On October 1, 2023, a groundbreaking legislative decision will take effect, ending the ban on pit bulls and other prohibitions in Florida that restrict dogs based upon breed, weight or size. With this new development, many community associations that previously relied on local ordinances to restrict ownership of specific dog breeds such as pit bulls will need to consider making changes to their governing documents should they wish to continue enforcing such restrictions.
Florida’s decision to no longer ban specific breeds marks a significant shift in pet ownership policies within the state. For years, pit bulls have been a breed targeted by various community associations due to perceived safety concerns, leading to their exclusion from many communities. However, this legislation disallows public housing authorities from establishing regulations that target specific breeds, weights, or sizes. It is important to note that public housing authorities may still address any welfare or safety concerns caused by attacks on a person by a domestic animal.
Before October 1, 2023, community associations that wish to maintain their prohibition of pit bulls will need to amend their governing documents to include specific language regarding specific animals or breeds. Some associations already have such restrictions in place, but many rely on local ordinances to enforce dog breed bans, which will no longer be valid once the state law comes into effect.