Miami May Be Getting Rid Of Its Three Decades Old Pit Bull Ban

Photo credit: Flickr/Devon Jefferson

UPDATE, October 6, 2016: At least Hurricane Matthew is good for something!

According to The Miami Herald, the pit bull ban repeal very nearly died during Wednesday’s county commission meeting. But the bill lives, thanks to bad weather, of all things.

Seven commissioners voted against the repeal; five voted for it. That would have been the end of the legislation, except some two dozen people had signed up to speak during the meeting — which was shut down early, due to the impending storm.

So the commissioners agreed to rescind their votes, and reconsider the bill at the next commission meeting, on October 18.

Original story:

Some very good news for pit bulls: Miami may finally be getting rid of its longstanding ban on blocky-headed dogs.

The Miami Herald reports that Miami-Dade County — where the city of Miami sits — is now considering legislation to repeal a broad ban on pits enacted in 1989.

Affected dogs include American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, “or any other dog that substantially conforms to any of these breeds’ characteristics.”

Despite an avalanche of evidence showing that breed bans do not make communities safer — while causing terrible hardships for families and dogs, and imposing large financial costs on the agencies charged with enforcement — Miami-Dade’s ban has thus far survived a lawsuit and ballot initiative.

The proposed repeal was introduced by Commissioner Bruno Barreiro. On Wednesday, at a Commission meeting, the bill will get a preliminary vote. If it passes, the bill will then be assigned to a committee, face hearings, and then be voted on by the full commission.

Barreiro told Shelter Me that he’s received many supportive emails, and seen a lot of excitement about his bill on social media.

He hopes his fellow lawmakers will agree that now is the time to adjust Miami-Dade’s law to reflect what science has proven: That pit bull bans don’t work.

“It’s not about the dogs, it’s about the owners,” said Barreiro.

Michael Carvalho with the nonprofit Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation said he is feeling hopeful, and determined, too.

That the repeal may be successful this time; and that if it isn’t, advocates will keep working, until the pit bull ban is gone for good.

“We are always hopeful. If we weren’t we wouldn’t have persevered for the past 27 years of the ban,” Carvalho said. “If the repeal is not successful Wednesday, we will still remain hopeful.”


Featured image via Flickr/Devon Jefferson

Arin Greenwood

Arin Greenwood is an animal writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Previously, she was animal welfare editor at The Huffington Post. Arin is a former lawyer (J.D. from Columbia Law School, member of the New York Bar), life long animal lover, pit bull advocate, and devoted fan of cats and dogs who run for public office. Her first novel, Tropical Depression -- based on her five-odd, sometimes very odd, years living on a small island near Guam -- was published by teeny indie publisher Back Porch Books in 2011. Her second book, a comic young adult mystery called Save The Enemy, was published by Soho Teen in November 2013. Hello From Dog Island!, Arin's third book, will be published by Soho Teen in 2018. Know a shelter with a great, innovative program? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at!


  1. Mollie says:

    It’s the humans who have abused and done unspeakable acts of cruelty and abuse to these beautiful dogs solely due to their body types. They are the ones who should be chained, put behind bars and muzzled. Law enforcement, do your jobs, arrest and convict the dog fighters and animal abusers, quit taking out your fears and uneducated ideas on the animals. If you’re really fearful Montreal, why didn’t you pass legislation for mandatory dog training? As an animal lover, this would have been more progressive and sensible. And yes, I’ve had more biting, snipping issues with chis than I have pittie-type dogs, and I’m an animal advocate, foster and rescuer.

  2. Leila Singuero says:

    It is time if not long long overdue, for this ridiculous ban to end! PLEASE let’s do the right thing for once. Pittbulls, owners & the rescue community all need to see this come to an end & lead the way showing places like Canada BSL DOES NOT WORK!!!

  3. Kim R.I. Brogan says:

    Ban bad owners, not innocent dogs. These are very lovable, sweet, and loyal dogs. Bans don’t work. Offer free training. Train pitbulls before they are adopted. Spend your money that way, not on needless patrolling of a ban that doesn’t stop bites or dog attacks. More people get bitten by chihuahuas and doxies than “bit bulls.”

  4. Laura Peach says:

    I adopted my sweet AmStaff Sammy from Miami-Dade shelter (I am a Palm Beach resident). Please repeal this ridiculous ban!

  5. Aaron laking says:

    Do away with the ban!!!! End bsl…it does not work. Spread the love!!

  6. Raven says:

    Im a pit bull owner breeder/shower/rescuer for 33yrs and now retired and down to one dog but my whole life revolved around these dogs and they are a truely remarkable breed… just like humans there is bad in all but not as many….its a product of poor breeding and poor ownership… ppl are to blame its not the dogs…PUNISH THE DEED NOT THE BREED !!!

  7. Kelsey says:

    This is great! Let me know what I can do to help!

  8. Aly Rosquet says:

    I would love for this to end please im a dog lover there are great dog like any other its the humans that are at fault.

Comments are closed.