After Buehrle signed a four-year deal with Miami this winter, he discovered that his family could not live in Miami-Dade County. One of their four rescued dogs - Slater - is an American Staffordshire terrier, and Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida that has statutes outlawing any dog that looks anything like a pit bull. The dog's actual behaviour is irrelevant. If it exhibits any physical characteristcs of a pit bull - which is not an actual breed of dog, by the way - it can be taken from its family and killed.
Two Florida legislators - Representative Carlos Trujillo and Senator Jim Norman - are working with Best Friends Animal Society to pass HB 997/SB 1322, which would repeal the BSL statute. (Sadly, Ontario is as backwards and inhumane as Miami-Dade when it comes to breed-specific laws - and hundreds of Canadian families have had their dogs killed for no good reason.)
The Handsome Slater:
The Buehrles, continuing the animal activism they did in Chicago, are urging everyone to sign a petition in support of the repeal. (Huge h/t to Big League Stew)
When my husband, Mark, became the new pitcher for the Miami Marlins, we were excited to move our family down to Florida and join our team's community.
But then we found out our family wasn't welcome in Miami-Dade County, because one of our rescued dogs, Slater, is a pit bull. We were lucky enough to be able to afford to buy a house outside of Miami-Dade County so we could keep Slater. Many families aren't as fortunate, and they love their dogs just as much.
Because of an archaic exemption in state law, Miami-Dade County is the only county in the entire state permitted to engage in canine profiling. Florida state legislators Representative Carlos Trujillo and Senator Jim Norman are leading an effort, with the help of Best Friends Animal Society, to right this injustice and to repeal the portion of the Florida statute that allows Miami-Dade to kill dogs simply because of their appearance.
No other county in Florida is allowed such unmitigated power over people's pets. It is time that Miamians again enjoy the same right that citizens in Florida's 66 other counties have.
Despite being over 20 years old, Miami’s canine profiling still causes the needless, senseless and unjustified confiscation and killing of hundreds of innocent dogs every year, proving that breed discrimination does not make communities safer, and is impossible to enforce. It's also a waste of tax dollars. Nowhere else in Florida can certain breeds of dogs be summarily killed simply because of their appearance.
It is time to put an end, once and for all, to canine discrimination in Florida and make the Sunshine State a model of humane public policy. Please join me, Mark and our family in standing up for Slater and the dogs Miami-Dade. Help save lives and keep families together by supporting the legislation that will repeal Miami's inhumane breed-discriminatory law.
It looks like non-U.S. residents cannot sign the change.org petition, so I'm asking everyone reading these words to go to change.org and register your support.