Establish what kind of dog you have
What's in a name? Everything! The Court has limited its ruling to "purebred pit bull" dogs, and specifically stated "mixed breed or cross-bred pit bulls" are not included.
We urge owners of any short haired, stocky, medium size-dog in Maryland to obtain veterinary or other documentation of their dog's background. If your dog doesn't have a registered pedigree, or if it came from a shelter or rescue, it is possible that it is not a "purebred pit bull". Most reliable documentation will be veterinary records or dog license records. If your previous records list your dog simply as a "pit bull," you may wish to contact the source and correct those records so that it accurately reflects its unknown heritage. Maintain the documentation in a safe place.
You may find that your veterinarian or animal control (licensing) agency cannot identify your dog's heritage with 100% confidence. This is because it is very difficult to do so, even for the most experienced professionals. In this case, the dog should be listed as a "mixed breed" dog on his or her records, because it is the most accurate assessment. It may also be helpful for you to document that the expert (vet, animal control staff, etc.) could not accurately identify your dog's heritage.
Keep in mind, the term "pit bull" is not a specific dog breed. It's a descriptive term for a type of dog (like "retriever" or "hound" or "spaniel") and is very subjective. In other words, everyone's idea of a "pit bull" can be different. Many people say "pit bulls" are just mixed-breed dogs with a certain look to them, but are of unknown or untraceable parentage ... not at all pure-of-breed.
For more information on this call 301.693.2256.
If you are being threatened with eviction, please email Maryland dog Federation.