A jurisdiction in southern Florida, the City of Hollywood, passed the first known modern pit bull ordinance in the United States after a series of attacks, most notably the horrific mauling of 7-year old Frankie Scarbrough. The Everglades Pit Bull Club vowed to fight the Hollywood ordinance. Representing the group was attorney David Cerf, who first used the “discrimination” buzzwords in the media. South Florida had been seeing these grisly attacks since 1945, when Doretta Zinke was mauled to death by a pack of fighting dogs.
Pit bull owners fight new law
January 24, 1980
Miami (AP) – South Florida pit bull terrier owners say they’ll fight proposed regulation of the pets, even though the breed has been involved in two savage attacks recently. After a three-hour meeting, 40 members of the Everglades Pit Bull Club voted unanimously Tuesday night to file a lawsuit against the City of Hollywood, Fla., if it adopts the final version of an ordinance requiring pit bull owners to register their dogs. The ordinance also would make owners show evidence of liability insurance. – Lakeland Ledger
The Bacon Raton News reported the same day that a 14-year old girl was attacked by a pit bull (in the City of Everglades) as South Florida pit bull owners staged a rally against the new Hollywood ordinance. The Hollywood ordinance was overturned by a judge in 1982 — it was early and not well written breed-specific legislation. By 1989, a number of other jurisdictions in South Florida had adopted pit bull laws, including Miami-Dade County, which adopted a ban. The Miami-Dade County pit bull ban was upheld as a ballot item by voters in 2012.