Activists rally against proposed pit bull ban in Broward

Commissioner to ask state legislature to approve pit bull ban

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Dozens of animal-rights activists rallied outside of the Broward County Governmental Center Tuesday morning in opposition of a proposed ban on pit bulls.

State law does not allow counties to ban certain dog breeds, but commissioner Barbara Sharief has asked her colleagues to consider asking the state legislature for an exception. She wants to ask the state for "home rule control," though the final decision would ultimately be made by the county commission or by putting it to a vote within local municipalities.

Miami-Dade County is the only county in the state that has a ban on pit bulls. Since the county passed the law in 1989, Miami-Dade was grandfathered in and therefore does not violate the state law.

Miami-Dade County voters reaffirmed the ban in 2012. Only 30 percent of voters said that the breed ban should be repealed.

Commissioner Sharief says the southwest Broward County area she represents has become a breeding ground for pit bulls and dogs with pit bull-like characteristics. She contends that it is also a dumping ground for pit bulls for Miami-Dade.

Her proposal is number 52 on the commission agenda for Tuesday morning. It is unclear whether it will be voted upon or passed on for ruling at a later date. The proposal considers asking the state to allow a fine for owners who acquire dogs with pit bull-like characteristics. If passed, it would allow current dog owners to keep their pets.

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