Broward County May Ban Owning Pit Bulls (UPDATED)

Categories: Animal Planet
pit bull.jpg
The Broward County Commission will discuss the issue on February 26

UPDATED, 2 p.m, Clarification: State law prohibits breed-specific bans regulating canines. Barbara Sharief's motion is for Broward to persuade the state Legislature to allow the banning of the breeds mentioned below. 

Nearly 25 years after Miami-Dade banned the ownership of pit bulls, Broward County may be next.

Barbara Sharief, Vice Mayor of the Broward County Commission, will introduce a motion today to make it illegal to "own and keep" American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers -- or any dog that may "conform" to a pit bull breed.

"This has a pretty good chance of being adopted," Sharief said. "I'm not asking for anything that's unreasonable. We have an issue with pit bulls in south Broward County."

Today's Update: Hollywood Asks State For Permission To Ban Pit Bulls

See also: Pit Bulls Much Less Aggressive Than Other Breeds, Study Says 

The motion says the action will hopefully ameliorate "on-going incidents involving pit bulls and other dangerous dogs."

Sharief said animal centers have reported more than 270 incidents of roaming pit bulls in Broward County since 2011. "Recently, there have been repeated attacks related to pit bulls both on people and animals," the motion says. "However, this trend has [also] occurred in areas in Broward County."<

"We don't want to make owning pit bulls a criminal offense, but people need to be fined so people comply," Sharief said. "People won't comply if it's something they can pay easily."

Sharief wants to revise and expand fighting dog" definitions so that teaching a dog to fight would carry a fine $500 per occurrence. Currently, there is no penalty for teaching a dog to fight in Broward County. The motion, if passed, will also slap anyone who doesn't vaccinate his dogs with a $300 fine.

Sharief said she recognized the combustible nature of the issue. The question of pit bull ownership has roiled Miami-Dade -- one of the few cities in the nation to outlaw pit bulls -- for decades.

"We're absolutely going to get backlash for this," Sharief said. "But we have more supporters than backlash-ers. And all I have to say to you is wait until it's your pet or your child that has been attacked. Those people have a totally different appreciation for the situation."

In October 2011, two children were attacked by pit bulls in Deerfield Beach. Then in May of last year, a pit bull attacked a 77-year-old man in Miramar.

The Broward County Commission will discuss the issue on February 26.

New Times will be updating this story as additional developments come in.

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357 comments
cmmeeker
cmmeeker

This mayor is a piece of shit, killing dogs due to her own ignorance! This is no better than the thousands of dogs that were murdered in Colorado due to the very same ignorance ... People need to grow up and look beyond there own hatred to see who is really at fault - Man!

 This world answer anymore seems to be to kill the innocent and allow the evil to rule, Why?

alena1982
alena1982

There should be fine for breeding dogs, not a ban for pit bulls. any dog can bite if handled inappropriately. and actually number one in biting is chihuahua. I am an animal shelter worker and i see it everyday. people wants the dog but the don't want obedience classes. as a result the dog attracts, bites  or misbehaves and ends up in shelter, worst scenario-on the street. There is nothing to do with pit bulls.  People in government who wants the ban to be adopted never been in the shelter or never even had a pet. How can they know what is right and what is wrong.?

agree with the part about a fine for teaching dogs to fight and not vaccinating them.

very happy the ban did not pass.

twotons
twotons

@alena1982  Your comment has no credibility when you say Chihuahua's do all of the biting or that their bites are somehow in the same context as a dog mauling. As a shelter worker you are a animal advocate not a informed Public safety offical. Dogs are bred to behave, look and have breed specific instincts. training is nothing more then the direction of instincts. Pit bulls should be banned because they are a dangerous breed and that is why we are having this conversation about Pit bulls and not Chihuahua's

anathera60
anathera60 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

#52A did not pass.  There will be no urging the state to permit Breed Specific Legislation in Broward County.  Broward residents turned up at the meeting today opposing #52A as well as the majority of the commissioners.  Thank you to all of you who were able to attend the meeting and speak up for the breed.

Punish the deed, not the breed.

rusty
rusty like.author.displayName 1 Like

@anathera60 so happy to hear the ban did not pass, i have own 2 pit bulls, and 1 yokie, my first pit save me from going nuts when i was diagnosed with cancer. he sat by my bedside & wouldn't leave me. followed me everywhere. never bit anyone & i have 2 grandchildren, ages 5 & 2. so, it not the breed, its the people who own them that dont know how to love them enough to train them with love.   my rusty died of cancer 2 yrs. aago.    

gbeals954
gbeals954 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

First of all Pitt Bulls are not aggressive by nature that's just another fallacy, they scored higher than a Golden Retriever and Beagle on their Temperament Test , over 80%. Furthermore they were called the nanny dogs because they are such wonderful, loving family dogs. So tired of all the hype and fear the media portrays about Pitt Bulls, the fact of the matter is you are 60% more likely to be killed by a coconut falling on your head than being killed by a Pitt Bull. If this woman thinks this is going to be easy to push through she has another thing coming, hundreds of people will be at the Court House today to protest this act. The latest poll Channel 6 took shows 85% of Broward County citizens are opposed to banning Pitt Bulls here, 14% are for it and 1% is undecided. Please get the facts and don't repeat the propaganda.


twotons
twotons

@gbeals954 It is a temprement test that was designed for police gaurd dogs off course Pit bull score higher because it is not a disposition test. This is why you don;t have a mauling problem with beagles and Golden's. Then you call them nanny dogs and say you should never leave them alone with a child. You are repeating information that has already been proved false in courts of law.  These dogs are banned in over 500 US cities and towns regulated in more and it is just a matter of time before they will be banned everywhere. What you will never see is this being a issue with poodles or beagles and that is the point. As far as your 85% pole that is false.

wifey2g
wifey2g

@gbeals954 What no one is pointing out is the underlying racial factor that is the unspoken "dangerous" element of pit bulls. White WASPS and yuppies see someone with a pitbull and automatically assume that person is a thug or hooligan or miscreant. The marjority of people who push for this type of legislation are ALWAYS ALWAYS WHITE. Which as a white person myself, is shameful.

anathera60
anathera60 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@wifey2g  

The vice mayor, Sharief, who put this before the commission, appears to be not white.  Leave race out of this.

MDLegijusthelpedpits
MDLegijusthelpedpits

@wifey2g @gbeals954 Nice touch - add accusations of racism into the mix. Guess what! Teeth don't care about the color of the skin they are tearing through.

wifey2g
wifey2g

@MDLegijusthelpedpits @wifey2g @anathera60 HA! you made my point for me, ALL ARMS FLAILING WHEN RACE IS BROUGHT UP, how is this not comparative to what is being done to pit bulls? Lets pick and choose who we want in Broward.. sounds like BREED SPECIFIC SEGREGATION NOT LEGISLATION!

dztrayn
dztrayn like.author.displayName 1 Like

Pit Bulls are aggressive and often very dangerous! .Policy should be based in fact, not emotion: "38 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2012. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 600 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 61% (23) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population." http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2012.php

freedomfighter
freedomfighter like.author.displayName 1 Like

@dztrayn did you hear the news??? What happened???  You lost!! HA HA HA HA move to miami -dade hater!

anthncat
anthncat like.author.displayName 1 Like

@dztrayn This same site reports a 4 pound Pomeranian that killed an infant. This site is also clearly against breed specific legislation so please don't partially quote a site to show bias

wifey2g
wifey2g like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

The most recent data provided is from 2009 so that is the time frame I am using for comparison.  In 2009 - 15 people NATION wide died from pit bull attacks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States) that same year in the State of FLORIDA ALONE 34 people died from lightning strikes (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/sd/annsum2009.pdf) Maybe we should ban people from going outside during storms or how about we just ban storms. You are more likely to die from NATURE than from CREATURE. How about we just implement education and licensing instead of BANNING.

wifey2g
wifey2g

@pastasunday  there are some links and facts for you.

apacheco2005
apacheco2005 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@wifey2g @pastasunday 

fact people should be held responsible but it doesn't seem like you dont know anything about that. maybe we should have a law where you need  a license to breed these dogs and a back round check to own one

apacheco2005
apacheco2005 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@wifey2g @apacheco2005 

wait im not for banning the dog, total opposite. i think i may have directed the reply to the wrong person sorry :)

wifey2g
wifey2g

@apacheco2005 How is banning a breed holding anyone responsible? Its not! Banning the breed is just giving the green light to those whose irresponsibility have brought such a bad name to the breed to being with, to keep doing what they've been doing (fighting, breeding and demonizing them) because only RESPONSIBLE owners would hand them over or move if this law is enacted. 

dztrayn
dztrayn

A blog and wikipedia are hardly factual sources.

wifey2g
wifey2g

@dztrayn Blog? The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration is a blog? And wikipedia includes resource references at the bottom of EVERY entry so stop being lazy.

msc_aba02
msc_aba02 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

tougher penalties for those that engage in the dog fighting needs to be implemented instead of sentencing these dogs to death should they end up in a shelter with no hope of finding a home. such ignorance to the REASON these dogs become fighting dogs and dangerous astounds me. the solution to get rid of the dogs instead of the real problem, the people responsible for abusing the dogs, is not going to end the problem. you see a pit bull and automatically think "dangerous" dog. you really need to be looking at the other end of the leash and see the "dangerous" human. 

MDLegijusthelpedpits
MDLegijusthelpedpits

@msc_aba02 The USA need tough, nationwide anti-dogfighting laws with some investigation money behind them. If we can take down the dogfighting rings and their profits could be stopped, we might get a handle on the hideous misuse of pitbulls (and the theft of pets for bait dogs). If this profitable criminal enterprise could be wiped out, there would  be no market and fewer pitties would be bred and tossed away like trash for the rest of us to deal with when they fail in the ring.

jamiearcher8
jamiearcher8 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@macawluver How can you tell me that the ban on pits has "protected" Miami Dade for years...  There are pit bulls all over Miami, and you're telling me that the ban on pit bulls is working?  Dahlia stands up for these dogs and for that I will always love and respect her.  She is doing her best to change the public's misguided perception on pit bulls.  Dogs are dogs... no matter the breed.

pastasunday
pastasunday

To everyone posting stats to defend their positions, please post a link to the actual study so they can be examined in great detail. The scope and premise of each study is key to determining if your quoted stats are actually significant or not.

MDLegijusthelpedpits
MDLegijusthelpedpits

@pastasunday A PhD heavy in research design is needed to determine if statistics are significant or not. Medical journal articles cost money and are not available to non-subscribers by simply linking to them.

luis_2622
luis_2622 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

This is descrimination on a defensless animal, I mean how is voting to kill an animal better then the loosers that put them to fight for the poor dogs it's the same outcome because by banning them they don't get a new home they get killed, in miami they kill more than 20,000 pit bulls per year. If that's the case let's just kill all the animals in the planet because bears attack people, aligaters, tigers, lions, snakes lets kill them all so the ignorant people that get a kick out of being able to vote on killing animals feel safe, were are peoples morals. How about changing some laws about breading, neutering and number of dogs a person can have, killing these poor animals is not what GOD would invision us doing he creates life and humanity takes life NO!! Were are the statistics for other breads this is a which hunt on these poor animals and the ignorant people eat the shit sandwhich like fools Kill kill. People are the problem how about that.

luis_2622
luis_2622

This is descrimination on a defensless animal, I mean how is voting to kill an animal better then the loosers that put them to fight for the poor dogs it's the same outcome because by banning them they don't get a new home they get killed, in miami they kill more than 20,000 pit bulls per year. If that's the case let's just kill all the animals in the planet because bears attack people, aligaters, tigers, lions, snakes lets kill them all so the ignorant people that get a kick out of being able to vote on killing animals feel safe, were are peoples morals. How about changing some laws about breading, neutering and number of dogs a person can have, killing these poor animals is not what GOD would invision us doing he creates life and humanity takes life NO!! Were are the statistics for other breads this is a which hunt on these poor animals and the ignorant people eat the shit sandwhich like fools Kill kill. People are the problem how about that.

lolioness1
lolioness1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Like the comment wait until your child or animal gets bit.  I had lost a Chihuahua from a dog fight which was not a pit bull and a doctor that did not know what the hell he was doing, and the state that could not find any wrong doing.  In stead of going after the breed go after the people who are do not take care of there dogs.  A $500.00 dollart penalty is a joke, that is nothing to anyone who is making money off the breed.  There should be stiffer penalties along with stiffer jail time.   Ms. Sharief, is either an animal hater, or is ignorant of the breed.  She asking to ban the breed because of ignorance, what about all the responsible owners who consider them to be part of the family. What do you say to them when you are forcing them to give up on a family member.

bookie9
bookie9 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Um no, people should be allowed to make comments and be respected.  The "backlash" component is done my disrespectful and immature people - the exact type of people we don't want owning pit bulls.  What you fail to understand is while she may not speak for you, she is speaking for the majority and she does have the best interests of people, their pets, and even pit bulls in mind.  It has been proven that most people WANT this type of legislation - every scientific poll done has shown the majority of people want bans and even more people want restrictions that fall short of bans.  BSL has been proven not only to work in terms of protecting people, but in reducing the number of pit bull euthanized, pit bull abuse, and costs to animal control overall.  Eventually, these bans are going to be everywhere, its just a matter of how many people have to get killed first in order for it to happen.

wifey2g
wifey2g

@bookie9  Where are your facts to back up the statement that she is speaking for the Majority? You seem to be pulling them from thin air. Check the FACTS I posted. More people are killed by Lightning in Florida annually than killed by Pit Bulls NATIONALLY. 

bookie9
bookie9

@wifey2g @bookie9 FACT: scientific poll done in Ontario before ban was instituted there found 2/3 of people wanted a ban and 3/4 of people wanted restrictions.  


FACT: a scientific poll was done in Oklahoma with similar results as Ontario

FACT: Miami voted on whether to keep thier pit bull ban or not.  Despite a campaign by pit bull advocates to encourage people to vote against the ban and virtually no campaign to vote for it, large majority voted to keep the ban.

Please look these things up for yourself, do not take my word for it.

francoughlin
francoughlin like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@bookie9  What some people say and what is true can be quite different.  While there is a certain BSL Lobby group that IS working on getting "these bans" everywhere there are many many many more people working to put these fires of stereotyping and discrimination out when  started.  I believe since 2009-- 109 places has REJECTED BSL, 84 have approved BSL and 28 places have REPEALED BSL.   The "winds of change" are in the air and one day people will look back and see BSL as a modern day "witch hunt".  The shape of a dog's body does not determine it's character or disposition the same as the colour of a person's skin does not determine their's.   

bookie9
bookie9

@francoughlin @bookie9 As more studies come out to prove that BSL works, I can only see it spreading.  The only way to stop BSL is to stop attacks.  Pit bull advocates can do that IF they start being honest about the dogs.  I just don't see that happening at this point.  As more people get hurt and killed, this issue will touch more and more people.  The majority are already in favor of bans - and the more pit bulls affect them, the more they will ask for BSL.  Wait until there is an organized force working for BSL - there isn't now and you guys still lose some fights.  What will happen when the people get serious about this issue? 

jokesmit142
jokesmit142

@bookie9  Thank you for pointing out that bans are good for pit bulls! I mean, aside from all the other living creatures banning pit bulls benefits. 

flaxenyank
flaxenyank like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

Every single Pit Bull... Pit Bull 'type' dog owner MUST show up at the Commission Meeting on Tuesday. I took the day off in order to be there. This must NOT be allowed to go any further. Yes... there IS a roaming dog issue in certain areas of Broward County. Both of my dogs...one a full Pit and the other a mix...were plucked off the street ( in the hood) and found their forever home with me. Neither has a mean bone in their body...they are sweet, affectionate and loving despite their beginnings. The problem of breeding these dogs for fighting/protection etc...for profit, has to be stopped. The dogs that do not have the 'lowrider' bulky, tough look are discarded like so much garbage onto the street. The dogs are not the problem...PEOPLE ARE! We must all FIGHT this! BE AT THE MEETING ON TUESDAY! Let them know that we will not stand for our beloved pets being outlawed...

pastasunday
pastasunday

@flaxenyank can you please post the logistics of the meeting so we all know when and where to appear? Thanks!!

luis_2622
luis_2622

Perfect time to see how many people show up and set up a private meating with other owners to work together to make sure this masacre is not allowed to happen.

primerdimer
primerdimer

@flaxenyank Awesome. I think you are the voice that should be represented. Much respected.

pastasunday
pastasunday like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 6 Like

Broward County will lose many well-educated, high income earning residents if this passes. We love our pets like family members, look at the millions of dollars we spend on our pets yearly. I would rather sell my home and leave the county than let my pet be killed over this strongly debated issue. I live in Broward, pay taxes, spend my money here to support the community. We elect our officials to represent us as a whole, and expect our officials to use their prior experience in the public sector, education, and commitment to work diligently to find solutions to issues, even if it requires strategic ideas and sleepless nights in order to do so. Rather than causing an upset, I hope the Broward County government will seek alternate solutions to their agenda. The lower income population are the ones who disregard their pets and allow them to run ramped which causes much of the dog bite issues. If the dogs are banned from the county, they will stay, the middle class and wealthy animal lovers and pit bull breed owners will leave...along with their tax money and community investment. Additionally, almost everyone I know who owns some breed of pit bull RESCUED these animals from abusers and neglecters. Please don't punish the community because of those who neglect their animals. The dogs have no voice of their own, they just want to live and be loved. It's that simple.

jokesmit142
jokesmit142 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

@pastasunday  Since you are so high-class and educated, I assume you understand that breed-specific legislation doesn't necessarily mean a ban. It could mean, for example, that people who choose pit bull type dogs have to carry adequate insurance. I'm sure with your education, you'll agree that this is fair, since this type of dog represents 3000% the actuarial risk compared to any other type of dog -- this includes both hospital care due to the horrendous wounds pit types typically inflict and the greater likelihood of having to pay for a funeral. The fact that the premiums would be proportionately high would solve the problem you point out of mostly poor people letting their pit bull type dogs roam (it is indeed mostly poor children pit bulls are mauling and killing). I assume you know that even if you own your home, the income from selling it likely wouldn't cover the costs when your pit bull attacks -- and so I assume you already have special insurance for this event. 

I'm surprised that you claim to be educated, but that you don't know even a ban wouldn't mean they come kill your pit bulls. It would just mean you can't breed them, and that you have to muzzle them and short leash them when off your own property. You'd have to build adequate containment, so they can't escape and maul a neighbor's child or pet. Obviously no high class person would object to this responsibility, nor to refraining from breeding a type of dog that is already flooding shelters. Since you are high class and responsible, I assume you already have such containment to protect your neighbors and their children -- so it's no skin off your teeth if all pit bull owners have to do the same.  

I'm surprised also that with your claim to education, you don't know that when polled, voters everywhere show 63% -78% in favor of banning pit bulls (or keeping a ban that's already in place). A high class person who understands and respects what democracy is should defer to this rather than making up stories about killing your pit bulls and trying to get out-of-county people to come pervert the course of democracy in your own place of residence (if you even live in Broward County). 

Final point: Since you own pit bulls, I'm doubtful whether your neighbors would regret your leaving town. They'd see their own property values go back up, since 78% of people don't want to live next to pit bulls or in a neighborhood where there are pit bulls. They'd be able to let their children play outdoors again without worrying that one might end up hospitalized or dead. Your one high class affluent self moving out of town would probably mean that many, many more of your social class decide to stay after all. So Broward County would lose you (if you even live there), but it would retain all the others in exchange. In fact, if you love your community so much, why don't you consider moving! Even if they don't ban pit bulls! 

wifey2g
wifey2g

@jokesmit142 "trying to get out-of-county people to come pervert the course of democracy in your own place of residence (if you even live in Broward County). " were you listening to Rush Limbaugh too loudly? I really wish you could back up all this "Educated" crap you just spewed. I could easily tout the fact that 100% of my neighbors love Pitbulls, or 90% of republicans don't live in a fact based world but of course without evidence and databases to back up those statements who would take me seriously?

wifey2g
wifey2g

@jokesmit142 @pastasunday PLEASE post links to these facts you so prevalently referenced through out this post... 3000%% insurance, 78%% of people... where are your case studies or databases to back this up? Because facts without base evidence are fiction. 

luis_2622
luis_2622

It is illegal to descriminate on a dog based on bread and Sherief was notified of this by United Against Bread Specifc legislation she would be braking the law.  People like you need to check their morals how can a person that believes in GOD say it's ok to kill thousands of animals, lets just kill all the animals in the plant so you feel safe! If it takes a class action law suit to put this to rest so be it. Lets kill animals so you're property goes up a couple of bucks nice!

pastasunday
pastasunday like.author.displayName 1 Like

@jokesmit142 @pastasunday great points! I'm really glad you added these to the conversation! Yes, I agree with and understand the home owners insurance requirement. Sadly, I no longer have my pit bull mix as she passed many years ago. My statement was merely an expression of the extreme nature of this debate. As an all around animal person, I would however not want to reside in a county that imposes extreme animal laws. People should be more concerned about their PEOPLE neighbors rather than what kind of pet they own. Look up registered sex offenders in your neighborhood, I'm sure there are a lot more of those than scary dogs.

jonvfelosi
jonvfelosi like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@pastasunday No they wont, they will loose narcissistic, indifferent, entitled scum with a chip on their shoulder. I bet anything this ban WILL go through. This is just the beginning, When towns across US ban pit bulls and clean the nutters out of animal control, finally someone will be able to walk down the street without fear of being mauled or killed by some idiots fighting dog

luis_2622
luis_2622

Yeah sure so if this clown wants to go into the jungle we have to kill all the animals so he could walk around & feel safe? Ignorant people like you are the problem. You're perfect world sound like hell budy you better reevaluate you're morals.

pastasunday
pastasunday

@jonvfelosi @pastasunday wow, really? Why name calling and being so mean? I appreciate your point of view but please try to be kind in expressing yourself. I'm sure there is a less extreme solution to this issue. A middle ground, something that will appease all sides. I'm sorry to hear you are afraid of being injured by dogs.

flaxenyank
flaxenyank

Are you going to be at the meeting? We must all show up to fight this....

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