Breed-specific legislation discussed in SWFL

Posted at 12:01 AM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 00:01:57-04

Several dog rescue groups came together for a “Stop Animal Abuse” Seminar at Gulf Coast Humane Society.

The group covered dog fighting, bait dogs, neglect, and breed specific legislation.

This weekend marked one year since Waffles, a pit bull, was rescued from his life as a bait dog in Clewiston.

“It was very sad. Horrible puncture wounds up and down his face, his chin, his armpits, his legs. With a temperature of 105, he was really knocking on death's door," Jeannette Jolly of the Pit Bull Crew Rescue said. She rescued Waffles after he was brought to Clewiston Animal Control.

When Jolly heard a Clewiston Commissioner mentioned breed-specific legislation, possibly banning “bully breeds” like Waffles, she and other animal rescuers grew concerned.

“It’s something our organization has been fighting for many, many years,” Dahlia Canes of the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation said.

She spoke at the seminar at Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Miami-Dade County has legislation in place dating back to 1989, banning two pit bull terrier breeds and their mixes.

“It is based on appearance, not temperament. It is discrimination against our best friends at it’s best. If it looks like a pit bull, it is banned,” Canes said.

“It just would be tragic. The shelters would be over-run with dogs. The domino effect is staggering – more abuse, more euthanasias, more dog fighting,” Jolly said.

Canes, who has been championing this cause for the last ten years, said Florida law prohibits any government in Florida from implementing this type of legislation. Miami-Dade County legally has this law in place because it was made before Florida law prohibited it.

“That does make me feel a little better. However, it doesn’t really help me sleep any easier,” Jolly said.

Four in Your Corner reached out to the Clewiston Commission, but has not heard back yet.