MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new Miami Marlin and his wife have started a campaign to urge state lawmakers to lift a Miami-Dade ban on pit bulls.
Last month former Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle signed a four-year contract with the Marlins for $58 million. The Buehrles, who own a pit bull named Slater, were then upset to learn they couldn’t buy a house in Miami-Dade because the county has a ban on their breed of dog. That law caused the Buehrles and Slater to move to Broward County.
Animal rights activists for more than a dozen years back in the ‘Windy City’, the Buehrles launched their campaign on Change.org which urges lawmakers to pass House Bill 997 and Senate Bill 1322 which would repeal the 20-year-old breed ban in Miami-Dade. Similar bills were proposed last year in the state House and Senate but didn’t pass.
Current state law, enacted in 1990, allows local governments to take action against dangerous dogs after a complaint is made and served on the owner, who can appeal the classification to county court. Afterward, the owner may be required to register the dog with local animal control and, depending on the severity of the dog’s actions, it may be ordered impounded or even destroyed.
The law prohibits regulations by breed, although Miami-Dade County and several of its municipalities were allowed to retain restrictions already in place on pit bulls. Florida is among only 12 states that prohibit breed-specific regulations. Miami-Dade approved the breed specific ban in 1989 after an 8-year old girl was brutally mauled by a pit bull.
HB 997 and SB 1322 would repeal the state statute grandfather clause which permitted Miami-Dade to retain its ban.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.