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Lawmaker: Legalize pit bulls in Miami-Dade

Rep. Carlos Trujillo, a Miami Republican, says he grew up in Miami-Dade never understanding why the county outlaws pit bulls. Now Trujillo has filed a bill that would amend state law to allow the breed in Miami-Dade, the only county that prohibits pit bulls.

Mark Buehrle, the newly signed Miami Marlins pitcher, found that out the hard way:

The Miami Marlins really wanted left-handed pitcher Mark Buehrle.

But a member of his family isn’t welcome in Miami-Dade County.

Eighteen-month-old Slater Buehrle is an American Staffordshire Terrier — a type of pit bull — and keeping one is illegal in Miami-Dade.

So Mark Buehrle, who signed a four-year, $58 million contract in December, is settling his family elsewhere.

Dedicated animal advocates, Mark and Jamie also have three Vizslas: Diesel, Drake and Duke, and human children Braden, 4, and Brooklyn, 2.

Miami-Dade’s pit bull ban, enacted in 1989, declared American Staffordshires, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers dangerous and outlawed them, along with mixes that display certain of the breeds’ characteristics.

Controversial from start, the ban is under attack by groups fighting breed-specific legislation in Miami-Dade and dozens of other jurisdictions around the country.

One Miami lawmaker is proposing a bill this legislative session that would result in reversing Miami-Dade’s ban on pit bulls.

“It really is breed discrimination,” state Rep. Carlos Trujillo said of current law, “and it ends up with people lying, or people just killing these dogs.”

Full story by Elinor J. Brecher here.