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Miami-Dade County pit bull owners use service-animal loophole to skirt breed ban

July 12, 2010 |  1:05 pm

Pitty 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.

RELATED PIT BULL NEWS:
San Bernardino County weighs mandatory spay/neuter for pit bulls and pit bull mixes
Riverside's quick fix for pit bull population explosion: free sterilization

-- Associated Press

Photo: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

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