Tag Archives: broward county bsl

Rhode Island and Broward county Florida pull “pit bull” bills

RHODE ISLAND: We received news from the Defenders of Animals that the Senator who introduced legislation in Rhode Island to create statewide restrictions on pit bull type dogs has officially withdrawn his bill from the Senate. The companion House Bill has also been withdrawn. With all the opposition to this bill it was destined to not proceed but it is always nice to see legislators respond to the concerns of their constituents with action.

With the outcry of opposition from Rhode Island residents there is bound to be some positive legislative action in the future for breed specific laws. Congratulations Rhode Island for making your voices heard.

The sponsor had said his intention was to start a conversation and get the attention of national organizations to get help for their town.  They are receiving the help that they needed to form a breed neutral law to better protect the community.

BROWARD COUNTY FLORIDA: Commissioner Barbara Sharief had planned on trying to approach the state legislature in Florida to ask for permission to pass a pit bull ban.  Sharief had cited concerns from her district about “pit bulls” that had been dumped from neighboring Miami-Dade as the reason for the action.

Initially, Sharief said she knew there would be a backlash but there was more support for a breed ban than opposition. At this weeks commission meeting, however, Sharief was proven wrong when the meeting was packed with opponents to the measure. 60 people spoke at the meeting with the vast majority of those against any breed specific law. One commissioner said when he stopped keeping track of the e-mails he received about this issue there were over 1,000 against it and only 11 for. Sharief subsequently pulled the motion from committee.

A couple of very important things to note about the meeting.  When the other commissioners spoke about the measure most said they would not support any request to go to the state to try to institute a breed discriminatory measure in the future. One Councilor spoke very clearly about their support for the state law prohibiting breed specific laws.  They noted that the issues they are having is because of Miami’s ban and that it would be bad for the community as a whole to allow towns to decide on their own if they want a breed specific law.

Another important thing to note is that Commissioner Sharief showed very clearly that she is willing to listen to the community and respond.  She is now working with advocates and animal groups to find a solution to the issues Broward County is having. It does not matter that we disagree with law makers, we must always engage in a respectful dialogue. When people behave with a lack of respect for law makers they become less likely to listen to what is being said.  Always be polite, be professional and be respectful with all communications with legislators.

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Broward County Florida legislator seeking a pit bull ban

Miami-Dade county has a well-known pit bull ban. One lawmaker in Broward County is now seeking to ban pit bulls as well.  According to the New Times…

Barbara Sharief, Vice Mayor of the Broward County Commission, will introduce a motion today to make it illegal to “own and keep” American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers — or any dog that may “conform” to a pit bull breed.

Sharief also states that though she knows there will be a backlash, she claims there is more support than opposition, so it is extremely important to make your voices heard.

The whole article can be found here.

It is important to note that Florida has a law prohibiting breed specific legislation. However, this motion appears to seek to overturn the state law.

“A. MOTION TO APPROVE addition to the state legislative program making it illegal to own and keep American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers or any other dog that substantially conforms to any of these “pit bull” breed characteristics; support addition to the state legislative program imposing a state fine for acquiring or keeping these specific animals.”

Broward Residents: Act now to oppose this baseless action. This topic should be presented in the February 26th meeting.  Meetings begin at 10 AM in room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center. Schedules and agendas can be found here.

Contact information for the commission:

The commissions websites and districts can be found here.

Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief
Broward County Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 410
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: 954-357-7008

Martin David Kiar
email: mkiar@broward.org
Phone: 954-357-7001

Mayor Kristin Jacobs, Phone: 954- 357-7002

Email: kjacobs@broward.org

Stacy Ritter
sritter@broward.org
Phone: 954-357-7003

Chip LaMarca
email: clamarca@broward.org
Phone: 954-357-7004

Lois Wexler
lwexler@broward.org
Phone: 954-357-7005

Sue Gunzburger
sgunzburger@broward.org
Telephone: 954-357-7006

Tim Ryan
email: tryan@broward.org
Phone: 954-357-7007

Dale Holness
dholness@broward.org
Phone: 954-357-7009