Pit bull ban: Heated debate brewing in Broward County over whether or not to ban pit bulls

The debate over whether or not to ban pit bulls in Broward County will be discussed today and dozens of people are expected to attend a county hearing to comment on the issue.

The Sun Sentinel reports that a ban would be unlikely, according to state legislators.

Currently counties in Florida are unable to ban dogs by breed.

Commissioner Barbara Sharief, the proposal's sponsor, is asking whether to seek a change in state law, enabling Broward County to decide for itself whether or not to ban certain dog breeds like pit bulls, the Sun Sentinel reports.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Sharief says her district in southwest Broward County is a dumping ground for pit bulls from Miami-Dade County, where the breed has been banned since 1989.

The Miami-Dade County ban pre-dates the state law and voters upheld that ban in November.

According to the Sun Sentinel , Sharief's proposal would have the county:

- Allowing existing owners to keep their dogs, but impose a fine for acquiring additional animals with pit bull characteristics.

- Seek a county law punishing those that teach dogs to fight with a $500 fine.

- Ask the county to toughen its laws, making it so that failing to register a dog or get it vaccinated would lead to a $300 fine.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Dianne Suave, head of the Palm Beach County Animal Control, is firmly opposed.

She says a better solution would be to impose hefty fees for anyone that takes a dog from an animal shelter without first getting it sterilized.

Sharief maintains that she doesn't have anything against the animals, but is convinced pit bulls need to go, citing county-provided statistics saying there were 225 pit bull related attacks in Broward County over the last two years, according to the Sun Sentinel .

To read the full Sun Sentinel story, click here .

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