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State says pit bulls 'inherently dangerous,' helps dog attack suits

The people of Albany have heard it over and over again in the news -- pit bulls attack, seriously injure or kill humans. While it is clear that not every single pit bull in New York will injure someone, the fact that they are responsible for a large number of dog attacks has led several towns, cities and states to enact regulations to better protect their citizens from pit bull-related injuries.

Though it happened outside of New York, one state's highest court has determined that pit bulls are "inherently dangerous." Many groups are praising the court's decision, believing that it will reduce the number of dog attacks within the state. Now, a dog-bite victim will not need to show any kind of negligence in order to hold an owner liable.

While this ruling doesn't affect New York's laws, victims of dog attacks still can hold dog owners liable for their dog's behavior. It is the owner's responsibility to know whether his or her dog is violent and, if it is, to protect others from coming in contact with it. It falls on the owner to protect his or her neighbors and other innocent parties from a dog bite.

The Maryland court cited facts supporting its decision to make pit bulls inherently dangerous, saying that there have been at least seven times where someone was seriously injured by a pit bull in the past 13 years. One father also described his 10-year-old son being bit by a pit bull. The dog had pulled him to the ground, biting him in his face, neck and femoral artery.

Source: CBS This Morning, "Pit bull ruling outrages rescue groups, owners," Whit Johnson, May 3, 2012

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