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.
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