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Miami-Dade will hold referendum on pit-bull ban

Miami-Dade voters will get a say for the first time on the county’s ban on pit bulls, after county commissioners agreed on Tuesday to put the 23-year-old prohibition on the August ballot.

Commissioners approved the referendum on an 11-1 vote, with Commissioner Barbara Jordan voting against. Commissioner Xavier Suarez was absent. Jordan has cautioned against lifting the county’s ban, which was imposed in 1989 after a pit bull mauled and disfigured an 8-year-old girl.

The push to put the question on the ballot, which was sponsored by Commissioner Sally Heyman, was prompted by Miami-Dade lawmakers who proposed legislation in Tallahassee earlier this year outlawing the county’s ban. The legislators dropped the proposal only after commissioners said they would prefer to hold a referendum rather than let the state undermine the county’s authority to deal with local matters.

“It was a compromise,” Commission Chairman Joe Martinez said.

The question on the August 14 ballot will ask voters, “Shall the ordinance repealing the county’s 23 year old law prohibiting the ownership of pit bulls as a dangerous breed of dogs become effective?”

Pit-bull enthusiasts, who had preferred that the Legislature take action because it will likely be more difficult to repeal the ban by referendum, have objected to including the phrase “dangerous breed of dogs” in the ballot language. But commissioners approved the wording of the question in February.

Story here.


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Does Miami-Dade have such a surplus of money that something so idiotic can be put on the ballot? Since the ban has been in effect, there have been no deaths or serious injuries attributable to pit bull-type dogs in the Miami-Dade area and now the pit nutters are asking that we again place people (particularly children) at risk so that lowlifes can own these 4-legged sharks. Way to go Commissioners! You've shown us where your priorities lie!


To CarlisleHall - Does Miami Dade have such a surplus of money that it can afford to enforce an anti-dog law against the thousands of pit bulls already in SoFla that are harming NO ONE? Does it have a surplus of funds to defend itself against the growing tide of law suits appropriately aimed at proving this law unconstitutional? Join the rest of the civilized world in adopting a responsible "dangerous dog" law (with proper funding) that is NOT breed specific and you will go a long way towards protecting your citizens.


Is amazing we could not get the Marlin Stadium issue on a ballot, but we are voting on this worthless item.


To John: Dogs are animals, animals have no rights, therefore, laws allegedly discriminating against an animal cannot be "unconstitutional." While any fool can file a lawsuit for any reason, in order for the lawsuit to proceed through the courts, it must have merits and, thus far, I haven't seen any evidence of that "growing tide of lawsuits." Just recently, an appeals court in Maryland determined that pit bull-type dogs are "inherently dangerous" and it's just a matter of time before other courts follow suit. Breathing all those gas fumes from having your nose so firmly affixed in some dog's rear end has obviously addled your brain! GET A LIFE!


Wat u anti-pitbull morons dont understand is that it is unconstitutional to stop a person from their choice of breed.......there are more responsible pitbull owners than the supposed thugs and dogfighters that make it to the news.... Punish the owner of a bad dog not the breed......even chihuahuas bite people...i have owned 6 pits and never had an issue with any of them....And if we are going to regulate dogs in Miami the laws should apply to any aggresive dog regardless of breed on a case by case basis. Like i said ive seen little dogs in with nastier demeanors than my pitbull...........

Fay C

I see the BSL Lobby group members are on this spewing what poison they can. Fact is BSL is falling worldwide (in spite of the Maryland ruling) and these people are desparate to have BSL survive in Miami-Dade.

Three studies, in three different countries by three different PROFESSIONAL agencies ALL came to the same conclusion that the banned breeds and their look-alikes are NO more aggressive than any other type or breed of dog.

Here is how to find one of the studies "IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? COMPARISION OF GOLDEN RETRIEVERS AND DOGS AFFECTED BY BREED-SPECIFIC-LEGISLATION REGARDING AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR". Oh and these studies fit right with all the testing done by the American Temperment Society( ATS) showing the banned breeds as ranking among the VERY highest on temperment tests.

Isn't it amazing what MEDIA can present as normal and fear mongroling can do? The TRUTH is out there people IF you will go to the REAL dog blogs and professional expert associations.


To robert: First, if you knew anything at all, you would know that "pit bull" is not a "breed," but rather a "type" of dog. Second, only a moron would compare the nip of a Chihuahua to the attack of a pit bull.

Third, no one has a "Constitutional right" to own a dog – pit bull, or otherwise – because there is NOTHING in the Constitution regarding dog ownership. People in places where handgun ownership is forbidden have been arguing for years they have a Constitutional right to own a firearm and, indeed, the 2nd Amendment seems to bear this out, but there is no Amendment giving the people the right to "keep dogs." Duh!

The regulation of pit bull-type dogs is no different than regulating the ownership of other dangerous animals such as lions, tigers and bears.


To Fay C: You just don’t get it! Even if there were 30 studies in 30 different countries by 30 different professional agencies, indicating pit bull-type dogs are “no more aggressive” than other dogs, this is COMPLETELY BESIDE THE POINT!

The problem isn’t whether or not pit bull-type dogs are “more aggressive,” but the amount of damage these monsters do when they attack. The pit nutters are fond of saying that Chihuahuas are “more aggressive” than pit bulls and this may be true, but if a Chihuahua attacks, you can punt the little buggar across the room. If almost any other breed or “type” dog – collie, Labrador, spaniel, bird dog, or whatever – attacks, one good, hard kick in the ribs and 99% of the time, the fleabag will run off whimpering with its tail between its legs.

However, when a pit bull-type dog attacks, someone usually ends up badly injured or dead! This is why emergency health care professionals in San Antonia, Atlanta and other locations have called for a ban on pit bulls – because these doctors and nurses see firsthand the damage these 4-legged sharks can do in a matter of minutes.


We currently own a mixed puppy Pitbull. Being responsible pet owners we took the female puppy to be registered to Miami dade and to see if she was labeled under the "Dangerous dog" Breed.

It turns out she's too young to tell and that we need to bring her back in 6 months. The Vet says, She does have a lot of characteristics of a pitbull, but its too early to tell.

What the heck is that?! We have the sweetest dog in the world and we have to wait 6 months to see if we have to get rid of her or not?!

I'm voting to keep my baby here at home.

Vanessa graces

We should allow the pitbulls . Punish the peaple not the pitbulls . I have three a 7 year old A 3 year old and a 1 year pitbulls . They sleep play and watch over my son and my brother kids. My brother has 6kids and the family inseparable with my pits . It's how you raise them . There supper smart so how ever way you want them to be raised they will be . Last year allown pitbulls was number 1best temperament on kids of all ages over Rottweilers golden retrievers and german shepherds . Up north pitbulls are find and rescue dogs, police dogs and see and I dog ... Agine punish the peaple who gave these awesome pitbulls a bad reputation .


Allow the law to allow people to have pitbulls, but any dog owner has to have a license to have the dog. Just like drivers licenses or guns, they must be evaluated and determined fit to own a dog as a responsible person.

Pit Bull=APBT

I am so happy to see that the BSL that started my advocacy is on it's way to being repealed! It may not happen with this ballot question, but just the fact that this question is on the ballot is progress!

To all the haters, I say that Pit Bulls are no more dangerous than any other dog their size. They do not have locking jaws and their bite strength has been found to be no more than that of other dogs (it was actually found to be significantly less than some breeds), in fact, their jaws are identical to that of any other dog breed. To say that Pit Bulls do more damage than other breeds when they attack is downright untrue. There have been reported cases of Huskies, Labs, and even Pomeranians killing children, but no one calls for the ban of these dogs. These type of stories barely even make the news. Whenever a dog that even remotely resembles what someone believes a "pit bull" should look like attacks someone, though, it is front page news and every one starts calling for a ban. The truth is that very few genuine Pit Bulls (American Pit Bull Terrier or the AKC equivalent American Staffordshire Terrier) attack and very few dogs identified as "pit bulls" by the media are even remotely related to Pit Bulls. The real problem lies with irresponsible owners and it is time that law makers figured that out.


When a pit bull-type dog problems occurs, someone usually stops up horribly damaged or dead! This is why urgent medical experts have known as for a ban on pit bulls.

Ama Sheen

As someone who work DAILY with many types of dogs as a Vet Tech...Listen UP...There is NO SUCH BREED AS A PIT BULL...only certain mixes, or breeds that people who DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING about call a PIT BULL. What the law should read is "dangerous dog". This is to be determined by past behavior of both OWNERS and specific dogs. KNOW THIS!!!!there are THOUSANDS of what you people call "pit bulls" still living in DADE COUNTY.. they are either registered as a mix breed, or NOT REGISTERED at all. LAWS DO NOT MAKE YOU, YOUR CHILDREN, OR YOUR PETS SAFER!!!Enforcement of lease laws and owner information make you safer. Rottweilers, German Shepeards, Mastiffs,AND ALL LARGE dogs can do the same amount of damage as a "pit" get a grip.. but more importantly GET OUT THE VOTE for people who understand! PS constitionality questions.. the last I checked... Liberty and "the pursuit of happiness" is VERY IMPORTANT and still in the constitution. (Pits make ME HAPPY) and the big one.....EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW!!!I will save you the tome 14th admendment to the constitution. I HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS YOU DO!!!!!and laws CANNOT abridge that... therefore ban all or none, unless you can prove a specific dog is a danger to someone!!!!


Tell the now one armed woman that pit bulls are just like other dogs. Only pit bulls and other gripping dogs bite shake and hold, rip out flesh and cause amputations of entire limbs of able bodied adults.

Von King

Let's make this real simple. Let the people's voice be clearly heard as to lifting the ban on pit bulls as a "dangerous breed of dogs in MDC...this is the right thing to do to put this issue to the vote of the people because the democratic process is the people's right!


Congrats on the referendum passing!!!!!

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