New ordinance protects guard dogs in Broward County

Local 10 investigation helps change plight of rented security dogs

By Jacey Birch - Anchor/Animal Advocate

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Local 10 investigation is bringing about change in the form of new laws.

Local 10 first brought you the story of working dogs, rented and used for security, housed in hot boxes, hungry, covered in ticks and without a voice.

At Tuesday's Broward County Commission Meeting, change came courtesy of commissioners who were moved by watching the plight of the guard dogs.

"I learned all this from the news story Ms. Birch put on and I wanted Broward County to do the right thing to regulate these guard dog companies," said Commissioner Martin David Kiar.

Just two weeks after the Local 10 investigation aired, the Broward County Commission was ready to follow in the footsteps of our neighbors to the north.

From the chambers Kiar said, "In Palm Beach County, they were kept in incredibly terrible, inhumane, deplorable, despicable conditions so Palm Beach County did the right thing and they adopted an ordinance to really crack down on these guard dog companies. So what did they do? They then came to Broward and Miami-Dade County."

The mayor was also touched by what she saw thanks to the Local 10 cameras.

"I found the video very surprising and I think there's a lot of good changes that are in here. I certainly don't want to be the one county that everyone is running to because we are not regulated," said Kristin Jacobs.

Commissioner Kiar led the way for progressive change in Broward County by proposing a guard dog ordinance to regulate this fairly unknown industry.

The Commissioner explained, "This is our opportunity to save a whole lot of dogs and to ensure that we can actually make these companies comply with keeping these dogs humanely, that's why I think it is imperative that we vote for it and put it in law now."

Under the ordinance, guard dog companies must show proof of registration, rabies tags, vaccinations, micro-chips and guard dog tags for all their animals. They must also pay a permit fee to operate in the county and the dogs must be checked by a veterinarian twice a year.

Commissioner Lois Wexler agreed something had to be done.

"There is inhumane treatment going on of our four-legged friends, I have no doubt about that," she said.

After just 45 minutes of discussion, every single commissioner was on board and the motion passed unanimously.

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