Breed Specific Legislation has contributed to the senseless death of so many animals. Animals who are captured within a county where they are banned are taken into high kill shelters and euthanized without a chance for adoption. They are not evaluated on their temperament or behavior, and it doesn’t matter if they are well-behaved family dogs. The only thing that matters is their breed. They are given days, sometimes only hours, to allow certain rescue groups to pull them from these shelters. Organizations like our own have helped to pull as many of these innocent animals as possible, but unfortunately there is only so much that can be done. It is for this reason that we ask everyone to TAKE A STAND against Breed Specific Legislation. These bans do nothing to solve real issues such as dog fighting and animal cruelty. These ordinances have proven that they don’t work. They take beloved pets away from their families, only to let them be killed in vain. Let’s solve the real problem: FIGHT to STOP Breed Specific Legislation! Support the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation.
Today it’s my dog, tomorrow it may be yours!
Below are the images of animals that have been KILLED because of BSL. Don’t let this same injustice happen to you and your pet. Together we can fight these inhumane ordinances.
Chocolate is the reason why MCABSL was formed and why thousands of dog’s lives have been saved. Dahlia, our Founder, rescued her many years back, she was found on the streets of Miami, in horrible condition. This dog had lead a miserable life of abuse, fought and over bred. Dahlia took her in until she was confiscated by Miami-Dade county, she managed to get her back but choci remained “hidden’ until she was 14 years old and no longer conformed to the physical MDAS pit bull standards. Chocolate “Choci” died peacefully peacefully in Dahlia’s arms at the approximate age of 15 1/2yrs old due to a medical condition brought on by old age. Choci, will forever be our inspiration and will be greatly missed by all those whose lives she touched. R.I.P. Sweet Girl.
Our beloved mascot
Evidence was as real as can be. He was confiscated from his family in Miami Dade County at the prime age of approximately 15 years in 2010. He was labeled a Pit Bull on intake at MDAS and thru much to do, I managed to get him out of the shelter as he was set for euthanasia based on the breed. Our MCABSL Board Members took turns fostering him. He was an incredible noble sentient being. After a few weeks, his health started declining and I took him myself to Dr. Raul Jimenez. Diagnostics test, blood work, and other tests were performed. There was no conclusive medical diagnosis or reason for him to have been in that state. Then, Evidence looked into my eyes and the diagnosis was concluded. He was dying of a broken heart. There was nothing else to do, he was suffering not being able to understand why he had been taken away from his family. I held him in my arms, while Dr. Jimenez administered the injection, we looked into each others eyes until he took his last breath. Evidence touched so many of our lives that he became eternally embedded in MCABSL as our logo/mascot.
Litigation was also real. I received a call one day in reference to “Trunk Fighting.” An investigation was launched and the fighting ring was caught along with the dogs and pups. They all went to MDAS and obviously MCABSL became involved. With the assistance of our rescue networks, we were able to save every single dog from that event, except for the Mama dog, who had been so utterly abused, fought, over bred and malnourished, that emotionally and physically, she was suffering to the point of no return. I remember sitting on the floor in front of her kennel apologizing, attempting to explain to her that not all humans were monsters. I solemnly promised her that all her babies would be saved. With that, she gave me a look that I shall never forget until my dying day. She understood and thanked me. She was humanely euthanized that day. In her honor we added her on to our logo.
The inspiration behind Rugaz Rescue
This dog was truly the start of it all for Devlyn, the Director/Founder of Rugaz Rescue Inc. He came to Devlyn, as a simple fluke of timing. She went to visit her local SPCA one day to see some old friends and someone pointed out they had a dog she would absolutely fall in love with. Well she walked in the kennel, and low and behold, she did instantly fall in love with his face.
She lived in an apartment which wouldn’t allow an APBT, so she diligently started looking for other places to move. She found a home that was not breed specific and she would move in and have Ruger by her side.The SPCA claimed he was only “5 years old, just beat up”. Well after getting Ruger settled into their new home she took him to her veterinarian who aged him to be around 12 years old. Not only was she devastated that her new companion was so old, but felt completely taken advantage of with her feelings and emotions.
The age made Devlyn uncomfortable but didn’t stop her from fulfilling her commitment and love to Ruger. She already had an unmeasurable bond with this dog that most people could not imagine.He walked by her side, unleashed, day after day, as they installed the new fencing at the new house, never once leaving her side. For eight months he was her everything, her companion, who many would jokingly refer to as her husband.
When you ask Devlyn why she didn’t take him back to the SPCA after learning his true age, or why she immediately loved him the way she did, this is her answer: “From the moment I put my hand on his kennel and touched him, I knew he would become my world.” They loved each other unconditionally and were fully emotionally connected. He never had an accident in the house, never chewed one thing in their new home that wasn’t his, he accepted any dog I brought our way, he was an amazing car rider, and he never needed to be leashed because he never left her side. He always walked incredibly on a leash, though not needing one, he loved children with his whole heart, and above all he truly was an Ambassador for his breed. Though she only had Ruger for those short eight months, she wouldn’t change their time together for the world.
After her incredible time spent with Ruger, Devlyn has rescued 9 Senior dogs herself and implemented the “Project Golden Years” in Rugaz Rescue Inc.
There is no doubt in Devlyn’s mind that her Ruger is waiting for her and she, herself, longs for the day when they are reunited forever.”
Breed Ambassador / Film Star
“Around 10:30am today (12/26/17) he took his last breath in my arms and past away on his own. Even though the pain can not be expressed I was glad to be their with his last breath. Please remember Hercules for who he was and what he has done for the pitbull breed. He will always be a legend to me. “
R.I.P. Hercules, you were an amazing breed ambassador and will be missed dearly.
~ From everyone at MCABSL
Let me start off by saying that when I was asked to write this memorial for Kami I was enthusiastic but as I had started to write ,it became extremely difficult . Kami was so much more than just a pet to me . She was my self esteem , my life force ,,,, In fact she was the only thing that kept me wanting to open my eyes the next day .
Kami was born in August of 2006. My daughter Chelsea was working at Pet Supermarket in Pembroke Pines at the time . One day a gentlemen came into the store and asked the employees if they were interested in buying one of the pit bull puppies he had in the box . Chelsea has told me that everyone one of the puppies had run to the edge of the box for attention when she noticed the one lone puppy at the other side that was just awakening from her nap . This puppy opened her eyes and Chelsea immediately noticed that her eyes were different colors . One brownish green and the other blue . She told the man she had to have that one . Now ,, you have to understand at the time I didn’t know anything about pit bulls . I was like many who had been taught by the media that they were “monsters” that would turn on you without warning . I was extremely hesitant when we went to the guys house to get her . I told my daughter that god forbid if anything should happen to any one of us , especially my youngest daughter Haley that was only 7 at the time . We went into the house to pick her up. We were greeted by Kami’s mother and several other puppies of her litter .
Fast forward ; I couldn’t have been more wrong about how I felt about pit bulls . Kami instantly became my sidekick. I took her for rides in the car , went for long walks and showed her off to friends . I was so proud to be the daddy of my pittie daughter .
A couple years later my wife and I had separated/ divorced. This is when my life started falling apart emotionally , physically as emotionally. The relationship between my wife and I was extremely strained . My work schedule was hell as my work was a thousand miles away .Working out of town for 12 days of the month and then returning home was a living hell . Thankfully my doggie babysitter , Charyl Barr would take Kami during the time I was gone but my mind was at ease knowing she treated her with all the love and respect just as I did .
Kami was my soulmate . My wife today would always say she was my “other wife”. She gave me the kind companionship that only a dog could ever give . She loved me with all her heart and soul as I did the same for her . The next 12 years , as with anyone else , life had all of its ups and downs but Kami was always there for me . Taking her to the beach became a weekly thing as did going to T.Y. Park daily for a quick swim and a walk around the park . We were inseparable . In 2016 I married a woman from the Philippines that was as crazy and compassionate about animals as I was . She saw my profile picture of Facebook which was a picture of Kami and I on Hollywood Beach . Friscelyn fell in love with Kami and I know Kami’s feelings weremutual . They had a kind of loving bond that a mother would have with her daughter . . We went everywhere together; trips to Jupiter Beach so she could run free on the beach chasing crabs and multiple trips to Universal Studios . Kami’s 12th Birthday we celebrated her birthday at a house we rented in Orlando that had a pool because my girl loved to swim . What a beautiful evening it was . I had my kids up there with us along with my 4 year old granddaughter. I grilled out that night for everyone AND Kami ,,, of course !! We had a fire pit to roast marshmallows and naturally I had Kami’s favorite cake for her birthday ; a coconut cream cake that she happily devoured . What a great time we all had . The day that we were leaving to go back to Hollywood , I don’t know what persuaded me but I told my wife that day to save Kami’s birthday banners , streamers , etc . I just had that much of a connection with Kami . It was almost as if we could read each other’s minds . The following year Kami had several episodes when she would be short of breath or what seemed to be her struggling to catch her breath . We took her to her vet and diagnosed her with an elongated epiglottis that was restricting her airway . They performed the surgery to take care of this matter . We were so hopeful that our baby girl would be healed up soon and would be able to do her normal routines . I flew out one evening to go to work as I had been doing for years . I gave my baby all the kisses and hugs that any doting father would give his child before leaving and assured her as always that daddy would be back soon and we’d go to her favorite place; the beach . Four days after I left I will never ever forget my father come to my business in tears telling me that my sweet baby had died . My wife was distraught that she couldn’t even find the words to tell me that Kami had passed so she talked to my father to give me the news . My father is not an o early emotional person but he knew how much I loved my Kami and it really affected him knowing the love that I had for my girl . This was June 2019 last year . God how my life has felt so very empty since she’s been gone . I dream about her all of the time . There are times I dream of her and I’m so afraid to lie her too much because I know I’m on borrowed time and she has to go back. The love she always gave me I will never forget . Even death cannot destroy the bond that we have . I will see you again Kami . One day we will be together forever walking on the warm sands on the beach ,,,, somewhere .
“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?”
— John Grogan
Kami was Jeff’s service dog without a fancy title, She was his loving best friend and sidekick. She was also 1 of MCABSL’s champion kissers at our kissing booth, an a true example of what a pit bull really is.
I am a disabled veteran, and this is my story about a special dog that saved my life. At just 7 weeks old a Blue Bully named Blue was given to me to be fostered. I had recently lost my red staffordshire terrier. I was heartbroken and wasn’t sure if I was ready for a new dog. Blue was young, wild and full of energy. I didn’t know if I could handle him, but after a few short weeks Blue became my best friend and a special gift sent to me at my time of need.
He was not only a service dog to me, he gave me the strength to keep living, and motivated me to become the voice of these beautiful animals that have been discriminated against through no fault other than people being misinformed Blue was at my side at conferences, TV appearances, doctor visits, but most importantly, he was there at my darkest moments, and he instinctively knew how to make me smile and keep fighting.
Tragically, on July 4th 2016 fireworks scared him and he ran into the street where he was struck and killed by a car. His death, though heartbreaking, empowered me to keep on the path we started together. He left behind 13 puppies that were born on July 9th that all became service dogs for veterans and first responders. This year marks the 4th anniversary of Blues for Vets. A non profit organization I founded in his memory. Blue not only changed my life but the lives of others through awareness, eduction, and changed the way people see these beautiful animals. In 2017, Blues for Vets in conjunction with Miami Coalition Against Breed Select Legislation was able to come to an agreement with Miami Dade Animal Services Department and abide with the American Disabilities Act and change their internal policy and allow any service pets regardless of their breed. Hopefully, with the continued support of our advocates and animal lovers, we can overturn the 1989 pitbull ban. In memory of Blue, my angel sent from heaven. 8/27/2014 – 7/4/2016 Raquel L. Cruz
Around 2008 Dahlia Canes rescued a gorgeous little blue pittie through MDAS, named her Omama and fostered her, until Jessie Hernandez, a friend, and rescuer fell in love with her and adopted her. She was renamed Blueberry. Blueberry quickly became a fixture as an ambassador for MCABSL She attended all of our peaceful demonstrations, events, was one of our kissing booth kissers, and appeared in our documentaries. She was one of our beloved breed ambassadors. Blueberry succumbed to cancer and passed away peacefully in Jessie’s arms in 2018. Rest In Peace O great ambassador.
Peanut was in a shelter for 6 months before a rescue took her in. This was a high-kill shelter, but they adored Peanut, and literally began changing her name from time to time so that no one would realize she was there for so long. Finally, the shelter reached out to a rescue, because they were afraid she would be euthanized. It was another 6 months in foster care with the rescue, before she was adopted by Sharon and Tom Athanasiou. It was amazing how no one scooped up this perfect gem sooner, but with such a tremendous amount of bully breeds up for adoption, so many great bully breeds are often overlooked.
Peanut had a toy poodle brother named Fluffernutter, a maltese brother named Vanillabean, and a cat brother named Junior. They all took to Peanut immediately. Peanut was calm, confident, caring, gentle, and full of so much pure love. Peanut seemed to enjoy staying close to Junior the most, as he was the eldest (19!). Peanut was a very motherly girl, too! She once stood between 2 smaller dogs who were fighting at a local park, and did not move until they separated. Also, when Vanillabean once tried to challenge a doberman during a walk, Peanut verbally scolded Vanillabean, as if to say (in her own disciplinary barking tone), “Stop that nonsense immediately! He’s ten times your size!” She also was very caring in regard to children, and absolutely adored them! She seemed to gravitate to kids, and kids gravitated toward her! She even had a special playdate with a child that she met once; the child’s parents could not get over how gentle and intuitive Peanut was, and requested that they see each other again.
Eventually, a new maltese, Melodybean, was adopted into the family, and, as expected, Melodybean loved being by Peanut’s side. When Sharon and Tom petsat for a friend’s poodle pup named Rosie, Peanut went into mama mode, and baby Rosie and Peanut were inseparable. Rosie’s human dad is convinced that Rosie thought Peanut was her mother!
Peanut changed the minds of so many about pitbull-type dogs. From an FBI agent who lived across the street, to police officers, to people who simply once believed that pitbulls were terrible, but had never actually met one. In fact, Peanut left such an impression on people, that friends who used to fawn over her tiny breeds, became entirely obsessed with this beautiful big girl!
Peanut passed away in 2017 from lymphoma. And although Sharon and Tom want to welcome another pitbull into their home eventually, she is quite a hard act to follow, and even to this day, they are still not ready. Peanut’s pure heart, deep soul, and incomparable, loving personality leave them with treasured memories that live on forever. There will never be another like Peanut.
Damian was a full American Pit Bull Terrier Razor’s Edge dog. He was one of the first breed ambassadors for MCABSL. He traveled with MCABSL, demonstrating to the world just how wonderful this breed can be. Unfortunately his life was cut short at the young age of 7.5. We had to let him go. RIP sweet boy.
This pittie was rescued by Dahlia Canes from a high kill shelter in upper Florida. She was fully pregnant and on the euthanasia list. It took 3 different transports to get this dog to Miami Lakes to Dahlia Canes home. She named the dog Katana
after a cuban saying. Katana stayed with Dahlia Canes throughout her pregnancy. All 11 puppies and Katana were placed in good homes and were given a baby shower. Katana succumbed to cancer in 2017, and passed in her owner’s arms.
In 2008 Dahlia Canes rescued from MDAS a handsome pit bull looking dog and named him Opapa. She fostered him for awhile, and he was soon adopted by one of our members.He was always present at all of our pit-nics, and bbq’s, and one of Dahlia Canes favorite rescues. He succumbed to cancer in 2018 in his owner’s arms.
Lucky was Mr. Felix Conde’s service dog. Mr. Conde was one of MCABSL’s Board of Directors. As a result of Miami-Dade County’s Pit Bull Ban, Lucky’s life was threatened as the county attempted to confiscate him, even though he was a service dog under American Disabilities Act (ADA). MCABSL was contacted and a long battle ensued. Miami-Dade County finally recognized that Mr. Conde was a disabled person under ADA and therefor his American Pit Bull Terrier was legal in Miami-Dade County, as it falls under federal law. Shortly after this tremendous win and recognition Lucky passed away due to medical complications. Thank you Lucky and Felix for giving us a chance to fight in the name of all service dogs, without focusing on the breed.
Lennox & his family lost their fight on July 11, 2011. He was removed from his home where he was a Service Dog for his beloved little girl. Despite all the attempts by his family and many celebrities, the government in Belfast, chose to murder Lennox just because he resembled a “Pit Bull Type” dog. This fight was a long and hard one over the course of a few years and in the end, the family was not even granted a final farewell. Their plea fell on deaf ears to hold their dog one last time or even reclaim his body for burial/cremation. A letter issued to them stated they “might get some ashes in the mail”. We must never forget the fight many like this family have endured and will continue to endure if the ignorance of BSL continues to reign supreme.
R.I.P. Sweet Lennox, know your family loved you and fought for you and will never forget you.
Pilar Borras first experience with Pitties was at one of our MCABSL kissing booths. They won her heart and as a direct result, her and her husband Ivan, adopted a tiny fawn colored puppy. They named him Tank. He was always present at our events and served as a great breed ambassador.The bond between them grew so strong that shy Pilar was no longer shy and started speaking out against BSL defending the breed. She became one of MCABSL’s most ardent Board Members. Unfortunately recently, in 2020, Tank was diagnosed with Cancer. He shortly there after passed away in the presence of Pilar. R.I.P. angel.
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. Saying farewell, for now, to a rescue dog that rescued me. Emily (named after my grandmother Emilia) came into my life at an adoption event in 2008 at the old MDAS. I was helping out and while cleaning kennels this totally shaved dog who had been in their intensive care unit with IV’s, as she was found wandering on the streets of Miami, literally hugged my neck with her two front paws. I promised her I’d find her a home tomorrow at the actual adoption event. Well the event came and went and this poor little dog was still there. I opened the kennel, she hugged me again, I looked up and said “I guess I’m it…” Time passed and her breed was finally revealed as she looked like a little rat at first. A Miniature Schnauzer, one of my favorite breeds. She became my Service Dog and traveled with me to more MCABSL events then our breed ambassadors did. She was strong, intelligent, intuitive and had a hell of a personality. She allowed me to fulfill my work against BSL. Her traveling companions ranged from Damian, Blueberry to Chocolate. She attended events everywhere ranging from BSL Power Point Presentations at Universities to fund raising events. She was never my side kick, as a matter of fact, I was hers. At a Washington DC event, the first day in the hotel lobby was “Good Morning Ms. Canes.” After 3 days, it became “Good Morning Emily in the lobby.” She was the first dog representing MCABSL on the news, with David Sutta on Channel 4. She stood up for her Pibble friends. When my Mom became ill, she in turn knew what to do. She turned into her Service Dog all on her own. She never left her side until she was placed in the nursing home. It then became my turn to service her…The bond between us is beyond human comprehension and she will forever stay by my side until we meet again. I will miss you terribly, I will shed happy tears when thoughts of our times come to mind and I will love you forever my little Emily. May God have you in his arms and may your spirit guide me. You have truly been a blessing in my life and in the lives of so many other dogs and humans. Thank you.
She passed away a year ago but she will forever be a part of our family. When I walked her people would stare and they would give dirty looks to my parents, as if “how dare you endanger a child with such an animal.” What they didn’t know is that she was my perfect manicure partner. She would seat still until I painted her nails. She would cuddle with me to watch TV or while I read a book. She loved going to the dog park and doing roll overs on command. If you tickled her behind her ear she would lose it and start lifting one of her back paws until she melted on the floor, but she wanted more. She would put her paw on your hand to let you know she still needed more cuddles and more petting. She was my best friend. A loving and beautiful Doberman pinscher named Akasha, who we love and miss every day. She was my pet, my friend, my family and even when people would rather cross the street when they saw her in her walks even with her leash on, her eyes had nothing but love and kindness for them. The eyes of the humans were filled with prejudice and disdain, her eyes with love and affection. Breed specific legislation destroys happy families. I will forever be against breed specific legislation.