TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new provision to Florida’s “Dangerous Dogs” law will effectively bar local governments from banning specific dog breeds like German shepherds or pit bulls starting in October.
Currently, a county can restrict owners from having a dog over a certain weight or size if the dog poses a safety and welfare concern following an attack as long as the ordinance is not breed-specific. But that is about to change.
Effective Oct. 1, 2023, the new law will add weight and size as prohibited topics in addition to breed.
Public housing authorities, however, will be allowed to enact policies pertaining to dangerous dogs, but they may not be specific to breed, size, or weight.
Finally, the bill removes the grandfather provision which allowed local governments to enforce dog breed-specific regulations that were adopted before Oct. 1, 1990. This change effectively nullifies Miami-Dade County’s and the City of Sunrise’s existing restrictions on owners of “pit bull dogs.”
The law was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 16, 2023. See the full list of new laws taking effect on Oct. 1, 2023.