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FL: Florida could eliminate breed-specific dog bans


Author: Libby Hendren
Published: 6:20 PM EST February 7, 2022
Updated: 6:20 PM EST February 7, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Some big news for dog lovers, especially people who love their pit bulls.

A bill that would get rid of laws targeting specific dog breeds is moving forward in the Florida Legislature.

For more than 30 years, Miami Dade County has banned what is often referred to as "pit bull breeds," like Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs.

This bill would no longer allow those bans, and instead, ensure a dog would only be judged by their behavior under Florida’s Dangerous Dog Law.

It's something Dahlia Canes has been fighting to get changed for a long time. She’s the founder of the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation.

“It’s been going on for much too long,” Canes said.

Her dog Chocolate was picked up by Miami Dade Animal Services while she was away on a business trip. She didn't know about the "pit bull" ban at the time.

She’s also discovered there are at least 75 targeted breeds nationwide including some you might not expect, like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and even pugs.

“Because of 2020, a lot of families were forced to go into public housing agencies, public housing in general. They had to leave their dogs behind because they had no choice. What would happen is they were thrown in the streets. They were put in local shelters, etc. This would prevent that," Canes said. “A dog is not born inherently dangerous because it’s born of a specific breed. That is canine profiling.”

The Florida House bill will be considered in the Regulatory Reform Subcommittee Tuesday, and eventually could go to the full House for a vote.