Best Friends Blog
 

Best Friends introduces legislation to end Miami-Dade County pit bull ban


Major League Baseball pitcher Mark Buehrle is in rare company when it comes to his baseball skills. He is one of only 20 pitchers to throw a perfect game in the 135-year history of professional baseball. He shares this spotlight with greats like Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Catfish Hunter. Buehrle is not so esteemed, however, when it comes to how he and his family’s pet, a pit bull terrier, are treated by Miami-Dade County where the family recently attempted to move after Buehrle signed with the Miami Marlins team. In Miami-Dade, Buehrle is persona non grata as long as one of his pets of choice is a happy, friendly dog named Slater (pictured below with Buehrle’s children and three other dogs) who falls under the county’s ban on pit bull terriers.

Buehrle, who had to move with his wife, Jamie (a Best Friends spokesperson), children, and four dogs to a development in south Broward County, was prepared to blow off the four-year, $58 million contract if he was unable to find alternative housing in the area that would accept his dog. It sounds like he had his priorities right to me.

Florida state law prohibits breed-discriminatory legislation, but an archaic wrinkle in the state law gives Miami-Dade an exemption from the ban. However, help is on the way in the form of House Bill 997/Senate Bill 1322, a bill spearheaded by Best Friends Animal Society that will repeal the Miami-Dade breed ban that costs the lives of close to 1,000 innocent dogs per year.

In addition to Best Friends, many national organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association, oppose the enactment of breed-discriminatory laws. The Platte Institute, a conservative think tank in Nebraska, has also declared that laws targeting specific dog breeds are a waste of tax dollars.

Breed bans cost lives and money and don’t make communities safer because they don’t target dangerous dogs. They target the way a dog looks based on myth and misinformation. Progressive laws favored by Best Friends and other national animal welfare organizations target dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners and result in safer communities.

If you live in Florida, we need your help. Your legislator needs to hear directly from you that you want to live in and be part of a safe and progressive community and state. Tell your legislator to support HB 997 and SB 1322.

Please make your voice heard.

Julie Castle
Senior Director, Communications

  • Joycewaters68

    I think it is ridiculous to assume all pit bulls are aggressive because a few have been.  It is like racial profiling in people, hating a whole group because of the behavior of one or two.  These animals cannot help what animal group they were born into, just as humans can’t help what situation they are born into.  And I want innocent animals protected and to be kept safe from those with prejudices.!!

  • Pmdewald

    Thanks for spearheading this, Best Friends. We Floridians just can’t seem to make any progress on this. Glad we have a major athlete who is willing to also take up the torch.

  • Sas912

    I added, “I vote, and I remember.” Want them to know I’m going to put my money where my mouth is.

  • Scullykath

    Your link to let my voice be heard the form is for Florida residents would it be helpful to add a part that says something like I do not live in your state but I have concerns about your laws and wish to tell you how I feel about your law concerning breed bans. I have owned and known breeds that are held responsible for the acts of some very cruel owners ones that fight dogs for their own amusement and  monetary gain these types do not care that they are in effect creating a killing machine while what the dog is simply doing is what is asked of the one who they love they do this to please the one who holds the food and water and at times a gentle word or pat. You must not hold to account the dog who is raised to fight, who is beaten if they do not fight and who only does what is asked because that is what a dog does they do what they are told to show how they love us. You must understand that not all dogs are born to attack to death another dog they are trained to react that way. A pittie is a wonderful dog with a huge heart they were once in our country a babysitter we (humans) wanted them near our children because our kids would be safe. To ban Pit Bulls is taking a fear to far there are mean ones yes but I have known very mean Chihuahuas and other small breeds. Each dog must be given a chance to prove his love and loyalty to man. Why must you decide to ban and put to death those you find in your county? Be a informed county not one who acts out of fear or in my eyes one who refuses to open the eyes and step out of the darkest ages for a breed called Pit Bull.

  • Scullykath

    I tried sending my thoughts on this anyway and it did not let me send it. Perhaps if they also heard from the rest of the country they might take a more serious approach… I wish I could let them know how I feel.

  • Shilo249

    I agree with you. I too live in a state other then Florida. It is a shame that this breed has gotten the reputation because of the wrong people raising them.If the state is going to ban them then take everybody in that state that has had a DUI and not let them live there! Should we also take eveyone who has broken a law there and tell them to go to another state to live! And lets look at  Michael Vick who really broke the law  by goosh look who is making millions doing whaht he loves to do.If you ask me pitbull owners are doing what they love, by loving and taking care of the ones they love and cherish so I say Hoorah for all pitbull oweners in Florida and everywher else!!!!!!!!!!!!  KEEP FIGHTING THEY ARE WORTH IT!!!!   Can you tell I own 2 PIts They are the love of my life

  • Shilo249

    It is a shame how this breed has been tagged as being vicious.No animal is born to be mean it is the wrong people that get their hands on them.I own 2 pitbulls and they are the best breed I have ever owned.They have both gotten their canine good citizenship awards and I take them every where with me.They act better in public then some people I know.They will give you the same respect that they are given.And will always give you love no matter what.The state of Florida should really listen and take the time to get to know the breed because they are a special breed and  I am proud to be the owner of 2. I hope all the letters and comments recieved helps,keep fighting for the rights of this breed,they depend on us!

  • Kathleen Mcgibbon

    I wish I was in Florida, I would vote! I would make it known it’s not the breed of the dogs that are mean, It’s the owners. They are the ones that ruin Pitbulls. I have raised 2 with 3 kids and they never shown aggression toward anybody. They even get along with any dogs or cats. Because I  raised them to be around people and other animals.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully there are plenty of people in Florida who care and are keeping up with this that will send their input.  It is a daily effort to keep up with speaking up for these dogs but they are worth it.  They have been so persecuted and need our protection.  I sure hope the repeal the ban goes through.  

  • Anonymous

    Noticed my typo.  I meant to say I sure hope the repeal OF the ban goes through and these dogs stop being persecuted.

  • Robostep

    Pit Bulls are NOT the problem… Careless Owners/Breeders ARE!!!

  • http://www.inubakablog.com/ jen

    yahoo!!!! thank you!

  • http://www.inubakablog.com/ jen

    yahoo!!!! thank you!

  • Ksimpson

    Fight the good fight down there! We in Saint Louis support you! End BSL!

  • Shilo249

    People in Ohio are fighting for you too!

  • Eleish harvey.

    i am from..england..and i support you…100%….end..bsl… dogs are not born bad…

  • Ronnielega

    It is not the dogs that should be banned it is the owners.  And all dogs have the tenancy to bite when provoked.  People should also learn a dog’s body language.  All dogs will also defend itself if scared, and if their home is being threatened.  Pit bulls are beautiful and loving dogs that long for human contact.

  • http://twitter.com/astapubl astapubl

    Great strides… Pits make great pets and deserve loving homes.