Joseph Turner, Global Animal
(PIT BULL BAN) MIAMI — To the excitement of Marlins fans, all-star pitcher Mark Buehrle decided to relocate his family to Miami. However, his Staffordshire Terrier named Slater did not receive the same warm welcome as Miami-Dade County, the site of the Marlins new ballpark, has a ban on pit bulls. In response to the pit bull ban, the Buehrle family moved to Broward County instead. While the pitcher will have a longer commute to the ballpark, the Buehrle family will live in a community where Slater will be accepted.
The Dade County code, dating back to 1989, calls for the ban because “pit bull dogs presented a danger to the health and welfare of the citizens of Dade County, different in degree and kind, from the dangers presented by other breeds of dogs.” However, the ASPCA notes that violent behaviors exhibited by pit bulls tend to be over reported. Pit bulls also tend to be blamed for acts of aggression even when the breed of the dog is unknown. While the Dade County vilifies pit bulls as having an “inbred propensity to attack other animals,” Buehrle believes “every kind of dog has good and bad, and that depends on the handler.” Ultimately, the guardian plays a large role in developing his or her dog’s behavior.
Since his time with the Chicago White Sox, Mark Buehrle and his wife Jamie have advocated for animals in need. In addition to volunteering for various organizations, the Buehrles helped establish the program Sox for Strays in order to encourage fans to adopt their next pet. Jamie hopes to institute a similar program with her husband’s new team.
Last season, Major League Baseball encouraged fans to bring their dogs to games, adopt pets, and donate to organizations helping animals in need. With a baseball team in town now, Miami Dade-County should follow MLB’s compassion for animals and eliminate this ban on pit bulls.