Boston and its environs are often associated with the American Pit Bull, which, in turn, is associated with carnage and mayhem (and Tom Brady). So, it is no surprise that local municipalities are considering a pit bull muzzle. In this case, the City of Malden.
The Malden pit bull muzzle law would require pit bulls in the city to wear a muzzle when outside in public.
The debate has particular resonance these days because of an attack on a 10-year-old boy last year, that led to a pit bull getting euthanized. That same dog had bitten another child three months earlier inside a home.
The issue of pit bulls in Massachusetts has been handled differently by different cities. The City of Lynn requires an annual pit bull registration, for example.
The leader in pit bull registration in Mass., however, is the City of Boston, which in 2004 introduced a pit bull registration law.
The original 2004 Boston legislation requiring pit bull muzzles in public was, actually, quite thorough in its description. And reading it through it makes it quite apparent that it could be used as a template for legislation in other cities. In one segment of the legislation, there is a long list of all the people that around that time had been attacked or mauled to death by pit bulls.
Pit bull owners in the state should be aware that they have to register their dog. But they should also be aware that despite registration, if their pit bull attacks someone, then they may be liable in a civil capacity as well, through a personal injury lawsuit filed against them.
For more information on dog bites and injury, please see below.