Courtesy of Channel 5 WPTV West Palm Beach
Published October 9, 2023
WEST PALM BEACH — Dozens of new laws went into effect in the state of
Florida, starting Sunday.
One of the new rules deals with specific breeds of dogs, making some changes
to the existing “Dangerous Dogs” law in the state.
The change stops local governments like counties, cities
and municipalities from banning specific breeds, including
German shepherds or pit bulls.
Banning dogs because of their size or weight is out of the
Jan Steele with Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control
said this is a small step forward.
“These big dogs, bully breeds, they’re great animals,
they’re very good family dogs,” she said. “They’re very
devoted to their family. They’re just big, and scary looking
to some people.”
According to Steele, private landlords and homeowners’
associations can still ban certain dogs, so it can cause
"It’s going to help," she said. "I don’t want people to
think it doesn’t, but it is going to be very limited because
it’s public housing and the municipalities themselves. If
you allow pets at all, you should be able to allow all of
them. These dogs are great dogs. If you’ve ever had a pitty
mix, or German shepherd, or a great Dane, you know they’re
great family dogs. Once they bond with families, they’ll be
with you for life."
Dozens of new laws have gone into effect in the state
of Florida, starting this Sunday. One of the new rules deals with
specific breeds of dogs, making some changes to the existing
“Dangerous Dogs” law in the state.
Before this new rule, a county could restrict people from
having a dog over a certain weight or size if there were any safety
At least a dozen other states have gotten rid of their breed-specific
legislation, according to stopbsl.org, a watchdog website on this topic.
“A lot of states are removing restrictions for breeds because we find out
that a dog is a dog,” Steele said. “It doesn’t matter what breed it is. If
they are treated well, they’ll be amazing family dogs. If they’re not
treated well, they’ll have some trouble. If we take away this bias against
bully breeds and large breeds and just look at them as a dog, they’re great.
What makes them dangerous is people mistreating them. It is not the dogs
Steele also said this could help alleviate some of the overcrowding at
shelters if people are open to adopting bigger dogs, and they live in an
area where the old ban is now lifted.