Pit bulls are legal to own in Miami for the first time since 1989
Miami-Dade County's pit bull ban has been lifted.
Driving the news: Enacted in 1989, the county ban was the only one of its kind in Florida until being nullified over the weekend after a new state law prohibiting local governments from imposing breed-specific ordinances took effect.
Why it matters: Breed bans are inhumane and force dogs out of their homes and into overburdened county shelters, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
- There is no evidence that these bans reduce dog attacks, per the Humane Society.
- Critics have argued that pit bulls are inherently more dangerous than other dogs.
Flashback: The county law was prompted by a 1989 pit bull attack on a 7-year-old girl, who needed more than eight reconstructive surgeries.
- A 1990 state law prohibiting breed-specific dog bans grandfathered in any laws placed before then, keeping the local ordinance enacted.
- In 2012, Miami-Dade residents voted to keep the ban in place.
Details: Under the ban, the county could fine pit bull owners $500, seize their dog and euthanize it.
- The ordinance specifically prohibited American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers and American pit bull terriers — or dogs that "substantially conform to the standards" of those breeds.
Zoom in: The repeal of Miami-Dade's ban could bring relief to shelter overcrowding in neighboring Broward County, where dog owners say they are afraid to surrender certain breeds due to the restriction.
- Miami-Dade is facing its own overpopulation issues at its main animal shelter in Doral, forcing it to house some animals at a secondary shelter with no air conditioning.
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