Bill Aims To Repeal Dog Breed Specific Laws

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Florida Senate bill that would repeal laws banning specific breeds of dogs is making its way up the ranks.

“It will finally end years and years of ignorance specifically in Miami-Dade County,” said Dahlia Canes, the founder of the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation.

She’s referring to Senate Bill 614 which would repeal dog breed-specific laws throughout the state, like Miami-Dade County’s Pit Bull ban.

“Last time I counted there were 75 targeted breeds, including Rottweilers, Dobermans, Akitas, Pugs, German Shepherds, and the list goes on and on. All it takes is for a very important person to be bit by a breed of dog and within two or three days that breed is on the list,” she said.

But the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Ileana Garcia, would prevent that long list of dogs from being discriminated against. If passed, the measure would allow an animal to be judged by its own behavior. News that has renters like Elodia Castillo celebrating.

“I do have a German Shepherd, so trying to find somewhere to stay even now is kinda hard, and adding a dog to that situation because of the specific breed they’re not being eligible to live there is kinda hurtful because that my best friend,” said Castillo.

And there are thousands of other renters in a similar situation, where their dogs are being treated as dangerous dogs despite not having any history of aggression.

In a statement, Sen. Garcia wrote, “As a dog mom, this legislation is very personal for me, pets become a part of our families and this bill would keep families together by eliminating pet housing restrictions in the state of Florida. SB 614 seeks to increase housing options for Florida families with pets and keep good dogs out of our state’s animal shelters.”

Sentiments echoed by Canes.

“Just because a dog is born of a specific breed does not deem it inherently dangerous. Just like people profiling, just like canine profiling, it doesn’t work with us why is it gonna work with dogs?” added Canes.