Disabled Man Sues Miami-Dade County, Florida over Pit Bull Service Dog
Felix Conde, a resident of Aventura, Florida in the county of Miami-Dade, has filed a lawsuit to challenge Miami-Dade County’s 24-year-old pit bull ban. Passed in 1989, Miami-Dade’s breed-specific legislation (BSL) prohibits so-called pit bulls within the county, no exceptions, not even for service dogs.
Mr. Conde suffers from a breathing ailment that qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and so Conde’s service dog is absolutely necessary for him. Yet police came militantly to Mr. Conde’s residence one morning earlier this year looking for Conde’s service dog, a pit bull ironically named Lucky, and “Miami-Dade ordered Mr. Conde to remove Lucky from the jurisdiction, which he did, and subsequently assessed more than $10,000 in penalties . . . ” (Local10).
Now Mr. Conde and his wife, Gloria Laverde, are challenging Miami-Dade’s pit bull ban claiming an ADA violation. Mr. Conde’s attorney released a statement which read in part:
Mr. Conde and his wife have file the lawsuit in federal court in Miami, asking for a declaration that the Miami-Dade County ordinance violates federal law, namely the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that the County has violated the plaintiffs’ civil rights by removing Lucky from them and assessing penalties.
With the obvious injustice done to Mr. Conde, if Miami-Dade’s longstanding, ineffective breed-specific law is not overturned, then we can no longer say in this country that justice is for all.
Read a copy of the complaint here.