Miami-Dade's Pit Bull Ban May Finally End With Bills in Florida Senate and House

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photo by Dante Alighieri via WIkimedia Commons
​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."

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 Animal Services ends up injecting barbiturates into the hearts of hundreds of dogs every year merely on the suspicion they're pit bulls. 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 end the grandfather clause.

Still, support remains for the ban, including from Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier Soto, who helped pass the ban in '89 and according to Canes is lobbying for it to remain. (Soto didn't return our message to talk about the bills). Canes says she'll 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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204 comments
maryannredfern
maryannredfern

If the ban is overturned you will also see a flood of pit bull maulings, maimings and deaths of people, pets and livestock animals.  Not that pit addicts care about such "trivial matters". 

Dog Leash Training
Dog Leash Training

Great blog . Thanks for this . Got lots of useful information in here . :D

Sandra
Sandra

it doesn't matter how big or small the dog is. what matter is if they attack or not. breed had nothing to do with it so i don't see why pit bulls are banned and chihuahuas are not. it all depends on the owner and how they train they dogs so how about instead of euthanizing the dogs they euthanize the bad owners. The facts are that ANY dog can be dangerous. (so why not ban EVERY dog  altogether)  And on the other side of the coin any dog has the ability to become a great companion as well. There are various factors that determine the temperament of any dog.

There is no proof that any particular breed of dog is more aggressive more dangerous than another. Pit bulls are a very intelligent breed and are EXTREMELY loyal to their owners. i used to live in Orlando and my neighbor had a pit bull sweetest thing in the world. it was raining super hard with thunder and everything and i noticed that my neighbor was working and the dog was in front of the door waiting for his owner. i went and tried to call him so he would come in my house since i didn't want him to get sick and he would not leave from in front of that door. the dog was shaking and everything but he knew i wasn't his owner so he would not come to where i was. These dogs strive to please their masters which makes training a pit bull a very rewarding task once you have the proper guidance.

Pit Bulls are commonly used as therapy dogs. Whetherthey are visiting a senior care facility or helping someone recover from anemotional accident, Pit Bulls are making a mark as outstanding therapy dogs. Pit Bulls are great with kids. They weren't referredto as the "nanny's dog" for nothing that's for sure.Fighting BSL is the only way to keep all breeds safe. Soon BSL will encompass any dog that can bite (which is all of them) so where does that leave the dog lover?

Did you know.... 1.) About 40 people (children) per year die by drowning in 5-gallon water pails. A person, during their lifetime, is 16 times more likely to drown in a 5-gallon water pail than to be killed by a Pit Bull.

2.) Approximately 50 children in the US are killed every year by their cribs - 25 times the number of children and adults killed by Pit Bulls.

3.) Approximately 150 people are killed every year by falling coconuts. Therefore, you are more than 60 TIMES MORE LIKELY to be killed by a PALM TREE than a Pit Bull.

4.) Each year, 350 people drown in their bathtubs. You are 151 times more likely to be killed by your bathtub than you are by a Pit Bull.

5) Every year, more than 2,000 children in the U.S. are killed by their parents or guardians either through abuse or neglect. A child is more than 800 times more likely to be killed by their caretaker than by a Pit Bull.

6) It can be estimated that for every Pit Bull who kills, there are 10.5 MILLION that DON'T!7)Every year, more than 2,000 children in the U.S. are killed by their parents or guardians either through abuse or neglect. A child is more than 800 times more likely to be killed by their caretaker than by a Pit Bull.

The average Number of people killed by a Pit Bull each year is 3.

in other words . why not ban palm trees? or cigarettes? or alcohol? since they kill more people?as pit bull lover i am 100% against BSL . i would do anything to make my voice be heard and i hope any other pit bull lover does the same. let your voice be heard and prove to the world that these are the sweetest and most loyal animal. i have had many pets and none compare to a pit bull.

Rey Lo
Rey Lo

let me know when i can lift my leg on miami....humans with badges, guns and flashing lights.... much more likely to draw blood unprovoked 

Lin
Lin

Miami citizens, don't you think it is time you relieved Commissioner Javier Soto of his duties, which seems to mainly be how to keep killing innocent dogs all because of the actions of a few!  Please, get him out of office. 

Niki
Niki

I was very upset 2 move to homestead 2 find out it is illegal 4 me 2 bring my 9 year old fixed well behaved baby here!! she is my 3 year old daughters 'tail' and the 1 that comforts me day in and day out! my pit bull has never hurt anything or any1! It makes me so upset to know that there are people that can blame a whole breed of dogs for something that is really there owners fault! i know of some many other breeds that hurt people and kids but i guess we should ignore that! it makes me soo sad to know how close minded people are and how they throw blame where it shouldnt be thrown!! those bad owners need 2 be punished not the poor innocent dogs that have never did anything wrong and the responsible pit owners that love there dogs!!! i personably know of 3 lab attacks on kids but i would never be close minded and say 'they' as a whole are bad dogs! Pull your head out of your a** and blame tje ones who deserve blame not a poor innocent animal!!!!

FawnBlue
FawnBlue

I own 2 pitbulls and a poodle mix, It's sad to see everyone arguing over this breed. Everyone knows that every breed will eventually bite at one point in their life. DO not compare the bite of a large breed dog to a smaller one. My poodle mix will rip your hand off by you making any gesture of violence even a rough jerk. he was never been like this, he's 5 years now and he had become a handful. Being around larger dogs puts him in high defense, yet this is not acceptable. it took me some time to get him used to them even my families lab and boxer. Now he seems to be more calm but still gets edgy at times so i remove him from the pits. in the other hand my pits are lovable. I respect everyone's side on this. There are some pits that sadly i have to say has to be put down. YES! i agree i rather put down the dog then anyone getting hurt or the dog being mistreated. I have a male and female, my boy tends to be more active, gets along great with other dogs loves human interactions. my girl will never be around any other dog sad to say. and as a dog owner that's where I tell YOU that my dog wont be put down if I handle my dogs. but there's always a chance of her biting a dog. that's were I come in, i'm causes i walk her at night seriously 11pm!! i take ever precaution for the sake of any dog and mine. (and for ignorant people of course she's on a leash) ever dog should be, even small ones! both love to play and never has turned on anyone. I as a responsible owner know there's always a possibility but I know MY dogs. anyone that approaches should respect the distance. any breed, size, even a human being. YOU NEVER approach an unknown dog. for those victims that were attacked. I'm sorry! those animals that have a bad life should be put down if their in the street had a bad environment if they had no hope or solution. if it was a mistake give them a chance. HUMAN make more mistake then an animal does! we kill, we hate each other, we destroy everything we know. Yet we still get a second chance. It all has to do with how everything is handled. if my dog had to be taken from me I will fight to death for them. I would have to be given a reason if harm wasn't included. But just because its a PITBULL I don't allow it! my poodle mix has a higher chance of being put down. yet it's cute and fluffy so why would I? right? absolutely not! the bites has never been serious but i still don't want anyone to get harmed not even him. It's all how you handle your pets (YOU, I, Pets owners) know them best! I would have to put down my own dog if he attacked a human. For no reason and the person is being mauled! if with reason i stand ground! i let no one come near my dogs if they feel uncomfortable or their body structure changes. People that keep their dogs off leash should know better!

I LOVE PITS!I HOPE this ban ends! Lets show the positive side of this breed, everyone clearly knows the negative side, thanks to media and careless owners!

Selene
Selene

I have owned pitbulls all my life and yes some here state that it's a particular case that bite a person and several people say they are great... I agree that they are a very loving and loyal breed, I had the pleasure of being invited to a BBQ last year in Broward county organized by a pitbull organization and let me tell you it was an amazing experience to see over 200 pittie's that most had never seen each other and their was not even one altercation with humans or dogs and everyone sat on picnic tables not even a foot away from each other with  their dags right next to them!!! Amazing how like some of you say these "KILLING MACHINES" could be so tame amongst themselves!!! 

Hot_peaches_69
Hot_peaches_69

That's all Miami needs is more people beside that whoever said that was ignorant enough to assume there aren't plenty of people in Miami that have there pitbulls an just refer to them as mixed breeds. Of course allow them so they can have more dogfights than there already are... That's awesome cause guess what? Miami might go to not banning certain breeds but dog fights are dog breed specific. Not to mention you would have to own a place bc people won't allow them in their buildings not to mention still having to lie if you want homeowners insurance

Charlieb305
Charlieb305

That's very good to hear... These dogs are the Most caring and affectionate, however like any dog breed accidents do happen that people get bit. The funny thing is y Pitts y not doberman or rotties that also have cases of the same issues in our society by ignorant people. But yea I'm glad to hear that so I could tale mine to the park without worrying about the county trying to take him

Flkeyscop
Flkeyscop

Whether or not it's the dog or owner, I've never seen so many people mauled so bad as I have by pit bulls in Miami or other cities, the stats are easily found.  Maybe Pits are inherently good, but because of there propensity to be trained bad, and be so lethal, maybe a ban is better for the good of all.  There are approx. 4839 breeds of dogs in the world, really, there's nothing else you can settle on?, and yes, a Maltese can draw blood, or a Lab, or Collie, but I've never heard of them ripping limbs open beyond repair or making a child's face unrecognizable to the point of almost causing death.  But it's easy to find that proof for Pit Bull attacks.  But I do agree, no dog should be euthanized purely based on breed.

D-bag_crusher
D-bag_crusher

If ignorance is bliss, Glrosbach54 must have an orgasm every 67% of the time when he inhales.

Littlekatgirl
Littlekatgirl

These dogs are bred to kill.   There are too many documented stories of horrendous and sometimes fatal attacks on humans, especially the helpless like children and elderly and the disabled.   These dogs are unpredictable at best.   They are a lethal weapon, like a bomb just waiting to go off.   Please outlaw this breed before they can kill or injure anymore of us.

Monii24
Monii24

It would be the greatest thing ever cause its not the breed..its the irresponsible owners who should not only be fined but put in jail when they have pits for nasty horrible things suchs as dog fighting. Pits deserve to be treated equally cause they're wonderful dogs :-) as unpredictable as any other breed if not taken care properly and raised intelligently.

Jessy Millo
Jessy Millo

I worked at a Vet clinic for over 2 years and got more bites from chihuahuas then any other breed. All the pitts I encountered, loved being pet and even behaved better then most small dogs when it came time to vaccinate them. I am super against BSL and closed minded people in general. People need to understand that the owners are the ones who train their pets to be as they are . I adopted my dog who was a year and half when I got her she was a scared mean little thing but with love and training now she is a wonderful companion who shows how grateful she is for the TLC I have provided her with. So blame the owners for not giving the proper training and love to this poor animals because at the end of the day they are just being loyal and doing as they were thought.

Amberjayne
Amberjayne

I hope this passes. I'm against any law that kills innocent animals and labels a breed. Step foot in MDAS and tell me it is not an owners problem. Breaks my heart every time.

doridori
doridori

If this is repealed the DADE County Commissioners should breathe a sigh of relief... that finally some people, somewhere upstate, smarter than THEM, will take the onus OFF of THEM by repealing this totally ineffective, cruel, and EXPENSIVE law.. A law that was stupid from its inception and caused the needless death of 500+ dogs in a very short time and the devastation of at least that many FAMILIES!  Good goin' Dade Commissioners from long ago.. You succeeded in making Dade a horrible place to LIVE and at the same time the LAUGHINGSTOCK  of Florida! The State politicians might finally save Dade from the reputation it has carried for decades now - of being a Banana Republic (btw, that is truly IS!) Maybe there is hope? While we are AT it, let's get the Dade Commissioners who live with their heads up their ASSES - and that NOW want to make $92,000 a year-  (GO VOTE NO!) - out of OFFICE, PERIOD!

GFXK1D
GFXK1D

hell yes ! finally ! people are ignorant to think that pitbulls are born viciously haha

TROUBLE3O5
TROUBLE3O5

I LOVE MY PITBULL!! AND SHE LOVES EVERYONE!You know why? Because I raised my dog correctly with love and affection and positive training. Any ANIMAL can be trained or abused into a vicious mentality, not just a sepcific breed like pitbulls. Chihuahuas are the most evil, aggressive dogs I've run into but they're tiny size factors them out as "vicious killing machines". It's time to end this ridiculous ban and let everyone enjoy their family members (pitbulls) without fear of them being taken to be put to sleep for no good reason other than being a "pitbull"! ♥ VIVA LA PITBULLS! ♥

Carlisbaez2003
Carlisbaez2003

Great news hopefully the ban will get drop and we will be able to have pitbuls in dade county Legally

Remmyton
Remmyton

Gee wouldn't it be wonderful if some big celebrity would come forward to tell the people how the reactionary legislators should shine a light on the thousands of animals suffering everyday from neglect and abuse and who are dying by the millions in the euthansia rooms because there aren't enough laws to protect them and not enough Spay Neuter units to stop animals from being Born to Die. Now that would be a stand to take. Go for it all you high profile celebs, stand up for Dogs other than Pits that desparately need your help

Bembalicious
Bembalicious

These dogs as you put it are NOT need to kill, some of them are, but so are some of many other breeds! Owners are the problem, research, learn don't speak from ignorance.

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

They are. They require mass training-and even then should not be allowed to run loose among the public

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

 Dogs breeds all hjave certain "breed traits"  herding dogs "herd"  , they will try to herd anything they can, kids, chickens, other dogs.  Siberian huskies run and kill small critters., and they do those thing every chance they get.  Its pretty difficult to train breed charchteristics out of a dog.  I have a wire fox terrier and cannot train him not to root and dig since he was bred to dig out and kill vermin.  He is doing his job.  Pibulls are bred to attack and kill, and although I guess a trained professional dog trainer may be able to control and minimize these traits, I don't believe the average dog owner has what it takes to do this , to be a pack leader to one of these beasts, eventually something is going to happen, and someone is going to get hurt or killed.

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

Most of the dogs in shelters are Pits-cast away by owners who had to have them and then decided they could not control them-or Pits that have already attacked-most of the intellegent human race does not want to adopt a killing machine that is a potential huge liability.

Joshuagonzalez86
Joshuagonzalez86

There needs to be a ban put on Glrosbach54.  Lets put the words he/she has spoken on this forum as a label for what kind of human being they are like outside of this discussion. They probably are racist and an uneducated fool ready to spray any living thing that comes close to them with mace.

It's not fair to try to categorize some one or something in a small narrow minded view or presentation is it?

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

Ok Dade County, I have said all I am going to say, if your PitBull Ban is lifted, be responsible, keep these guys fenced and on a leash when taken off of your property, carry liability insurance on your homeowners policy, if you don't own a home, but liability insurance on your own.  Lets see how long Dade County will make it before a Pitbull attack occurs.  Afterall you guys are the ones that keep saying "its irresponsible owners that cause the problem. "  Don't expect more out of others than you expect out of yourselves"  Its irresponsible owners that have created the problem with exotic snakes and such there too-let your pitbulls run loose and perhaps they have will have met their match and be eaten by an alligator or Burmese Python =Natures Way of Thinning the herds.

Amberjayne
Amberjayne

I know this is about pits, but I have to say your comment about sibes is such a blanket statement that it seems very ignorant. My Siberian has not killed my cat nor has he ever tried. Now, the word "never" is a vey irresponsible word for any dog owner to use. I know the capabilities of my dog and I know his breed very well and I would not turn my back on him with any small animal. Just because it has never happened does not man that it never will. It is irresponsible of you all to say never and it never could happen. To the lady who got attacked, you've been traumatized and I understand that, but my sibe was attacked at the dog park by an Irish spaniel. The ignorance and irresponsibility of all dog owners needs to be addresses. Dogs can be vicious when in certain situations. I hope you and your dog are alright and I hope that you do not continue to use such blanketing statements in the future.

TROUBLE3O5
TROUBLE3O5

I dont know where you're getting your information from but you are completely out of the loop and wrong. First off, a "pitbull" is not a pure bred lineage dog like say a golden retriever. It has been cross bred with about 4+ more breeds of dog over 100's of years to create the vast and immensely different versions you see of "pitbulls" today. So for you to state that its "breed characteristics" are to attack and kill you are only spreading your misinformation. Unfortunately the Romans (you know the dudes who would lock up slaves with wild animals for sport?) would fight pitbulls to the death to show they had fierce animals at the war forefront for protection. This characterization trickled down through history to the idiots you see today fighting the poor things, and people like you villainizing them when you know nothing but what you've been told. In the early 1900's the pitbull was soo adored by Americans it was the unofficial dog of our country and  people would use them as baby-sitters and guard dogs due to their fierce loyalty and love of their owners. If you dont believe me then google "pitbull babysitter" and enjoy the websites pictures and accounts of loving pitbulls in families.(i cannot post a link in this reply-they dont allow it)

And if we're going to go by what you believe and that dogs with "killing traits" should be banned then 9/10 of all dogs should be banned. Dogs were a wild animal at one point, related to wolves hence the pack mentality. But PEOPLE started feeding them, training them, and domesticating them. This eventually weened out the "killer" pack traits of dogs, because as you know if you encounter a hungry wolf in the woods its not going to come up and lick your face- Its gonna eat it off. Everything on this Earth is so because of how WE the PEOPLE made it. Animals, pollution, poverty, greenhouse. EVERYTHING. so stick that in your pipe, smoke it, and think before you reply because i have alot more to say if you'd like to discuss this in further depth.

Ssuarez305
Ssuarez305

It's actually funny you say pitbulls are all bad and waiting to attack anyone including children, Is that why when Micheal Vick's pitbulls were rescued and confiscated the ones that were able to survive were adopted by police dept. and fire dept. to become members of these dept. If they are so vicious that why is it these dogs are now in happy homes and with city and county dept. Do you actually believe in your small mindedness that those cities would put peoples lives in danger could you imagine the liability??? How come when the news reports dog attacks they say dog mauled child, Where were this child's parents how much poking and biting yes I said biting and nagging did this child do to the dog for him to snap... I have two pitbulls one I have had for 11 yrs the other one showed up at my home. I they have never fought or even had a territory altercation two strangers that are like you say "VICIOUS PITBULLS". The new one gets along great with every member of our family that being horses,dogs and birds and I actually had the one before I had children and guess what I had to train the children to not pull on tails or bite the dog not the other way around.... So please like everyone above me has mentioned educate yourself or we may very well euthanize you for having a brain the size of a pea!!!!!!

Pitbull Lover
Pitbull Lover

Hey all you Pitbull lovers out there, please ignore Glrosbach54 comments, for those of us enjoying this blog share positive stories we always have to have 1 ignorant person out there hopefully he goes away and finds another group of ignorant people to befriend.  I have a feeling he or she believes in profiling humans as well, bye bye Glrosbach 54

Lostnmunchknvill
Lostnmunchknvill

Most pits are in the shelters due to the fact that jerk landlords refuse to let us responsible owners so therefore this people have to get did of there living family pets.... Shit ill live in a damn box before I get rid if my dogs

JoshuaGonzalez86
JoshuaGonzalez86

The only killing machine is humans.

 The reason why there are so many pits in shelters is because they are a fad breed at the moment. Uneducated people breed them trying to make a quick buck. Then selling them to people who think they are cute as puppies not realizing the life long commitment that they falsely made. Once the dog requires to much work or is more of a burden than cute its out the door to fend for itself. Hungry, sad, alone, wouldn't you be a little pissed and untrusting of a human? The worst part is that they are willing to forget and move on once the right person comes along to give them the time and attention that they deserve.Statistics can show ANYTHING you want them to show. We learned that in high school didn't we?

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

Your lucky if your Siberian doesn't kill cats.  I have owner four of them in my life that all killed cats.  The breeder that I bought these dogs from would not sell them to me if I owned cats.  Its not a blaketing statement.  They say the siberian Husky is the only breed of dog that could survive on its own if there were no people-because they are natural foragers.  Killing cats is no different to a husky than killing a rat or a squirrel.  They don't know the difference.  I love Siberian Huskies.  They are beautiful dogs-just getting a bit old to chase them around if they get loose and they like to pull a bit too much when on a leash.

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

Just start reading the facts.  I don't expect you to buy what i think-just read all the facts and if you still want a Pitbull after you educate yourself-fine- I am asking you to be responsible and keep your dog under control at all times.

Lostnmunchknvill
Lostnmunchknvill

Children should be taught to respect all living creatures so what your sayin is that if my.kid walked up.to you am poked you in the eye that would be ok.... Wrong once again another ignorant comment.made by the douche!!!

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

Another typical, stupid pibull owner.  It doesn't matter what a child did, poked, bit or pulled the tail of a Pitbull-children are more important than any dog-and the dogs should never be around children if they cannot take poking, tail pulling, ear pulling etc.

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

Landlords do not want to pay the astronomical insuarnce cost that having a pitbull at their residence would cost them.  Can't blame them for that.  

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

This is a problem with any breed that becomes a fad. Usually when there is a hit movie that advocates a certain dog breed-everyone is out there getting one and this is a terrible way to make a decision on a breed for a family pet.  A perfect example is 101 Dalmations.  The Dalmation is another breed of dog that is hard to handle, hard to train, and the shelters were full of dalmations for awhile.  Another example is "Sled Dogs"   Siberian Huskies are nice , beautiful dogs, but you cannot let them loose, chances are you will never see them again, and they kill cats-just as they kill squirrels or any other small critter they come across.  People need to research dog breeds before choosing one as a pet.  Now we have "pitbulls and Parolees and other shows advocating Pitbulls, so the rate of Pitbull attacks is now on the rise.

Glrosbach54
Glrosbach54

 I agree, statistics can be twisted, hell, anything can be twisted by the media, that is why you have to do your own research, which I have done,  The statistics that I read are backed with actual true accounts of attacks.

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