Florida To Roll Back Bans On Hotly-Debated Dog Breed

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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A Florida law will go into effect in October barring local governments and public housing authorities from banning certain dogs on the basis of breed, weight or size, including pit bulls.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation in June, which most notably will end Miami-Dade County’s longstanding ban on pit bulls, which some animal rights activists say has resulted in pit bulls being euthanized in shelters, according to ABC 25 WPBF News. Public housing and localities will still be allowed to put restrictions on dogs who have previously attacked people or domestic animals.

“This was an unnecessary ban that cost a lot of pitbulls their lives,” Lauree Simmons, the founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Palm Beach County, told ABC. “Shelters basically had no choice but to euthanize them.” (RELATED: Disney World Ridership Reportedly Drops Amid Feud With Ron DeSantis)

Miami-Dade’s pit bull ban went into effect after Melissa Moreira, then a 7-year-old girl, was mauled by a pitbull in 1989, according to CBS News.

“As a child that went through over eight reconstructive plastic surgeries to my face, it is alarming that the ban could now be lifted,” she told CBS.

The new law will not impact the ability of HOAs, hotels or rental properties to discriminate based on breed.

From 1979 to 1998, pit bulls were responsible for 76 of 284 dog bite-related deaths, far exceeding any other breed, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study; the agency no longer tracks this data on the basis of breed.

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