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State Representative Perry Thurston is pushing a bill that would allow cities in Florida to prohibit residents from owning certain breeds of dogs, possibly punishing well-behaved dogs owned by responsible people. PETA supports this bill, while The Humane Society of the United States and The Florida Animal Control Association think the bill is a poor proposal.

If this bill should pass, each city in Florida will have the ability to ban any breed of dog that they deem a threat to society. Some of the breeds specifically targeted in this debate are terrier mix breeds, pit bulls, shepherd mixes, lab mixes, and chow mixes, although the actual breeds that may be banned will be determined by each city.

Although some of these breeds may have been classified previously as dangerous by some, Lee County Animal Services has many different dogs in their custody for biting someone, including a Chihuahua.

Donald Cohen, of the Gulf Coast Humane Society states, “Condemn the deed not the breed. It worries me a great deal because there are good pet owners out there that love their animals and banning a pet just because it’s a particular breed is wrong.”

“I don’t think there’s any such thing as a dangerous breed. I think there’s something called a dangerous owner,” said Cohen.

PETA believes this bill will keep negligent dog owners from intentionally raising particular breeds to be vicious.

The Humane Society strongly believes that if the bill passes, a lot of pets would be pointlessly euthanized.

Personally, I believe that this bill could become a serious problem for residents of Florida, like myself. More should be done to punish the individuals who train dogs to be vicious. More should be done to stop dog fighting rings. Punish the people, not the animals.

A dog’s breed is only the half of it, a dog’s personality and behavior are a direct reflection of their owner.