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BSL: Breed Law

Mark Buehrle’s Fur Family Not Welcomed in Toronto

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For the last 11- months, Miami Marlins pitcher, Mark Buehrle and his family, which includes a beloved American Staffordshire Terrier named Slater, have been living outside of the city he plays for, in nearby Broward County. The dog-loving pitcher can’t call Miami-Dade County home because of breed-specific legislation that prevents the family’s “bully breed” from residing there.

But, the family made it work. Buehrle made the commute from pit-friendly Broward to Miami-Dade for practice and home games, while petitioning and rallying to end Miami-Dade County’s longstanding 24-year ban on his dog.

But now, the family and their four dogs are headed to Canada after the famed pitcher was traded last Tuesday to the Toronto Blue Jays, as reported by Yahoo! Sports.

What’s worse that being traded to another team after only 11-months of a 4-year contract? Being traded to an area which has even stricter bans than his former South Florida residence. In fact, the entire providence of Ontario has banned pit bulls and bully breeds since 2005, so the family is forced into a terrible choice – to keep their entire family intact and make the very long commute from Quebec each day, or find a new home for furbaby, Slater.

Whatever he outcome, Buehrle and his family are sure to make their voices heard. A long time ambassador for the pit bull breed and outspoken dog advocate, Buehrle and his wife, Jamie were in-part responsible for Miami-Dade’s vote to end pit bull restrictions during his time with the Marlins, started the “Sox for Strays” charity while he pitched for the Chicago White Sox, and were highly outspoken against NFL star Michael Vick for his part in bankrolling a dog fighting ring.

In this public service announcement for Adopt-a-Pet, Mark, Jamie, and their 4 rescued dogs (3 Vizslas and 1 Staffordshire Bull Terrier, promote dog adoption and rescue.

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  1. Avatar Of Tony Lilich Tony Lilich says:

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  6. Avatar Of Anastasia Acevedo

    Anastasia Acevedo


    Many of the comments above about dogs like labs biting do not take into account labs are also the #1 most popular breed in America (and German Shepards are one of, if not the most, popular breed world-wide), so statistically one would expect a higher number of bites by those breed- just like the Toyota Camry is both the #1 best selling and also #1 most stolen car in America..the attack rate is proprotional to teh fact there are huge numbers of labs/shepards. Whereas, pits cause over 60% of DEATHS when they are only 5% of the dog population. And, BITES are not FATALITIES; there is a huge difference- like the silly argument about cat scratches. Pits maul kids’ faces and kill people in far greater proportion (to their percentage of the dog population) than any other breed regardless of whether they have a “bad owner” who trained them to fight. In fact. most are pets well known to the victim. I’ll take a scratch from my cat over a pit-mauling of my kid any day. Might need antibiotics, but not plastic surgery or a child-sized casket.

  7. Avatar Of Anastasia Acevedo

    Anastasia Acevedo


    Two pit bull just killed an 14 month old child and mauled the mother in Wisconsin- these were the woman’s family pets. Not long ago one killed its owner, a pregnant woman, here in Pacifica, CA. Why so many stories of pits killing people and never stories about Golden Retrievers killing people? Not just media bias: while there is the training/owner side of things, the fact remains that pits have been geentically breed for ages to be fighters and they have more pounds-per-square inch pressure in their jaws than any other breed. Soft-mouthed bird dogs like retrievers just do not have those genetic fighting traits, instinct to kill small animals (and infant/toddlers) or jaw strength. Tiny dogs, while they may be nippy, aren’t big or powerful enough to kill a child. From 2005 to 2012 pits and rotweilers caused 70% of the human deaths by dog in the US; despite the fact pits are only 5% of the dog population they caused over 60% of the deaths. Only 3 percent of dog-bite deaths in that 8 yr period were caused by breeds other than pit, rottie, German shepard and pit mix (one death each for 9 different “other than” breeds.. 9 in 8 years meaning one a year for “other than.” breeds) . A majority of those dog bite deaths were caused by family owned pets and a third of them involved other family members/roommates and houseguests of the owner- a large number of the fatalities occuring among children under age 2. These are not just random street attacks or thug-owned dogs trained to fight. Breed does matter when talking about public safety, and a lot of research has been published that supports breed-specific bans when such bans are challenged in the courts.

  8. Avatar Of Deborah Sorenson

    Deborah Sorenson


    I think that the PITBULL AWARENESS GROUP needs to be made aware that this breed consisitently both purebred and cross bred dogs attack and kill or mame and injure other animals and people. We have an instance where a neighbours dog has killed a rooster and now likes to chase and bite the hind legs of horses….causing injuries to 4 horses in one month. I have seen it happen while riding my horse as well. If people owning these notorious dogs want them then keep them leashed or confined in a run. Caution and concern for others and their animals would be the first step. However not the complete answer…I am FOR the bans. Good for Miami and Toronto…..Most certainly the incidents in those cities I would bet are much les than without the ban in others.

  9. Avatar Of Matt



    Apparently I’m missing something. The No. 1 dog in the world for bites and attacks on humans you ask? The German Sheppard.

    The Pit Bull is No. 6 on that list behind the Labrador Retriever.

    So, should I go running for cover the next time I see Old Lady McGinty walking her Chocolate Lab down my street?

    I’ve been around 17 Pits in my life I can remember. 16 of the 17 were either normal or flat-out sissies. One used to run from my roommates Yorkie. Yep, that pit was terrifying!

    Our neighbor owns one. It is afraid of my … gulp … Boston Terrier.

    I’ll tell you, nothing more terrifying than the sight of a 27-pound Boston Terrier. He’ll lick you to death.


  10. Avatar Of Jim In Somd

    Jim in SOMD


    Tell mark to live in Buffalo. The commute is about 2 hours, but anyone who works in Washington, DC will tell you, 2 hours is a normal commute. Also once over the Peace Bridge, the drive is almost traffic free. Tim Horton did the reverse commute when he was traded from Toronto Maple Leafs to the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL.

  11. Avatar Of Leslie Weinberg

    Leslie Weinberg


    I have a suggestion. Have a DNA test done. There was a recent article which wrote about a number of dogs who appeared to be Pit who were DNA tested, and not one of them had any Pit. It could be possible in this case, in which no one could ban this dog!

  12. Avatar Of Rusty Lewis

    rusty lewis


    first of all, Ontario is a “province”, not a “providence”…Providence is an aact of God, and I doubt that Ontario qualifies. Second, why does Buerhle not just move to Buffalo? That’s a lot closer than Quebec and he does not have to learn French (yecch).

  13. Avatar Of Lynn



    Should of stayed in Chicago Mark instead of jumping ship to follow Ozzie.

  14. Avatar Of Susan



    When will our lawmakers realize it is not the breed, but pet guardians & breeders who create the problem of aggressive dogs. I know I’m not alone in stating that I’ve had more small dogs go after a part of my body than medium or large dogs. What about cats? How many of us have been scratched &/or attacked by cats? What are the restrictions on cats?

    Our most loving dog is a pit mix who we adopted from Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Unfortunately, when we were searching for a home in St. Louis County, Missouri six years ago, we had to take the breed and number of dogs we could have into consideration. So many cities, villages, etc. in our area had different laws on the books. We were not going to move to an area where our three dogs (1 pit mix & 2 spaniels)were not welcome.

    I can say I’m proud of the Buehrle family also, from the metro St. Louis, Missouri area and their strong stand for animal rights. Best wishes for bringing your knowledge to Canada.

  15. Avatar Of Edward



    These laws were enacted because a few idiots dont know how to handle their dogs, so everyone else has to suffer, my friend who has had many dogs over the years says his female pit bull is the best dog he has ever had.

  16. Avatar Of Toby



    Since 2005, there have been 100 human fatalities stemming from pit bull or “pit bull types” in the US alone. The breed that were second in this category were usually Rottweiler and accounted for approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the Pit bull’s numbers. Buehrle was most likely aware of many communities’ ban on the breed, and he found out about Miami’s ban on them when he was traded to the Marlins. There are many more towns in the US that enforce bans as well. US federal organizations like the Army and Marine Corps also have regulations against them. Buehrle must make a decision to either occasionally face a long commute home, rarely seeing his family for 9 months or so a year or choose to see his real (human)family when he’s playing at home.

  17. Avatar Of Andrew



    Sox should have never let him go.

  18. Avatar Of Deputy Dawg

    Deputy Dawg


    In the words of Jeff Probst

    Mike that’s 2 votes IDIOT

  19. Avatar Of Carlos



    If you want to adopt something, go to Africa. There are millions of kids starving there, instead of wasting money breeding animals. This is not human being. Taking cake of the dogs and forgetting how many children die everyday sometimes nearby you. Wish they kill then all

    • Avatar Of Jeremiah



      You first, Fido. Don’t like dogs, don’t get one. But I doubt you are living in a cardboard box because of all the money you donate to children’s charities, Carlos, so take your hypocritical whining somewhere else.

  20. Avatar Of Mike



    Get real people !
    Yes, people live in cities, dogs do not belong in cities where people live, they belong at best in the countryside – on farms and such.
    Kids do not need to be terrified by dogs when going to school or a friend’s house. People have a right to walk down the sidewalk w/o stepping in dog poop. Where there are dogs there will always be noise (barking) and crap (not all dogs (on 2 legs) pick up after their 4 legged ones. Park benches get full of fur from dumb-asses who let their dogs sit there and drinking fountains are not meant for dogs, even if they are “cleaner than us” people – which I highly doubt anyways.

    I don’t hate dogs, I just think they don’t need to be in our environment. They are basically a nuisance like cigarettes. How about raising children instead ?

    Like I said get real, people – get a life !

    • Avatar Of Rob




      I raise my children just fine, even with a dog. A doberman that watches our home better than any alarm system ever could. Dogs kick ass and are much more personable than people like you. My life is pretty damned good, so I don’t need to “get a life” just because I’d rather spend a day walking my dog rather than spend one second with someone like you.

      • Avatar Of Matt



        A doberman that protects your house better than an alarm system?

        I’ve got a Boston Terrier and a Caucasian Ovcharka. Your Doberman is not a home protector, it’s a 90-pound (at the most) bark machine that does nothing but gets in the way.

        If you want a dog for home protection, invest money and buy a real dog like an Ovcharka. Mine cuddles with our Boston and my daughter’s kitten and gives her rides. I can put my hand in his food bowl.

        He also comes with me to TACH training and knocks down 270-pound men like they’re children with the PA State Troopers.

        You sound like a jackoff. That’s why everyone here is calling you out. Have fun with your cutsy Doberman. I’m sure you drive a 3-series BMW to match.

    • Avatar Of Lynn



      Dude, Those of us who are good pet owners take a bag along when we walk our dogs and pick up the poop so no one steps in it. We also clean it up every where else again so no one steps in it. Dogs belong everywhere people belong if they are cared for properly and trained. I had husky wolf cross, best dog I ever owned, and she was a rescue. I had her in a city, in a house with a yard, in an apt. and last in a mobile home. I never had a complaint. Now I have a Miniature American Eskimo also a rescue. Due to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her previous owner she is by far the worst dog I have ever owned. I love her anyway and know better than to have her in situations where she will stress and have issues. So your argument doesn’t hold water.

    • Avatar Of Corey



      “Get real” and “get a life” is great advice, Mike. You should heed that advice.

  21. Avatar Of Noraxam




  22. Avatar Of Joe M

    Joe M


    It’s the “Province of Ontario”, not Providence. Second, as has been pointed out, he would not commute from Quebec if he chose to live outside of Ontario. The more likely scenario is a 2 hour commute from NY State.

  23. Avatar Of Bobby L

    Bobby L


    Ask any parent whose kid was shredded by a bully breed whether they think this is a human or animal problem. That aspect doesn’t matter. I think the ban – whether knee jerk or after lengthy debate – satisfies the vast majority of residents of any particular area.
    Of course the name-calling by pro-bully breed advocates certainly helps make their case (sarcasm).

    • Avatar Of Jeremiah



      As does the uninformed, sink to the bottom attitude of the BSL proponents.

      And no sarcasm there.

  24. Avatar Of Tamera Kingston

    Tamera Kingston



    Bloggers are far more unpredictable and prone to violence than any breed of dog. Dogs are typically less ignorant, too. Any dog that is improperly trained and treated can develop violent tendencies, but one that is well-trained and properly treated and cared for can be a loyal and loving companion and family pet.

    Almost all of these breed-specific bans are implemented as knee-jerk political reactions to some horrific attack that arose because some fool dog-owner allowed or even encouraged his animal to attack another person. It’s time we started banning and punishing stupidity, not breeds of dogs. Let’s ban electricity, since several people are electrocuted each year in home accidents. Let’s erect 20 foot fences around all bodies of water, since hundreds drown. Breed-specific legislation is the coward’s, weakling’s, lazy person’s way out of responsibility and accountability.

  25. Avatar Of Steven



    Mike you are an idiot sir. Ignorant people like you should stay off blogs… Nice job Mr. Burhle

    • Avatar Of Diddy



      He could have been a bit more diplomatic for sure. I am a dog owner and I believe that most are ill-suited for dog ownership. Some of the sweetest dogs I have come across are pit bulls. That said, if an entire city/community has come to a consensus that the dogs should be banned (for the population’s perceived safety) then it is their right to do so.

      • Avatar Of Jeremiah



        And if the whole community comes to a consensus (doubt it was a consensus, by the way. Probably just a majority vote of a local council) that Judaism or Islam should be banned for the population’s perceived spiritual safety, are you OK with that as well?

        I bet not. And if you are, more’s the pity.

  26. Avatar Of Sevrox



    The Bully breeds are fine if raised correctly – idiot humans who raise them incorrectly make them aggressive. Bullmastiffs (have had one for 8 years) are one of the most docile large breeds in existence.

  27. Avatar Of Pete



    NOBODY commutes to Toronto from Quebec. #geographylesson

  28. Avatar Of Mike



    There is a reason those dogs are banned. They are unpredictable and prone to violence. Keep those dogs out of Ontario!

    • Avatar Of Vilifyingforce



      The reason they’re banned is because there’s a lot of idiots who own them and abuse them. Sometimes they can require a but more work then the average dog, but, that can be said of a lot of breeds.

      • Avatar Of Richie



        A couple of things: He can commute from Buffalo or Niagara Falls NY if he so chooses. Not saying that would be easier or closer, just an option if NY allows these dogs. Re: the breed issue. Unfortunately, since you can’t ban stupid owners, tough guys or other idiots who own these dogs for image reasons, you must ban the breed. I know it’s not fair – but I’m looking for a better suggestion.

        • Avatar Of Jeremiah



          How do you feel about banning guns, Richie? If you can’t say, “Unfortunately, since you can’t ban stupid owners, tough guys or other idiots who own these guns for image reasons, you must ban the guns”, then your comment fails the laugh test. And don’t tell me about the Second Amendment. I know all about it.

    • Avatar Of Marlin W

      Marlin W


      Those dogs ARE how they are RAISED. They are very smart. If you let them know that aggressive behavior is not tolerated, they will not be aggressive. I would never consider moving without my little Pit.

  29. Avatar Of Linda



    You go, Mr. Buerle! Not only are you a great pitcher but you are a great dog adoption advocate too.

    • Avatar Of Erik



      Not a great pitcher? So a no hitter, a perfect game, a world series ring and multiple all star teams and golden gloves are common for ‘not great pitchers’? lol

      • Avatar Of Smart



        Seriously? She said he was NOT ONLY a great pitcher. That means she thinks he IS a great pitcher AND dog adoption advocate.

  30. Avatar Of Kaye



    Gotta love this family! Keep it going ~

    • Avatar Of Mike



      A family is mom, dad and kids. It has nothing to do with dogs. dogs are pets, a waste of family expenses that would be better put to raise kids who will continue the heritage and take care of the parents when they get old and inherit them when time comes.

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