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Thursday, Aug 25, 2016
Local News

Some pit bulls skirt Miami-Dade ban as service dogs

MIAMI - Officials in Miami-Dade County say a small but growing group of pit bull owners has found a loophole in the county's ban against the breed. Miami-Dade Animal Services reports that about a half-dozen pit bulls have been registered as service animals for people with disabilities. Federal rules governing service animals trump the local ban, enacted in 1989 after an 8-year-old girl was mauled by a neighbor's pit bull. Investigator supervisor Kathy Labrada says it's a challenge to verify that a pit bull is a service animal because the federal rules don't require any special certification and restrict what the county can ask about an individual's disabilities. Pit bull owners can face a $500 fine and possible court hearings in Miami-Dade, which considers the breed to be dangerous.