MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Florida Senate bill that would repeal laws banning certain breeds of dogs is making its way through the ranks.
“This will finally end years and years of ignorance specifically in Miami-Dade County,” said Dahlia Canes, founder of the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation.
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She’s referring to Senate Bill 614 that would repeal breed-specific dog laws statewide, such as Miami-Dade County’s Pit Bull ban.
“Last time I counted there were 75 target breeds including Rottweilers, Dobermans, Akitas, Pugs, German Shepherds, and the list goes on and on. Whatever it takes , is that a very important person gets bitten 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 Senator Ileana Garcia, would prevent this long list of dogs from being discriminated against. If passed, the measure would allow an animal to be judged on its own behavior. News that celebrates tenants like Elodia Castillo.
“I have a German Shepherd, so trying to find a place to stay even now is a little difficult, and adding a dog to that because of the specific breed they’re not allowed to live there is a bit hurtful because my best friend,” Castillo said.
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And there are thousands of other tenants in a similar situation, where their dogs are treated as dangerous dogs despite having no history of aggression.
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In a statement, Senator Garcia wrote, “As a dog mom, this legislation is very personal to me, pets are now part of our families and this bill would keep families together by removing restrictions on pet housing in the state of Florida. SB 614 seeks to increase housing options for Florida families with pets and to keep good dogs out of our state’s animal shelters.
Feelings echoed by Canes.
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“Just because a dog is born of a specific breed doesn’t mean it’s inherently dangerous. Just like profiling people, just like canine profiling, it doesn’t work with us, why will it work with people? dogs?” added Cannes.