. It is NOT a German Shepherd and, while similar, is NOT the same Breed. Seriously, what ARE you? Stupid? Insane? Or just an Internet Troll out to get people to respond? How could you possibly believe that your responses are even intelligent conversation, let alone support the anti-Pit Bull agenda?
Tony Solesky September 27, 2012 at 07:25 AM
Thanks Brook, I am very gratified that all of my post are here to be reviiewed as to my position, stance and responses with regard to my grasp of dog breeds. Inherent behavior, Police and governemnt use and deployment of dogs as well as how and why they use each of the breeds including the various strains of Shepards and in what direction agencies are going in their K-9 Corps including toward even less agressive breeds. I would also remind you the case we one in the court requires a higher standard then what you propose are substantiated facts just because a large group promotes them. When you get older I will tell you all about the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus all of who can be googled as well.
Brian C. September 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM
This statement is false. "Not possible the only dog they can call off of a attack with any success are German Shepard’s. This is why they are the only dog the Police will use for actual suspect engagement." I am sure if you do a little research on it you will find out the truth.
k September 27, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Hey look, no surprise.........Another pitt bull family member changes her mind about the dogs POSTMORTEM..........poor granny http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/27/14125653-60-year-old-grandmother-killed-by-family-pit-bull?lite
Joe September 27, 2012 at 08:39 PM
At the bottom of that story we see all too often, another mauling death of a 3 month old. "Earlier this week, police in Burleson, Texas, said a 3-month-old baby boy died after being mauled by the family’s pit bull. The infant apparently was attacked while lying asleep on a bed; he was pronounced dead at a hospital." And i can rest assured the owners said they were such nice dogs and never before gave a clue to what they were capable of. Sad sad sad. Own these dogs at your own risk.
Brook Hubbard September 27, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Where does it say a family member changed their mind about the dogs? All I see is a matter-of-fact article about a tragedy where a family pet killed its owner.
Joe September 27, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Brook, if your mother or granny was chewed to death by a dog, any dog, and you happened on the bloody brutal scene, would you think twice about the dog?
Brook Hubbard September 27, 2012 at 09:37 PM
I would agree the dog needed to be put down (and probably shoot them on the spot myself). I would not use that as personal fire to start a witch hunt to destroy any dog of the same breed (or had the same genetics).
k September 27, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Brook, you are right. It was presumptive of me to think that as the pitt bulls teeth tore through grandma's flesh causing unimaginable pain as she exsanguinated right there on the floor, that she regretting having a pet that could literally eat her alive at will.
Joe September 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM
"I would not use that as personal fire to start a witch hunt to destroy any dog of the same breed (or had the same genetics)." I didn't in any respect. I posted the story and said at your own risk. No judgement nor accusations. These families felt the exact same way you do about their dogs. A dog to have around a young child or children can be trusted with a year old kitten. Alone. If I cannot trust a dog with another member of our animal family, I will not trust it with a human family member. That is my choice and do not expect any others to be influenced.
Joe September 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Brook, you didn't mention the 3 month old only guilty of sleeping.
Joe September 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM
exsanguinated Thank you. A new word in my lexicon that I will never use again. Never read it nor heard it used. I do think though that the word is far far too mild to describe the scene as it must have played out. Poor poor granny.
Brook Hubbard September 27, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Joe, I didn't mention the 3 month old because I was referring to "k"'s article about the grandmother. My response would remain the same, though: the dog needs to be put down, not the breed. I mention the "witch hunt" because that is what the main article and conversation is about. If you don't want a "witch hunt" and wish to simply be careful about what animals you let your children play with, that's perfectly fine and your prerogative. In fact, I actually agree with you that I wouldn't let my children play with just any animal without proper supervision. Hell, I'm even getting wary about my Jack Russell and my 1-year old son, because the dog is getting bolder in how he plays with the boy... and it's only a matter of time before a bite might happen. If one did happen, I certainly wouldn't start a lawsuit or lobby for legislation against all Jack Russells, even though I've heard of them being a "bitey" breed.
Phil Dirt September 28, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Brook said "... and it's only a matter of time before a bite might happen." You're finally getting it. Jack Russells bite. Pit bulls kill.
Brook Hubbard September 28, 2012 at 02:32 AM
"You're finally getting it. Jack Russells bite. Pit bulls kill." According to the only peer-reviewed research article on the subject of dog bite fatalities, Pit Bulls ("pure" and mixed) killed a total of 76 times across a 19-year period. 76 recorded kills out of how many dogs in existence during that period? Are we to generalize an entire breed over the actions of ~4 dogs a year? That is my problem. Anecdotes and emotions should not drive legislation. Hard facts should be used to support laws and regulations.
NeedRealNews September 28, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Dogs are just that, dogs. Human errors cause these problems. Control and supervision anyone?
Brian C. September 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM
K you are right. It is presumptive. The back story could be the granny was abusive to the dogs and the dogs finally had enough and had opportunity to act on it. We just dont know. Humans kill other humans every day. I guess we should exterminate the human race too. That is the logic I am reading here.
D Miles October 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Either you know nothing of dogs as Tommy says, or you have already provoked a dog into aggressive behavior maybe?? You have no doubts and that makes me think you must have done this already
heather November 24, 2012 at 03:53 AM
I have read so many things here and I am a buiy breed owner with children and godchildren that I have everyday. My dogs are sweet loveable babies. I had a Soviet when my son was born everyone told me oh he's gonna turn on you get rid if him and the one that turned was my husband. My dog protected my child. You can have my guns not my dogs. I believe those dogs will protect us no matter what.one thing that hasn't been said that 90% of the time when a dog bites its because of what a human did not just because the dog wanted to bite. Ban Jack Russells I've been bit by three different ones in my life. Leave pits alone. In five years it will be a different breed to blame it always is. If you don't want your kids bitten be a better parent.
Tony Solesky November 25, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Heather, I would be happy to take your guns. Pit bulls don't bite they maul. That is why you survived three attacks. Jake russels are BB guns and Pit Bulls ar 44 mags.
Colleen Carter November 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Absolute ignorance by someone with absolutely no academic credentials to make such a statement. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the CDC have very clearly stated that no breed of dog has any special physical characteristics that set it apart from other dogs of comparable size (i.e., they are not likely to "maul" any more than any other breed). There is NO scientific evidence and NO statistics that can confirm that any breed of dog is more dangerous, or more likely to be aggressive, than any other. It's absolute hogwash, and it almost always comes from a vantage point of complete ignorance, and hysteria is always easier to comprehend than simple facts. Additionally, one of my ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War for my Constitutional rights, and I've had a family member in every war since then continuing to uphold them. If you don't like the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, please feel free to catch the next boat back to Greece. I have been assured by my elected officials that this court ruling will overturned in the January session. It's time is limited, as is that of these ignorant judges, who have no business sitting on any court of law.
Colleen Carter November 25, 2012 at 11:15 PM
I was responding to the remark about guns, not referencing dogs in that statement. However, dogs have been a part of American culture since the beginning. Most of our presidents have owned dogs, dating back to George Washington. Dogs have been part our Americans families since the very beginning. I would state rather emphatically that dogs are covered under "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Very few dogs owners would disagree with me on that. However, if you disagree and attempt to take my dogs, then you will become intimately acquainted with my Second Amendment rights, to which I was referring in the first place.
Tony Solesky November 26, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Actually the court made its decision on the scientific and actuarial evidence. The court ruling canlt be overturned as all motoiins possible have been covered. What can happen is the legislature can create a new law and the beauty of that is that any new law will have been drafted totally with pitbulls in mind. meaning no matter how generic the language the net effect and the impetus for a new law will very simply be a politically correct wording where the net effect will be exactly the same as if they changed nothing. The Tracey v Solesky ruling will forever be applicable case by case.
Tony Solesky November 26, 2012 at 02:44 AM
BTW Tracey v Solesky is not only applicable in Maryland but nationally rave on my little acadamic wiz kid rave on.
Colleen Carter November 26, 2012 at 04:50 AM
You are a misogynist who does not like a woman who is better educated and smarter than you, and that is obvious from your condescending comments. Please NEVER refer to me as "my" anything. If I had any genetic connection to you or your greedy, nasty family, I would kill myself. Luckily, I come from a nice, well-established American family that was able to send me to the best schools from first grade through my master's degree, not Baltimore trash. I thank God for it every day. If "nationally" means that a Federal appeals court is going to also overturn this ridiculous ruling if the Maryland General Assembly does not get to it first, then you are correct. It is also going in front of a federal appeals court because it does violate the Constitution. But it is not applicable by law on a federal level. I know you have comprehension issues, but please study up on state vs. federal law. No state court has federal jurisdiction, and no state ruling is applicable outside of the state. Of course, a federal court can (and in this case WILL) overturn state law in cases in which state law violates the Constitution. Goodbye Tracey v Solesky. You are a cartoon -- a stupid, silly, little half-wit who is completely convinced of your own self-importance because a little court case with you name on it gave you 15 minutes minutes of fame. Your 15 minutes is up. Nobody cares about an illiterate half wit and his stupid e-book. You case is already gone, for all intensive purposes.
Tony Solesky November 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Of all people for me to correct this is bad. as I am the master at mis-spelling your last sentence should say all " intents and purposes" Although the rest of your post was quite intensive. The application of the Tracey law has already been quoted in 8 other cases nationally. Any court can site rulings outside of their state as a standing when trying a case. The Maryland court did in the lower court which lead to our high court reaching down and taking the case. I am not quite sure what you mean. but when and if the law gets changed the case will always be able to be sited and applied to try any case with similar circumstances. Just as we did in our case before the law was changed. as a result of our case. The current Maryland laws just changes the standards that make it far more likely to bring a settlement without a court battle. A change in a law does not mean a individual case cannot still be proven based on Tracey v Solesky its means it will not be a open and shut case and yes that means any and all courts along the way Nationally?
Karl Schuub November 26, 2012 at 01:09 PM
"If I had a genetic connection to you or your greedy, nasty family I would kill myself" or "you are a cartoon -- a stupid, silly, little half-wit..." or "nobody cares about and illiterate half-wit...", indeed you may be from a "well established american family" but "nice" is certainly up for debate.
1ke November 26, 2012 at 01:22 PM
You may very well be smart, young lady. But if you think that you are smarter or better educated than all "Baltimore trash", you need to check yourself out. Oh, your family may be nice, but you're not.
1ke November 26, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Missy is a Daughter of the American Revolution and a member of the John Birch Society, too. No wonder she is angry.

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