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Bills seek to revoke Miami-Dade's 34-year-old pit bull ban

Bills seek to revoke Miami-Dade's 34-year-old pit bull ban
Bills seek to revoke Miami-Dade's 34-year-old pit bull ban 02:07

MIAMI - Miami-Dade County's 34-year-old pit bull ban could end this year if lawmakers pass related bills currently in the Florida Legislature. 

Bills SB 942, HB 941, sponsored by Miami-Dade Republicans, would remove the breed ban and prohibit local governments from enacting additional restrictions.

If the measures pass, Miami-Dade County would have to end its ban on pit bulls, a ban which started in 1989 after a little girl was mauled. 

Melissa Moreira was that girl attacked by a pit bull back when she was just 7 years old.

In a previous CBS News Miami interview, Moreira said, "As a child that went through over eight reconstructive plastic surgeries to my face, it is alarming that the ban could now be lifted."

Moreira's attack was instrumental in Miami-Dade County implementing a pit bull ban. She says the incident was so traumatizing that he still remembers it vividly.

"We were unloading groceries because we've been away all weekend and the dog came out of nowhere, knocked me down, ripped off almost most of my lip," she recalled. "It was able to be salvaged and most of my forehead, which I had to have about eight plastic surgeries after that."

Moreira said lifting the ban would bring her stress. 

"It would completely change the way I would interact outside of my home knowing that anyone could have a pit bull next door to me," she said. 

Pit bull rescue workers disagree with the ban and would like to see it lifted.

"I don't believe that all of these dogs are bad, I think a lot of it falls on the owner," said Roni Tanenbaum with Helping Paws 22 Rescue.

If the bills pass, the ban could end this year and local governments would be prohibited from enacting additional restrictions.

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