Most Pennsylvania residents would assume that any dog owner would be held responsible if the animal attacked a human. Although that seems reasonable, the fact remains that many states still do not use strict liability principles to govern cases involving dog bites. Nearby neighbor Maryland, however, has made a step to equalize dog bite legislation by eliminating provisions designed to marginalize so-called "dangerous" breeds. Under the pending legislation, victims will be able to successfully seek financial compensation for injuries suffered during a dog bite attack, no matter the breed of dog.
Representatives in that state say that all dog owners must be held responsible for the actions of their animals if the dogs are running loose. Previous legal decisions in Maryland had determined that pit bulls were considered an "inherently dangerous" breed, and so owners of that type of animal would automatically be considered liable, no matter the nature of the attack. Instead of singling out pit bulls, the new legislation proposes that all dogs be subject to the same standard of scrutiny. Although the legislation has passed the measure, it could still be vetoed by Gov. Martin O'Malley.