The General Assembly dealt with issues involving dogs again on Friday, seeking to overturn a Court of Appeals opinion that held pit bulls “inherently dangerous.”
The whole Senate approved Senate Bill 2. Duane Keenan provided this audio report that includes Senate action, and testimony from three delegates on their bills.
The bill’s companion, House Bill 2, had a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
Sponsored by Del. Curt Anderson, D-Baltimore City, the bill would make all dog owners liable for personal injury or death caused by their pet, even if the animal had never shown any agressive tendencies. The bill would protect landowners as well.
Also before the Committee were two dog bills by Del. Benjamin Kramer, D-Montgomery. House Bill 3 dealt with personal injury & death caused by a dog. House Bill 4 had to do with dog bites, and that bill had a sunset provision. It would expire, but give the General Assembly time to make better legislation.
Finally, House Bill 5, sponsored by Del. Mike Smiegel, would also deal with dog bites. It would re-establish the “Common Law” standard that was in effect earlier in the year, before a recent court case was decided.
Dog bite bills in a Special Session? The only saving grace of the MD Legislature was that they only had 90 days a year to screw up our lives. That’s now in the past, as apparently Special Sessions have now become just general sessions in the Summer.