Miami Votes to Keep Ban on Pit Bull Dogs

| by Denise A Justin

On Tuesday, August 14, residents, property owners, and renters who live and vote in Miami/Dade, Florida, used the ballot box to overwhelming tell legislators that they want to keep the existing ban on American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers and high-content mixes of both. 

The vote was 63.2 percent to 36.8 percent to the retain the breed-specific ban, which was adopted in 1989 after a dog thought to be a pit bull ripped apart the face of a Kendall 8-year-old, reports theMiami Herald. 

Miami Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle, who owns a Pit Bull named, Slater, says he's not happy that Miami-Dade County voters decided to keep a ban on pit bulls. Buehrle told the Sacramento Bee on Wednesday that he thinks "there's a lot of ignorance out there" about pit bulls. 

Dahlia Canes, founder of Miami Citizens Against Breed Specific Legislation, mentions as her expertise with the breed only as “having two pits for a couple of years.” She told the Miami Herald, "Just because a dog is born of a specific breed, does not make it inherently dangerous.” 

But two Pit Bull attacks in Florida just last month and statistics from Pit Bull attacks nationwide in past years appear to contradict the contentions of those opposing the ban and validate that the Miami/Dade voters made a wise decision. In both of the following cases the Pit Bulls were described as loved, family pets that had never displayed any prior aggression according to their owners: 

On July 19, 2012, there was a vicious Pit Bull attack on a veterinary worker at Parkway Animal Hospital in Panama City, Florida. The injury was so severe that it required amputation of the 43-year-old woman's arm, according to the Miami Herald. 

A Venice, Florida woman, Sarah Ziebro, 30, was discovered bleeding profusely in her home on Monday night, July 23, 2012, after being attacked while she suffered a seizure, by Sam, her adopted white pit bull,  

Pit Bull attacks are definitely on the rise. Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, a worldwide publication that tracks dog bites/attacks, states, “2011 brought the most total pit bull attacks, second most pit bull attacks on children, most pit bull attacks on adults, third most pit bull fatalities, and most pit bull disfigurements in the 30 years that I have kept track of the data.” 

His 2011 statistics show 2,092 total attacks by Pit Bull, 293 were on children, and there were 1,164 fatalities (children and adults.)  

Repeal advocates say that pit bulls suffer from unwarranted stereotyping as vicious killers with nearly supernatural powers of destruction, and that thousands live peacefully as family pets all over Miami-Dade despite the ban.