Miami-Dade's pit bull ban might finally be killed for good

When the Miami Marlins splashed $58 million last month to land ace Mark Buehrle, diehard Fish fans weren't the only ones celebrating. Pit bull advocates in the Florida's only county that bans the breed also did cartwheels, because Buehrle — who owns a pit bull named Slater and lamented publicly that he has to live in Broward to keep him — immediately became the 305's best-known pit bull backer.

Now, with bills in both the Florida House and Senate for the first time taking aim at Dade's 20-year-old prohibition, activists say Magic City pit bull owners might finally be able to come out of the shadows.

"It's going to happen," says Dahlia Canes, director of the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation. "We've never been this close before."

Dante Alighieri via Wikimedia Commons

Miami's 1989 law against pit bulls is a case study in reactionary legislation gone wrong. Passed months after an 8-year-old girl was brutally mauled by a pit bull, the law was perhaps the first in the nation to outlaw a specific breed of dog.

The problem is that the law is almost impossible to enforce. There's no real way to test what is or isn't a pit bull, so Miami-Dade Animal Services ends up injecting barbiturates into the hearts of hundreds of dogs every year merely on the suspicion they're pit bulls. In the past year, 371 pit bulls have been taken in by Animal Services and 216 have been euthanized.

It's such an arbitrary rule that everyone from the Humane Society to the American Veterinary Medical Association have come out against it.

Two bills in Tallahassee — proposed by freshman Miami-area Rep. Carlos Trujillo and Tampa-area Sen. Jim Norman — would end the ban for good. The year after Miami passed its law, the state passed a rule prohibiting breed-specific bans but grandfathering in Miami's law. The bills would void the grandfather clause.

Still, support remains for the ban, including from Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier Soto, who helped pass the ban in '89 and who Canes says is lobbying for it to remain. Canes will be camped out in Tallahassee until the bills get traction.

"You're going to see a flood of residents moving back to Miami once we overturn this ban," she says. "Mark Buehrle isn't the only one staying away to protect his pit bulls."

 
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38 comments
Morgan Barth
Morgan Barth

The Pit-bull was the most popular dog in the 20th century. What happened? How did this breed become so misunderstood? According to the APBT's (American Temperment Testing Association) pitbulls have 85.3% passing rate. In the Alabama Supreme Court's rulling that there no genetic evidence that one dog is more aggresive then the other. World War One, pitbulls represented America. They were our heros. But there is more .Popsicle-Drug sniffing dog for the federal Government. .Stubby-WW1, the most decorative war dog in u.s history. .Weela-Saved 30 people, 29 dogs,13 horses and 1 cat during a flood in southern california. Think Pit-bulls Are Dangerous Listen To This. About 40 children per day drowned in a 5 gallon pail of water. A person during their lifetime is 16x more likely to be drowned in a water pail then by a pitbull. Approximately 50 children in the u.s are killed by their cribs, thats 25x more likely to be killed by a crib then by a pitbull. 150 People are killed every year by falling cocunuts. 60x more likely to be killed by a cocunut then by a pitbull. 350 people die in their bathtubs 151x more likely to be killed in a bathtub then by a pitbull. Each year 2000 children in the u.s are killed by their parents or caretakers by abuse or neglect. 800x more likely to be killed by your caretaker then by a pitbull. To everyone who hates pitbulls there are 10.5 million who dont kill.!! Remember that.! A little More Pitbulls are 30-40% of dogs population thats 10,600,000 pitbulls. A little over 100 people have been killed by a pitbull, But 1,250,000 pitbulls die per year by humans, its more likely for you to kill a pitbull then the other way around!! 115 people die on motorcycles everyday, but they don't ban motorcycles do they? 5,000,000 dogs are killed in the shelters and pitbulls take up 50% of the shelter. Society Society was told that pitbulls are fighters, they are mean and they are a danger to kids. But Dalmations are more agressive to kids. And I am going to agree with what society was told and heres why. Pitbulls fight to wake-up every morning to put a smile on your face and to remind you why you love them. Pitbulls are mean, they are mean enough to jump up on your bed and squish you so that they can cuddle with you because they love you so much. They are dangerous, dangerous enough to knock you down so they can lick your face off. But there is no way you can tell me that you can judge a pitbull because the stories you hear. You can never convince me that they are aggresive to humans. They were never bread with the quality of Human aggression. You can love them ,care for them, or blame them, it's easy to blame them, when all they did is what you taught them and they pay the ultimate price. You can judge the deed not the breed give them a try before sentincing them all to die. Honestly People are stupid for making that law. But they can blame the breed but not once have they said something about the human. And you buy a pitbull then you will never regret loving the dog showing them a little love, they will show you loyality, love and kindness. And if you want to keep your pitt then do what you have to.!! DROP THE BAN.!!!!!!!

Veronica Dilbert
Veronica Dilbert

We need to remember Lennox who was killed today in Belfast Ireland. He bit no one and was killed for the way he looked. He was not a Pit Bull he was an American Bull Labrador Mix. He was a service dog and was seized from the family and incarcerated for 2 yrs. This can never happen again.

Veronica Dilbert
Veronica Dilbert

Punish the DEED NOT THE BREED. Dogs of any breed can bite. Not all Pit Bulls and Pit Bull Mixes bite.

Papo
Papo

I cried after hearing it might finally be over... It's going to be something special!

Jose
Jose

Should we judge society on what one person does , then every one should be locked up for what there race does to others, get a life let us have our four legged bestfriends and be happy.

Jose
Jose

Please let it be we need to be free what a blessing it would be.

123tl78
123tl78

Noticed a typo. The focus should always have been on reminding dog owners of any dog to be responsible dog owners. Pit bulls are great, beautiful dogs and have as much a right to be a pet as any other dog. Dogs will bite. It is part of having 75 million dogs. Dog owners have to make sure any dog is safe.

123tl78
123tl78

Right the stats don't lie. 31 people are killed in the US by all types of dogs, all types, in one year and the US has at least 75 million dogs. Pit bulls are great, beautiful dogs in the right hands like any other dog and have as much right to be a pet as any other dog. All sorts of dogs bite. It is part of having dogs. The focus should always have been on reminding any dog owner that it is their responsibility of be a responsible dog owner and if they are not they should be held accountable. There are so many dogs that are mixed breeds. BSL accomplishes nothing and doesn't make anyone safer and a lot of dogs suffer and die because of it.

Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones

"it bull advocates in the Florida's only county that bans the breed also did cartwheels..." really? I am available if you "guys" need writers!

Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones

ummm you might want to hire a writer that can use proper grammar SMH

madelaine
madelaine

Soy duena de 3 pitbull, 2 nacieron aqui en mi casa, y la madre que es la mas vieja llego a mi casa con 2 meses, yo digo k son mis hijos, les hago videos, y tengo fotos de ellos desde k nacieron, esos perros son un AMOR, es solo mala fama k tienen, por culpa de personas inescrupulosas y sin alma ni corazon k los abusan y los echan a fajar, son a esas personas a los k tienen k privar de libertad, o hacerles lo mismo k ellos hacen con esos animalitos, soy y sere defensora de los pitbull.

MiamiGirl
MiamiGirl

Stats don't lie. Anyone who suggests Pitbulls are not more inherently dangerous than other breeds is in denial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Whats amazing is not just the high proportion of pit bulls involved in fatal dog bites, but the number of full grown adults killed by them and the number of people who were either killed by their OWN dog or their neighbors dog . How many of those people would have emphatically stated their dog would never harm anyone?

Rnd4ever
Rnd4ever

I live in Dade County and own a Pitbull, yes Blue lives in hiding.. He is gentle and very loving. I live day by day with fear that Blue maybe taking away from me one day... Blue lives inside with 3 teacup yorkie. He has never grawled nor bark at any of them. I was close minded as many people are until 8 months ago when I rescued Blue. He is my family now and hopefully this ban will be lifted soon.. For all those people who lack knowledge on this beautiful breed get the facts. They were not born to kill they where trained by ignorant people to kill.. I love my Pit.. Blue you are my best friend.

Saulhottip
Saulhottip

pit bulls are good dogs ,its the people who make it bad for these beautiful dogs. they should put a law that will give anybody who fight these dogs 20 yrs in prison. i had pitbulls since i was 6yrs old n i never had a problem with this breed.

Barbara Ann
Barbara Ann

I own 3 pitbulls and was recently left with the choice by MD COUNTY to either kill my dogs, give them up to be killed or move......i moved..i now had to up my rent $300 and move to broward county just so that I could keep my dogs which might as well be bunnies because they would not hurt a fly. I am very glad to hear that the ban is going to be lifted...ITS ABOUT TIME!!

WickedCats
WickedCats

I just hope that people realize when this ban is lifted, the real work starts! People NEED to be EDUCATED!!!! Owners need to socialize their dogs. If anything people who have pit bulls should train their dogs to be even more social and better than others, because pits will always be held to a higher standard. People will always assume they are vicious so it's the job of the owner of a pit bull to change all of these misconceptions. The last thing dog owners want is to have this ban lifted, and then the following day some bone head allows his dog to bite someone.

Korey
Korey

I worked 30 yrs for the telephone co in both Dade & Broward. I have been bit 3 times while repairing telephone service. 1) standard poodle, 2) dachshund, and 3) the worst attack was by a chow. I have been in many homes that had pit bulls.and never had a problem. Like any animal situation it is usually caused by the owner (for example Michale Vick), To use the example saying "Guns don't kill people, people kill people!!!!!!!"

Humane Animal Removal
Humane Animal Removal

We are an animal removal company established in Miami-Dade for 24 years. We remove vicious dogs. Miami-Dade Animal Services will not remove any owned pet that an owner no longer wants. Although they will receive the dogs at the shelter by the owner surrendering them in person. Now how does an owner of a vicious dog surrender their dog when they cannot touch it? Anyway with that said. We have removed many many vicious dogs. Dogs that have bitten children, bitten pets etc. Rarely are they pit bulls. Our history on record does not hone in on pit bulls, as a matter of fact there is no "one" breed that stands out. I personally have never owned a pit bull and I am not closed minded because of the media hype on these dogs. I think of dogs as people, There are good people and bad people no matter what color or nationality we are. DOGS ARE THE SAME WAY. If the band is lifted, I don't believe every dogless person will run out and get a pit bulll. But I am sure current owners of them will come out of hiding.

Rnd4ever6569
Rnd4ever6569

I'm 42 years old and about 7 months ago I recused a Blue nose pitbull who is also called Blue. I have never owned a pitbull until now.. I was also ignorant and had lack of knowledge on this breed. I was of this Breed thanks to the media. Blue lives inside the house with 3 teacup Yorkies and my 3 daughters. I am in live with this breed he is loving and seeks so much attention from all of us. Unfortunately I live in Miami Dade where this breed is banned.. I walk my dog every night and some morning with a great fear the I may get stopped by a police officer.

Mary Degon
Mary Degon

A responsibly owned dog of Any breed is never a danger to society. A responsibly owned Pit Bull is also never a danger to society. Breed specific laws do Not hold owners accountable for their animals behavior. Period. Genetic Dangerous Dog Laws that include Leash Laws, S/N, restraint & training clauses will be the only laws that will keep the community safe. A sliding scale of fines for repeat offenders, and removing dogs that are not humanly treated, or responsibly owned Will stop dog related issue in any area. It is a Human issue not a dog or dog Breed issue. I own 7 pit bulls - all rescued- all trained, restrained, cherished, licensed, insured and spoiled.No Law made me do this - I am a responsible owner who Loves my dogs. I do this to Protect THEM from Society - to protect them from ignorant, sick people as illustrated below.

Mary Degon
Mary Degon

Jim, You went out one night & "popped him-putting a gun to his head" and Pit Bulls are dangerous? You have some serious issues.

Jim
Jim

I've had to tear a pit off my Labrador puppy. I told the owner that I was packing from that day forward and if I saw the dog near me, my dog, or any other living animal that was in danger, the dog would die. I knew that he walked the dog at 2AM and I went out one night and popped him, and put the gun on his head and told him- "you want it too?" Thats my pit bull story. I hate these dogs, I saw how my dog needed 110 stitches in his face from one that was wagging ts tail, a female attacking a male that was 10 months old and sweet. They should ALL be forced to wear a muzzle, like in Europe.

Rosiebud320
Rosiebud320

Awesome! Keep your sick laws away from my responsibly owned dog. Ignorance is what bred this ban in the first place. Owners need to be held accountable and killing dogs because of the way they look is no way to accomplish that.

Robbie A Moore
Robbie A Moore

Okay so I am sure I will be called all kinds of things for this but time to get down right rude and honest that way we can wake some people up... If you are black we should just assume you are criminal and put you in jail. If you are Mexican we should assume you like to work long hours in the heat for little pay so we should put you in a field. If you are white we should assume you are racist and just put you to death. If you are pregnant teen we should just assume you are whore and shun you from all society. If you are elder we should just assume you are useless and put you in nursing homes to rot. If are Christian we should assume you are single minded religious nuts and avoid you at all costs...NOW none of these allegations are fair nor just are they? No and you would be stupid to think they were but yet that's what "intelligent humans" do EVERY day to DOGS and other animals...EVERY DAY. Wake up people its not a Dogs fault its Pit or was put in a fight no its just like the kids you need to look at the PARENTS! I've been bit my more POODLES and SMALLl dogs then I have by any snake, PIT BULL, boxer, WOLF, or large dog. Yet they are the first to be judged murdered or "put to sleep" go figure we do something backwards in this world we call "improved".

DONA!
DONA!

I'm in Miami and not only is this whole ban against them racist but very ignorant also! I can you ban against a breed of dog? Since they can't ban races of people they went after animals that can't defend themselves!!!! Now let's talk about vicious dogs! 1. ANY DOG CAN BE TRAINED TO BE VICIOUS! 2. GERMAN SHEPPARDS, ROTTWIELERS, CHOW CHOWS, DOBERMANS, MASTIFFS, BULLDOGS, BOXERS, ETC the list can go on NONE OF THESE WERE EVER BANNED BUT THE 1 THAT A POLITICAN HAD A FAMILY MEMBOR BIT BY A PITT IS THE 1 THAT ISN'T ALLOWED HERE! Last year a child was bit by a German sheppard that was used for protection in homestead and those are not banned! THE ONES THAT SHOULD BE BANNED FROM ANIMALS ARE THOSE THAT MISTREAT, ABUSE AND USE ANIMALS FOR WRONG REASONS!!!

Fayclis
Fayclis

GREAT News! We are in On-Scario, Canada are also close to ending our ban. A researcher I spoke with told me that in Denver (where they have a 20 year old ban) that 97% of the dog attacks reported by media involved "pit bulls". In the SAME time period she researched dog bites and found that only 2.6% of documented bites involved ALL the banned breeds combined. Amazing what the media can project when it sells papers.

Carlos Clarke
Carlos Clarke

Then ban all dogs!!! What if a Miami was to ban a particular race because of crime statistics...

James Hazuga
James Hazuga

Yes, to a higher standard. I am training my PB puppy whom I picked up as a stray in a restaurant parking lot a week ago. I am making sure he learns his commands and will pass the Canine Good Citizen test. With a stigma attached to him I want him to be acceptable to humans.

Stapha001
Stapha001

Wow... so now this Guy's dog is dead and yours is alive still... great job asshole. What if someone felt your dog was a threat and did the same to you? What if this guy feels like u need to die for what u did.....?

Stefanie Vega001
Stefanie Vega001

Wow to assume that your a grown man with some kind of smarts. What makes you assume that your dog was attacked just because of the other dogs breed? "hey ima dumb pittbull, ima attack every dog I see"! You honestly believe that. I had a cocker spaniel that couldn't come inside my house cuz my yorkie would attack it to the death. I also have a black lab mix who's the sweetiest of animals but also the reason we can't have live stock. She likes eating goats n chicken. And a also have a trained German Shepard that would gladly attack you even without command. In the end your loving sweet pet is still a fucking animal n it's going to defend it's territory from intruders, follow it's natural instincts, and do what we train them to do.

Rich Dolfan
Rich Dolfan

I wish to god you would try somebody like me with that stupidity......I wish....."Popped him"? You'd be graveyard dead partner......and that's on everything I love.......

Ironkingkennels
Ironkingkennels

Maybe you should be mad at the inresponsible owner instead of the dog! It's stupidity like this that is ruining our country !

Michael Rheault
Michael Rheault

Plus the media never talks about the good pitbulls when they r used for drug and bomb detection,used at retirement homes or schools. only the neg.the stupidity of media is a pitbulls worse enemy.

Michael Rheault
Michael Rheault

Plus the media never talks about the good pitbulls when they r used for drug and bomb detection,used at retirement homes or schools. only the neg.the stupidity of media is a pitbulls worse enemy.

Michael Rheault
Michael Rheault

I live on the out side of Denver city limits for that main reason. in 2008 Adams county(whichdenver is a part of) killed 3500 pits bulls because of the bad.i have 4pits and two of them i saved from being put down. they r great dogs nit just necause they r mine but the way they act. very friendly they love and r very protective over the kids. if people did there research on pits and know that they are a part of american history. Miami Dade do your research!!!!first!!!!

Michael Rheault
Michael Rheault

I live on the out side of Denver city limits for that main reason. in 2008 Adams county(whichdenver is a part of) killed 3500 pits bulls because of the bad.i have 4pits and two of them i saved from being put down. they r great dogs nit just necause they r mine but the way they act. very friendly they love and r very protective over the kids. if people did there research on pits and know that they are a part of american history. Miami Dade do your research!!!!first!!!!

libman
libman

Banning a particular race because of crime statistics? GREAT IDEA!!!!!

 
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