Last week, the New Supreme Court handed down a decision that ruled that there was no legal basis for discrimination against breeds of dogs.
The ruling came in case New York vs Shanks. In the case, Diana Shanks was walking her 'pit bull' named Ghost on a leash, and on a harness. As she walked by the home of Ana-Marie Blasetti, Blasetti's German Shepherd rushed out and attacked Ghost. Ghost responded by protecting himself, and his owner, and fought back and unfortunately killed the larger German Shepherd.
Blasetti filed a complaint against Ghost, and the Town Court of the Town of Oneonta determined that Ghost was a dangerous dog -- even though the defnition of a dangerous dog was one that attacked "without justification". The courts however ruled that Ghost was dangerous in part because he was a 'pit bull'.
The Supreme Court overturned the local ruling. The Supreme Court noted that Ghost was indeed restrained throughout the entire attack and that having been attacked by the larger German Shepherd, his reaction was very well justified. Further the Supreme Court noted:
"The condemnation of an individual dog in the context of a dangers dog proceeding solely by virtue of its breed is without any legal basis. We have repeatedly held that 'there is no persuasive authority for the proposition that a court should take judicial notice of the ferocity of any particular type of breed of domestic animal."
The precent for the lack of targeting specific breeds of dogs remains firmly in tact in New York and the poor woman who was simply out walking her dog which was attacked by another dog was wisely found to be not-guilty.
Pit Bulletin Legal News has a great (short) write-up about the case as well.