Pit Bull Ban Could Go to a County Vote, Undercutting Tally Move To Kill It

Categories: News
​A Tallahassee proposal to force Miami-Dade to end its 23-year ban on pit bulls took a major hit last night when a group of county commissioners supported giving Dade voters a say in whether to keep the prohibition. The House bill's sponsor said he'd withdraw his legislation if the ban went to a county-wide vote.

The county's action, led by vocal ban supporter Jose "Pepe" Diaz, left pit bull advocates like Dahlia Canes fuming. "For 23 years, the government and the media in Miami have taught people to hate and fear anything involving a pit bull," Canes tells Riptide. "How do you suppose they'll vote?"

Last night's vote came in the commission's public safety committee, where Diaz framed the bills working their way through the Florida House and Senate as a threat to Miami-Dade's home rule.

"We cannot allow the armor to take kinks in it," Diaz told commissioners.

Despite opposition from Sally Heyman and Lynda Bell -- who pointed out, reasonably, that advocates went to Tallahassee after getting a cold reception in County Hall for decades -- the committee gave initial approval to a ballot question.

Canes says Diaz carefully crafted the move to undercut her group's work in the capital and is now applying hard political pressure to freshman Rep. Carlos Trujillo -- the proposed law's sponsor -- to back down.

"It's a bunch of motherfucking crap," she says of Diaz's arguments that Trujillo's bill would hurt Dade's political independence. "He knows the kind of money we'd have to spend on public education before a ballot down here. We'd get slaughtered."

Dade's pit bull ban, enacted after a young girl was disfigured by a dog in 1989, was among the first in the nation to target an entire breed. Today, everyone from the Humane Society to the American Veterinary Medical Association oppose it because it leads to hundreds of dogs simply suspected of being pits killed in county shelters every year.

Their message picked up steam this year thanks in part to the Miami Marlins new ace, Mark Buehrle, a pit bull owner who has spoken out against the ban.

Canes says her group will try to convince Trujillo not to withdraw his bill. The County Commission will consider Diaz's proposal at its next full meeting.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Tim Elfrink writes about South Florida crime, politics and insanity @timelfrinkmia.
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23 comments
Maria_rocha_21
Maria_rocha_21

I love pitties! If u raise them right they won't turn out wrong.

Fhdisbd
Fhdisbd

This breed needs to be band not to many people are aware of its origin and as to why it was created.

Willie ripoll
Willie ripoll

Do the right thing make pitbulls legal again in miami dade county

GUEST
GUEST

PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE....WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ANYONE FOLLOWED THE LAW. IF YOU TAQKE A RIDE THROUGH HOMESTEAD, HORSE COUNTRY MIAMI-DADE, OR THE REDLANDS YOU WILL FIND PIT BULLS ALMOST EVERYWHERE....SERIOUSLY DO YOU THINK A PERSON CAN BE CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNING AREAS...I THINK NOT...SO TAKE A CHILL AND RELAX....FULL CIRCLE PEOPLE

Yenlysab289
Yenlysab289

 my pit is great dog he sweet and very good behave dog. he very easy to trained and listens at first command to me and anyone he around. his listens more to me than my own kids and his great with kids, in the house , in parks everywhere people like him and plays with him . also i love the way people pet my dog and say that his so friendly and beautiful and they tell me what breed is it i say pit bull and they back away and then didn't you just say he was beautiful and friendly dog two seconds ago. people are more afraid of the dog names that the dog itself.i had my dog since 1month old his been great from the beginning and training your dogs is the key to helpful success for dog and yourself. when i told my family oh i have  pit bull first thing they said be careful with the kids they bad dogs am like really. the moment i brought then to the house the next day they loved him they all said wow his beautiful and playful like a little kid know they  ask constantly about my dog .my dog is friendly to every dog he has met we go to petsmart  plays and licks  with other dogs no matter the the seize now 3 times dogs bark at the time he was my 4months pit, a Yorkie , Maltese chihuahua mixes  the rest been great golden retriever etc...is not fair to ban pibulls  people should be resposibles for there own actions not the dogs.

Lisa 0617
Lisa 0617

i have a beautiful kind gotti pit shes great with all ppl and she helps me do touch therapy at my job with ppl that are mentally ill and she is patient and very loving and my clients love her. Pits are one of the most loyal breeds out there. its messed up ppl like MICHAEL VICK and others who make them look bad. PIT OWNERS lift your voices and be heard stand up for your dogs be there voice and make this beautiful breed leagle again and lets show that there are no bad dogs just ignorant cold hearted owners

Pitbulls Kill
Pitbulls Kill

Everybody wants to make the "bad" owners accountable. The only problem is how do you know who is a bad owner, after an attack occurs? Too late for the victim. Let's see the breed ambassadors answer that one.

TheARTISTudio
TheARTISTudio

I am an owner of two adopted Pitbulls. I love them and they are awesome dogs. I am tired of hearing about this crap!!! Come on people. Don't be killers!!! Because that's what ALL of you will be!!!!

123tl78
123tl78

There are so many mixes of dogs you would have to do DNA testing to confirm what breed or mix of breeds was in a dog that bit.  That is why BSL will never work.  It is unfair. All you do is profile dogs unfairly and a lot of dogs suffer and die needlessly. We need to focus on making people more informed on dogs in general and what your dog needs to be safe around people and animals and if you don't make your dog safe you should be accountable.  The dog was never the problem.  It is easy to blame a dog.  They can't speak up for themselves.

snowbird04
snowbird04

With all of the misinformation and false beliefs out their, this should be decided by legislators that get the facts from canine professionals. This is why we vote for these people, so they can make more informed decisions after hearing the facts. 

manuel oliva
manuel oliva

Yo tenia un pitbull,casi igualita que la de la foto,para mi son los perros mas inteligentes y carinosos que puede haber,por no poderla llevar a un sitio publico por miedo a me la quitaran,y no tener recursos para llevarla a un sitio privado,enfermo y murio,los seres humanos son los que vuelven malos a los animales,y los que quieran asesinar a animales como esos,son unos desalmados,porque un pit bull puede atacar un dia a una persona ,como los hacen otro cualquier perro ,puedo asegurar que el 99 .9% son perros inofensivos,entoces miren la balanza,resuelvan otros problemas,y no sean tan desalmados,y dejen a los pitbull en paz con sus duenos.Manuel oliva 

Carmen Navarro
Carmen Navarro

Diaz you nothing but a TWO FACE, To think I actually liked you, now you make me want to vomit.. Be a MAN of your word!.  A man without his word is nothing but you a coward.  People don't be cowards and ignorant - read the facts and use common sense- their are not bad dogs only bad owners.

Cam9809
Cam9809

When is the vote? I don't want to miss this one. Lift the ban on pitbulls and ban their owners!!!! I say anyone who wants to own a pitbull needs to pass a class on how to raise a DOG!! If you raise it like a dog and not a fighter then you will get a dog and not a fighter!!! Dogs of all breeds teach us soooo much if we would only listen. I know a couple of totally AWESOME pitbulls whose owners cared enough to take the time to make them balanced well behaved animals. Come on MiamiDade there are actually more important things you need to ban in this county.

Denees Milanes
Denees Milanes

"Punish the deed not the breed" You can't say the entire breed is vicious! Diez has some nerve saying the things he has when he himself went to a MCABSL BBQ! There he met many APBTs and said he supported us! This is a load of bull! He is nothing but a two face and wont receive any votes from my house. It makes me furious that the public actually believe that the ban is working, it has done nothing but waste money, cause heartbreak and shed blood. This has to end!

Asiaramos85
Asiaramos85

It is very sad to see a breed band in Miami ! I was raised with pitbull since a baby, their the most loving dogs. Please I beg watch "PITBULL and PAROLES" and "PITBULL BOSS" before you judge this wonderful breed........ yours truly A Pitbull lover ASIA !

Dar B
Dar B

It's the owners that make them bad.  Please Miami, get on the right page

Yenlysab289
Yenlysab289

why we wouldn't get permit to have a pitbull when there people permits to have guns and training fire guns everyday in  the streets

snowbird04
snowbird04

Same way you hold someone accountable for anything else. In a hit and run, do they always catch the person responsible? No they do not, and many more people die in hit and runs. Usually dogs stick nearby where they live, so it is a matter of investigating, which the law is responsible for doing, in order to find the owner of a dog. Besides, what if it is any other breed, such as a German Shepherd or Rottweiler, which are just as strong, if not stronger than a pit bull. Wouldn't pit bulls be handled in the same way any other breed is? Really, pit bulls kill so few people per year, I can see you are fanatical about it as you screen name implies.

Pitbulls Kill
Pitbulls Kill

We also have requirements to operate cars. You have to pass a test and get a license. Would you support mandatory education in dog training, registration and licensing for all prospective pitbull owners?

Pitbulls Kill
Pitbulls Kill

Wrong analogy. The car in a hit and run accident is under the control of the person driving it. A car, unlike a pitbull, isn't a dangerous weapon unless used carelessly. Unless you can mind control your dog, you simply can't guarantee 100% it won't attack. Try again.

animal advocate
animal advocate

Any dog can attack and kill.  Any "BREED of dog that is, including Pomeranians...http://dogbitelaw.com/dog-bite...A Pit Bull is a mixed breed.  They are not a seperate breed of dog.  I've met Pit Bull's that are Satffordshire/Boxer/Bull terrier, Cane Carso/German Shepherd and even Lab mixes.  It's impossible to define a dog by it's structure.  It could be done by DNA testing, but that's about it.

All breed lover
All breed lover

ANY breed of dog can cause damage.  I used to be scared to death of pitbulls, because i was misinformed.  My brother rescued one and she turned out to be the most loving dog I have ever met. I had NO PROBLEM with her being around my daughters that were very young at the time.  I trusted that dog more than some humans I know!  Before you go bashing the breed, why don't you get to know a few of the dogs first?!?  Contact a pitbull rescue and get to know the breed before you make such a harsh determination.

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