MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade’s 23-year ban against keeping or owning pit bulls is looking a bit shaky after Miami-Dade commissioners voted 11-1 Monday to end the ban if voters approve in the August election.
The controversial ban is the only one in Florida, and was imposed after a member of the breed attacked an 8-year-old girl leaving injuries so horrific commissioners at time felt forced to act.
At the time, the decision was hailed by many as a life-saving law, but over the years the wisdom of – and the need for – the decision has been questioned by a growing number of critics.
The Florida legislature tried – and failed – to erase Miami-Dade’s law in the past session after a new Marlins player was forced to settle in Broward county so he could keep his family pet, a pit bull.
While the legislature could not muster the support for change, Commissioners took a fresh look at the ban and listened to critics who said it was unfair and unnecessary.
Tuesday’s vote was a result of that re-examination.
The August question will pit those who believe the breed has been unfairly labeled a killer and those who believe once again allowing them in Miami-Dade ends unjustified discrimination against a single breed.
No other county in the state bans a single breed of dog. Dade was allowed to do so because of the unique nature of it’s “home rule” charter.