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Miami’s pit bull ban takes a hit

Breed specific legislation against pit bulls took another much deserved hit last week when a Dade County court ruled that Miami’s pit bull ban is too vague to be used as grounds for euthanizing animals.

The county ban applied to all dogs that “substantially conform” to American Kennel Club standards for  American Staffordshire Terriers or Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or United Kennel Club standards for American Pit Bull Terriers.

To determine if a dog conformed to the standards, the animal control department used a chart that lists 15 body parts, such as head, neck, lips, chest, eyes, tail and hind legs. Officers check off which characteristics of a dog conform to a pit bull. If three or more characteristics are checked, the dog is declared a pit bull.

The court ruling came in a case challenging the finding by Miami-Dade County Animal Control that a family pet named Apollo was a “pit bull” that must be removed from the county or euthanized.

Rima Bardawil, the attorney for Apollo, pointed out that the ordinance makes no mention of any chart or checklist, and that it is not clear what standards animal control is using in making its determinations or how valid they are.

Dahlia Canes, executive director of Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation, testified that animal control is “constantly” misidentifying the breeds of dogs. She told the court about one dog that was declared by an animal control officer to be a pit bull mix and ordered euthanized.  Canes arranged to have the dog re-evaluated and he was determined to be a mastiff mix. The dog was then adopted to a family in Miami-Dade County.  

In the case of Apollo, the animal control officer photographed the dog from several feet away, then used the photo to pick three body parts he said he thought conformed to pit bull standards.

It makes one wonder — how many of the dogs described by police, and characterized in headlines, as pit bulls really are of the breeds that fall under that catch-all term?


Comment from austyn short
Time August 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm

hi i dont think tht pitbulls should be banned i have 2 of them nd i love them its not the dog ITS THE OWNER!!

Comment from Carlos Aleman
Time November 27, 2011 at 2:42 am

Talking about Pit -Bulls? What’s a Pitbull?

Since any breed is really a “sato”dog, in which many other types of genes have to be mix to develop a so called breed “which is categorized after an X number of generation of offsprings in which certain characteristics don’t change”. If a vague minded bill is pass against X phenotypical characteristics, regarding a myth with a correlation with aggressiveness. Then it will be a perfect example of an horrendous fault by the state, by the legislators, by the dog control department etc.. By which they assume that phenotypical characteristics are attached “ONLY” to traits that they can see. Which is false, they are attached to two type of gene expression. One that you can see phenotypical and one that you can’t see genotypical.
First to categorized a breed they should:
1. Do a DNA EXAM ($$$$)
-Since all breed are a mix of others breeds then all dogs are ”SATOS in plain spanish” which will make impossible to the state to categorized or differentiate a breed from another.
2. If they could find certain gene DNA sequences or tandems…?!
– Then the state will have to take each case separately and will have to base their findings for the use of that case along and only.
– Since each dog could have certain tandems or repeated DNA sequences called “CODIS”
( like the ones humans have, and FBI uses) still you can find DNA specific sequences in each animal (like your face, you can tell who is who in your family – DNA is the one responsible for this).
-Therefore the costs ($$) of the state in litigating this facts or findings will be exponentially incremented and it wouldn’t viably be cost effective, resulting in drop of charges.

My name is Charlie from PR, we are having the exact same problems on our beautiful Puerto Rico. Sadly the pit bulls have a bad reputation by people without knowledge playing “dog handling”. The above points i tried to highlight are based on my study grounds on DNA Recombinant MS.

Sorry, for all the errors in this post, I’m a native spanish talker, it’s 2:00am sleepy typing. Hope this helps everyone around here.
I will recommend the following:
To revise this facts described above you or any dog organization should raise money get a law firm and a professional who works in DNA RECOMBINANT, or GENETIC ENGINEERING field. He would be the key to win a case against the state wrongfully and bold dog specific law.