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Marylanders Rally Against Pit Bull Court Opinion

Protestors argued that pit bulls are being unfairly targeted by the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Annapolis resident Stehle Harris is afraid she won't have a home. 

As the owner of a bull terrier, Harris said the recent that pit bulls and pit bull crossbreeds are dangerous could lead to a slippery slope. The opinion also states that landlords can prohibit the dogs from their properties.

"I think pit bulls' capacity to do damage is no greater than a chihuahua," she said. "I'm more apprehensive about smaller dogs."

Harris was one of a group of Marylanders protesting the court's opinion at Lawyer's Mall in Annapolis on Tuesday afternoon. 

Erin Harty, of Baltimore, said Harris' fears aren't unfounded. As a volunteer at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, she said the center is already being overwhelmed with pit bulls as a result of the opinion.

"German shepherds have been targeted, dobermans have been targeted," Harty said. "Pit bulls are the breed du jour."

She added that singling out pit bulls is unwarranted.

"Any dog has the potential to be aggressive if treated unfairly," Harty said.

As a dog groomer for 25 years, White Marsh resident Angela Barnes said she has never been bitten by a pit bull. She owns two rescues of the breed and was also at the protest.

"[Pit bulls] are being targeted because people used them in fights," Barnes said. "It all depends on how you treat them."

Kelli Parker, of Fredricksburg, VA, knows this first hand. Before she adopted her pit bull Krush, she said he came from an abusive environment, and was once tied to a outdoor bannister for two weeks. As a result, Parker said Krush was slightly food aggressive when she adopted him.

"With training, he was fine," she said. "He's just very loveable and cuddly."

Parker said the love she receives from Krush and her other pit bull Sasha inspired her to create her own advocacy organization for the breed called The Pretty Chic With The Pits.

"My dogs really did save my life," she said. "They've showed me compassion and unconditional love."

Buzz Beeler May 20, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Sounds like this could be a - dog-gone court battle.

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