A Prince George’s County Council committee on Thursday advanced an amendment to animal-control legislation that would repeal the county’s 22-year-old ban on pit bulls.
A majority of the 11-member council still appears to support or be undecided on the ban, which a national coalition of animal rights advocates has labeled ineffective and inhumane.
But council chair Todd Turner (D-District 4), who sponsored the amendment, said its passage out of the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee will lead to a public meeting on the ban and a broader discussion of whether it is necessary.
Council members Thomas E. Dernoga (D-District 1) and Dannielle Glaros (D-District 3) joined Turner in voting for the amendment; the committee’s other two members were absent.
Prince George’s is the second-largest jurisdiction in the country, and the only one in the Washington region, that bans pit bulls, which animal advocates say are not inherently dangerous. They argue that governments should instead focus on dogs that demonstrate violent behavior and on penalizing owners who do not care properly for their pets, regardless of breed.
More than 400 pit bulls were euthanized last year in Prince George’s, out of 687 impounded, and more than 250 have been euthanized so far this year.