As many readers, family and friends know, I am completely against BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) that bans “Pit Bull Dogs” in my community, Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida that bans Pit Bulls; an archaic law put in place over 20 years ago (1990). According to Section 5-17.1 in Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances, a Pit Bull Dog is any dog that “substantially conforms to the standards established by the American Kennel Club” for the following breeds: American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers or any other dog that displays characteristics of these breeds. Yep, even if your dog has a shred of resemblance to one of these breeds, they can be confiscated and euthanized. To learn more about BSL in Miami, click here to read one of my previous posts.
Recently, the ridiculousness of this law came into light when Mark Buehrle, the new Miami Marlins pitcher, moved to Miami. Despite his gigantic Miami welcome, Mark’s Pit Bull rescue, Slater, was not allowed in Miami because of the Pit Bull ban. He and his wife Jaime are big animal rescue advocates and have three Vizslas and a Pit Bull (I think they should meet Scarlett!). Not willing to give Slater up, the Buehrle’s moved to the next community, Broward County, where there is no Pit Bull ban. Fortunately, they were able to move; many families here do not have that option.
Mark’s wife, Jaime Buehrle, started a petition on Change.org to repeal the Pit Bull ban. The petition currently has over 11,000 signatures and caught the attention of the Florida Senate and the Florida House.
If passed, HB 997 and SB 1322 will repeal the ban of “Pit Bull Dogs” in Miami-Dade County. Both bills passed in the House and Senate subcommittees last week. Now, both bills will be heard by their respective committees on February 7th. HB 997 will be heard by the Community & Military Affairs Subcommittee; SB 1322 will be heard by the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.
I’ve been busy writing lawmakers to urge them to support these bills. A wonderful website, StopBSL.com, has great resources including links to the bills, email addresses of lawmakers, and the current status of each bill. Click here to see this informative post, get involved and learn more about HB 997 and SB 1322.
This law is very important to me and so many other pet lovers in Miami-Dade County. Each year, thousands Pit Bulls are confiscated and euthanized for no fault other than conforming to a breed. Some are aggressive but many are family dogs, like Slater Buehrle, who are wrongly and unfairly labeled as “dangerous”. Furthermore, there is proof BSL does nothing to reduce dog attacks, dangerous dogs or even the number of Pit Bulls living in the city limits.
HB 997 and SB 1322 are both expected to pass but Pit Bulls have not won yet. Please consider writing the lawmakers or pledging your support to ensure the end of Pit Bull discrimination in Miami-Dade! Do it for the thousands of innocent Pits. Do it for me. Do it For the Love of Dogs!
*UPDATE: Miami-Dade Commissioners voted 3-1 to put the issue to a public vote. On Aug. 14th, MDC voters will decide: should the Pit Bull ban be repealed? Residents of Dade, get registered to vote and start informing your communities RIGHT NOW! By ending the longstanding Pit Bull ban, MDC taxpayers will save $3 MILLION A YEAR!!!!