Stop FL from removing the statewide prohibition of Breed Specific Legislation with HB 189 and SB 922

Florida: House Bill 189 and  State Bill 922 (removal of statewide prohibition against Breed Specific Legislation) is now in committee

Currently, the state law in Florida prohibits municipalities from passing BSL. This prohibition will be undone if HB 189 and/or SB 922 are passed.

Florida HB 189 and SB 922 have been sent to the Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee.

Please send your polite, respectful, and intelligent opposition to HB 189 and SB 922 to the committee members via email as well as signing the petition. There will be a hearing as well (not yet scheduled).

Contact information for the Committee can be found here:

Committee Location: 317 House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-5465

Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee Members

Williams, Trudi K. (R), Chair,
Poppell, Ralph (R), Vice Chair,
Brandenburg, Mary (D), Democratic Ranking Member,
Bembry, Leonard L. (D),
Boyd, Debbie (D),
Bullard, Dwight M. (D),
Burgin, Rachel V. (R),
Crisafulli, Steve (R),
Culp, Faye B. (R),
Drake, Brad (R),
Evers, Greg (R),
Glorioso, Richard (R),
Jones, Mia L. (D),
Mayfield, Debbie (R),
Pafford, Mark S. (D),
Patronis, Jimmy (R),
Renuart, Ronald (R),
Schultz, Ron (R),

Dear Sirs and Madams:

Breed-specific legislation punishes certain breeds or classifications of dogs and their owners while overlooking bad behavior in other breeds. While it is true that a few individuals of these so-called "dangerous" dog breeds have done an astonishing amount of damage when they bite, statistically very few have ever bitten a person. Punishing the "pit bulls" and their owners because of their potential for greater damage than a Poodle is like banning all buses in favor of passenger cars. There are advantages and disadvantages to either mode of transportation but we can not expect a car to serve the same purpose as the bus.

We find it horrifying when a person is maimed or killed by a dog, especially when the person is a child. However we rationalize our reaction to the incident, we must remain rational enough to place the responsibility for the tragedy directly on the people involved, not on the animal itself. The circumstances that make a dog bite a person vary with the situation, training, and/or environment which the dog encounters or lives in. This stark fact remains: all breeds and varieties of dogs can, will, and do bite.

The problem lies with the people breeding, owning, or training dogs for purposes for which were not intended. Pit Bulls and their kin were designed and bred to fight each other, not people. Due to the tenacity and physicality of the Bull and Terrier breeds, people have decided to make them one of the primary representations of a bad dog. People use the dog to compensate for their own insecurity and to promote a macho image. These people and their dogs should be avoided. Backyard breeders have caught on to the popularity of these kinds of dogs and are now turning out litter after litter of ill-tempered mongrels just to make a quick buck. The wise buyer avoids these dogs at all costs.

Ignorant, dangerous owners and breeders are attempting to turn the pit bull breeds into vicious guard dogs. The breed standard, however, considers human-aggression in these breeds to be a serious fault. The pit bull that aggresses against a person is not a true representative of the breed. It is entirely the owner's fault if their mongrel has the chance to bite or attack someone. Responsible owners and breeders work hard to uphold the standard of loyalty and affection that should be present in the bulldog breeds.

Any Bull and Terrier breed that threatens, attacks, bites, or even shows aggression toward a person, other than in defense of its own people, should be neutered at the very least or, preferably, should be destroyed. The danger in owning or being in contact with such animal cannot be over emphasized. If, however, a Teacup Poodle exhibits the same behavior it should receive the same treatment. Aggression toward humans is not a behavior that should be tolerated in any dog. Dachshunds and Chihuahuas, however small, are still capable of inflicting serious wounds, and even killing a baby or child.

Similarly, owners who permit their dog to aggress, bite, or attack any person should pay for it. Breed-specific legislation does nothing to deal with the entire problem of dog attacks. It only focuses on a dog's appearance, without regard to individual temperament or owner responsibility.

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