Miami News

Law banning discrimination against dog breeds enacted by DeSantis

Florida takes a stand for canine equality, putting an end to dog breeds-based bias

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved legislation on Friday, June 16, 2023, to end canine discrimination. Under this new law, dogs will be judged based on their behavior instead of their breed.

With this law, the restrictions on municipal and public housing will be uplifted against dog breeds, especially pit bulls.

Here’s how this legislation will amend dog breeds biases.

No more discrimination in Florida against dog breeds

SB 942 legislation received nods of approval from both chambers with only one “no”. Republication Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera sponsored the bill and, during the House debate, said that they must eradicate unfounded obstacles in government housing that continue to exacerbate this crisis. He also noted that many dog owners surrender their furry friends to animal shelters due to housing restrictions.

This isn’t the first time legislation of this nature has been debated in the House. In the past, prohibitions on breed-specific housing rules were already passed by the Legislature. However, ordinances established prior to October 1, 1990, were permitted to remain in effect, and one of the orders prohibited pit bulls in Miami in that pit bulls are required to be muzzled or locked in a pen under 1989 Sunrise’s law.

Pit bull dog

Things will change now

Fortunately, rules and ordinances that single out specific canine breeds will be null and void effectively after October 1. The founder of Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation, Dahlia Canes, has been trying to repeal pit bull restrictions for over 20 years now. She said that this new legislation would mend broken hearts and save innocent lives.

Canes’ pit bull “Chocolate” was taken due to dog restrictions. She realized how any dog could be labeled a pit bull at a whim and out of random choice. As a result, she and other animal advocates have been urging the Legislature for this bill. It passed the Senate but didn’t get approved in the House.

But that didn’t keep Canes from continuing to try and end discrimination based on dog breeds. She shared her ambitions to end nationwide breed-specific bans by pushing for federal legislation. This way, dogs will be judged on history and behavior.

The new Florida law doesn’t prevent public housing or cities from restricting dogs that have attacked or bitten people or other domestic animals.

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