Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Florida: II

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On January 25th, 2011, State Representative Louis R. Garcia, Jr, filed House Bill 4075. It was rolled into Senate Bill 722 and on June 21st, 2011 it was signed into law by the Governor. The bill removed the Dangerous Dog designation from dogs removed from dogfighting operations, and allows them to be adopted out by rescues, humane societies, and animal shelters.

Also in January 2011, newly elected Chip LaMarca took his seat as a Broward County Commissioner. He had won with the support of pit bull advocacy groups and rewarded his supporters by quickly pushing through dog legislation. His new legislation allows violent dogs which kill our MVAC to return to the safety and comfort of their homes.

The press release from Representative Garcia's office reports that the legislation was  ". . .  supported by Best Friends Animal Society, a national companion animal rescue and advocacy group."  It goes on to quote Ledy Vankavage, the senior legislative attorney for Best Friends. Vankavage, as well as other local pit bull advocacy groups such as NCNMHP, continue to lobby against existing laws which protect the public safety.

In the calendar year that began in January 2011, when Garcia submitted his bill and LaMarca took his seat, there were at least 17 attacks on humans by pit bulls in Florida. Nine of the victims were children, eight victims were adults. One pit bull attack was a canine homicide, resulting in the dismemberment and death of Ray McSweeney. There were fourteen disfigurements, all by pit bulls or close mixes.* This does not count the untold attacks, many of which resulted in death, on our More Vulnerable Animal Companions.

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Related posts: Lake MaryLake Mary II; Broward County; Florida Dog Laws

Statistics are from Dog Attack Deaths & Maimings (January 2012), published by Animal People.

Sources: Press Release Jan 25, 2011

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks