In April 2012, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Tracey v. Solesky, declaring all pit bull-type dogs "inherently dangerous." The Court of Appeals later limited the scope of its ruling, clarifying that it did not apply to mixed-breed dogs. Despite expectations that the Maryland General Assembly would repeal this ruling during the 2013 legislative session, they failed to do so before they adjourned on April 8. The court ruling remains in effect and the next opportunity to address it won’t be until January 2014.
Tragically, this ruling could lead landlords and insurance providers to institute no-pit bull policies—or even ban dogs altogether, which is unnecessary. Since the ruling, law-abiding Maryland dog owners have been forced to choose between their beloved family pets and their homes, and shelters and rescues have been at risk.
We are working with advocates across the state to provide information to people who may be impacted by this ruling to help them keep their pets and stay in their homes. Find out what you can do to help.
If you have questions, call The HSUS's Help Line at 1-855-MDDOGS1 (1-855-633-6471) or use our Contact Us form
One of the complications of the legislature's failure for dogs is that the breed "pit bull" doesn’t technically exist. Test yourself: Can you ID a pit bull?
Learn How to Protect Your Family and Help Your Community
The HSUS is gathering the most up-to-date information possible to help everyone affected by this ruling. Please share these resources with friends, families, veterinarians, shelters, and everyone else who cares.
• The Maryland ruling: the basics »
• Renters: Know your rights »
• Resources (legal, advocacy, sheltering) »
• Tips for temporarily or permanently placing your dog »
• Information for landlords and property owners »
• Why breed-specific legislation doesn’t work »
• The difficulties of identifying a dog's breed »
Call our Help Line at 1-855-MDDOGS1 (1-855-633-6471) or contact us online to ask questions. Sign up for HSUS text alerts by texting HSUSMD to 30644 so we can keep you updated, and follow our efforts at facebook.com/HSUSMaryland »
Spread the word
Don't live in Maryland? Sign the pledge to stand with Maryland families »
A brief history of the case
4/9/13: Maryland General Assembly Fails to Provide Relief to Dog Owners Before End of Session
3/14/13: The HSUS urges Md. legislators to pass a breed-neutral, Compromise Bill before the legislature adjourns »
1/17/13: Md. legislators Introduce a Compromise Bill to Address the Impacts of the Ruling »
8/21/12: The HSUS reacts to Md. Court of Appeals motion for reconsideration in pit bull decision »
8/15/12: Special session: Md. General Assembly fails to remedy impact of ruling »
6/19/12: Our Pit Bull Task Force Hearing Testimony »
5/29/12: Our Brief to the Court of Appeals »
4/28/12: Our Statement on the Ruling »
4/26/12: The Court of Appeals decision »
• El caso Tracey vs Solesky sobre los perros "Pit Bull" y su impacto »
• Información importante para inquilinos y dueños de perros de Maryland »
• Recursos por condado para dueños de perros en Maryland (Albergues, ayuda legal, y recursos)—en inglés »
• Buscando alojamiento para perros de Maryland »
• Folleto Perros Maryland »
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