Forget Lennox in Belfast: 83 "Suspected" Pit Bulls Have Been Euthanized In Miami This Year
Animal lovers across the globe united in outrage over the plight of Lennox, a dog euthanized in Belfast, Ireland, on Wednesday. Lennox was killed by authorities for being a dangerous "pit bull-type," despite his owners' pleas that he had never attacked anybody, and wasn't even a pit bull mix.
There's nothing wrong with a righteous cause célèbre, but it should be noted that there are plenty of Lennoxes in our very backyard -- hundreds of them. According to statistics obtained by Riptide, in 2012 Miami-Dade Animal Services has confiscated 181 dogs because they were suspected pit bulls, and euthanized 83 of them.
That's more than a dozen dogs killed a month since January. Pit bulls -- or any dogs suspected of being them, since there's no way to scientifically determine their breed -- have been banned in this county for more than two decades.
"Sometimes one incident gets worldwide attention," says activist Dahlia Canes, who's led a years-long quest to overturn the ban, of Lennox. "It positive for us because it's brought attention to the horrors of breed specific legislation."
NPC Southern States Bikini, Figure, Men's Physique
TicketsFri., Jul. 7, 6:00pm
NPC Southern States Bodybuilding Championships vs. NPC Southern States Fitness & Figure Championships
TicketsSat., Jul. 8, 6:00pm
Florida Launch vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks
TicketsSat., Jul. 15, 7:00pm
Florida Launch vs. Charlotte Hounds
TicketsSat., Jul. 22, 7:00pm
The ban on pit bulls in Miami-Dade County, instituted in response to a 1989 dog attack, has been debunked as misguided, imprecise and expensive. The state of Florida has prohibited breed-specific laws, but Miami-Dade's ban is a grandfathered-in barnacle.
In February, a bill that would have overturned the ban-- and had the vocal support of newly-signed Miami Marlins pitcher, and pit bull owner, Mark Buerhle-- was thwarted by Miami-Dade commissioners who wanted the issue put on a local ballot instead.
Animal lovers across the globe were helpless to save Lennox. But Miami-Dade County voters will have their chance to overturn our local ban-- and save thousands of dogs in the process-- in just over a month. The vote takes place on August 14.
"This is such a simple situation that should have been fixed a while back," says Canes. "It's euthanizing dogs based solely on what they look like. It's canine genocide."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.