A pit bull who stood by her injured owner while their house was on fire is now losing her home -- not to the fire itself, but to a law prohibiting pit bulls from living in the county.
Firefighters told a local NBC affiliate that the dog stayed calm even after a a fire extinguisher was thrown at her, to get her out of the way so that the owner could be retrieved from the burning house.
Outside, the dog still hung close -- until being taken away by animal control, along with a rat terrier and a pit bull puppy.
Two people -- a woman and her father whose names haven't been revealed -- were hurt. Both are expected to recover, according to NBC.
And once they have, the rat terrier will be able to go home.
Because of PG County's breed ban, however, the two pit bulls must "be taken outside the county," Rodney Taylor, Prince George's County's animal services facility association director, told The Huffington Post.
Pit bull bans -- otherwise known as breed specific legislation, or BSL -- have been denounced by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Bar Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and even the White House.
These bans, usually enacted at the city or county level, are damned as bad for families, problematic for civil liberties, and expensive to enforce, without increasing public safety
And so for good reason, BSL is on the wane. In January, Utah became the 19th state to prohibit localities from enacting or enforcing breed specific legislation. Cities around the country have also been doing away with their pit bull ordinances -- most recently, South Hutchinson, Kansas, and Youngstown, Ohio.
Back in May, Michigan's Hazel Park lifted its pit bull ban in the wake of public outcry, after a dog credited with saving her owner from domestic violence was subsequently thrown out of town.
Adrianne Lefkowitz, executive director of the Maryland Dog Federation, tells HuffPost she and others in the dog advocacy community hope that this family's terrible loss may spur the end of Prince George's County's pit bull ban, as well.
"Our hearts are broken for this family because these dogs cannot be returned to the people they know and love and who love them back," she said. "This shouldn't be happening in America."
UPDATE: A Prince George's County spokesperson tells The Huffington Post the dogs will be going to live with family, outside of the county, in an area without breed specific legislation.
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