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People who train dogs to attack are more vicious than any breed

May 09, 2012

So now the courts are handing down opinions concerning the personality of dogs. That’s pretty impressive. Now maybe they can decide what’s really troubling Charlie Sheen.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled recently that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous,” meaning that the animals are now a greater liability risk for owners, landlords and adoption agencies.

Glad they had time to hear that case. Now they can take up oral arguments on whether cocker spaniels are inherently dumb.

At the very least, I hope that the announcer dude from the Westminster Kennel Club can somehow work the idea into their dog show next year:

“The undisputed King of Terriers, the Airedale has a sweet disposition, but can be very protective of his family. A fast learner but easily bored, the Airedale was ruled in a 5-4 decision by theU.S. Supreme Courtto be afflicted with canine ADD, Justice John Roberts writing for the majority. This is Airedale, No. 16.”

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But are pit bulls really inherently dangerous? And shouldn’t we be asking, like, a vet, not a panel of glorified crossing guards?

I’ve heard it said so many times: “How can a court really know what’s in a dog’s heart?” Most people understand that beauty is only fur deep.

Of course, those who have been attacked by pit bulls certainly have a grievance and deserve justice. I’m just not sure that overturning any finding of habeas woofus is going to be the answer.

Pit bulls are the historic dog of choice among druggies, who employ them to scare trespassers away from their illicit digs. In this capacity they’ve been trained to be vicious.

So if pit bulls are effectively outlawed, I can’t help but think that the doping community is just going to move on to another breed, and within a couple of dog generations, this breed will be “inherently dangerous.”

And what if that breed is the beagle?

Visions of “The Snoopynator” are almost too fearsome to think about. They lure you in with their cuteness and then go straight for your lungs.

According to news services, all breeds of dog are generally allowed “one free bite” from a liability standpoint. Now, for pit bulls, it’s one bite, and you’re out.

The problem to me are the words “liability standpoint.” Everyone these days is looking to sue in civil court. However, I am always on the lookout for ways in which we can pack even more people into our ludicrously overcrowded prisons, so I see an opportunity here.

Any injury that a dog causes should be treated as if it were inflicted by the owner. You know, leave the dog out of it. I call it the National Rifle Association defense. Dogs don’t maul people, people maul people.

No — that’s not quite right; but you get the idea. Guns aren’t “inherently dangerous” — unless you point them at someone and get happy with your index finger.

So if you train a dog to attack, are you not doing the attacking yourself? And shouldn’t you be the one that’s put to sleep?

Furthermore, if personality defects are now grist for the judiciary, Katy bar the door. Theoretically, this means I can take “40-item lady” to court for hogging the supermarket express aisle. So on reflection, there might be an upside to all this nonsense; it’s about time the judiciary came in handy for something.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at timr@herald-mail.com.

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