The wife of new Miami Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle is going to bat for pit bulls. She rescued an American Staffordshire Terrier a year ago and he's on his way to becoming a therapy dog.
"He's been an amazing, amazing family member with my toddlers," Jamie Buehrle told the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners' Public Safety and Healthcare Administration Committee Tuesday.
She and her husband were forced to settle in Broward County because of Miami-Dade's 23-year-old ban on pit bulls.
"I can't imagine the people that didn't have the options that I had, that I could move a little further out, that I had the resources and time for a commute to be able to keep my family member, because that's exactly what he is," she said.
She found support from the majority of commissioners. They voted 3-1 to allow the 1989 ordinance banning pit bulls to go before voters on the August election ballot.
"I honestly believe it goes to the responsibility of the owner on what they do and how they treat the animal," said Commissioner Sally Haymen.
Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz agreed the law is discriminatory.
"Is a pit bull scary?" he asked. "Absolutely. I can't find the first person that won't say a pit bull can be very scary, so could a Doberman."
Commissioner Barbara Jordan was the only one to vote against letting the voter decide.
"I remember when a pit bull moved in next door to my daughter's home, with my then-three grandchildren, and the dog kept trying to get to them," she said.
She called animal services to have the dog removed.
Buehrle said not all dogs of a certain breed behave the same way.
"We are not in any way condoning breeds to be dangerous, we truly want owners to be responsible," she added.
The ballot question will go before voters on August 14 in the Miami-Dade County primary.