An Open Letter To Maryland Legislators

April 10, 2013  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dear State of Maryland Legislators,

I have two pit bull dogs, Gus and Jefferson. Gus is almost 6 years old; I have had him since he was a puppy. I bottle fed him when he was abandoned and hand raised him. Gus loves to swim, and it doesn’t matter what the temperature is. There could be snow on the ground and Gus will be in the bay splashing around. This is particularly funny because he hates to go outside when it is raining. In fact, if it’s raining, he will frequently pee off of the deck and run back into the house to reduce his time in the rain. Gus also hangs out on my kayak with me every summer. He just lounges while I paddle. Gus is not a morning dog. He prefers to sleep in my bed and under the covers until 9:00 am. If we have to get him up before then, he is very resistant, and gives me a look as if to say “why are you doing this to me?”

On the other hand, Jefferson, who is about 3 years old, is up around 5:30 am every morning. He knows that he has places to go and things to do. Jefferson is happy to be in rain or snow or any weather; after all, there are things to look at outside, and he doesn’t want to miss any of them. Jefferson is super happy to be running in the rain and covered in mud, like mud is a badge of honor. Jefferson has no interest in the bay or swimming and prefers to stay on the land. He won’t set foot on a kayak and thinks that I am crazy for suggesting it.

You see, Maryland Legislators, my dogs, though similar in appearance, have individual personalities. This is because dogs, like people, are individuals, and the way that they look does not determine how they will act. I am very disappointed that you failed to see this and did not vote to repeal the ruling that deemed all pit bulls inherently dangerous. I am disappointed that you did not vote in favor of breed neutral dangerous dog laws that do see dogs as individuals and judge them by their actions, not their appearance. Maryland Legislators, I voted for you to speak for me, to be my voice. You have failed me. You have failed many Maryland families who will now have to choose between their homes and their dogs. You have made it more difficult for pit bull dogs in shelters to find homes, therefore causing the deaths of so many adoptable dogs just because of the way that they look. This is a sad, sad day for the pit bulls and pit bull families in Maryland. Maryland Legislators, today my heart aches because of your inability to act and do the right thing for the pit bull dogs of Maryland.


Gus, Jefferson, and Kirstyn Northrop Cobb

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