The Miami Marlins' new pitcher Mark Buehrle would rather stick by his pit bull pooch than abide by Miami-Dade County laws.
Buehrle -- who signed a four-year, $58 million contract with the newly-named baseball team in December after spending more than a decade with the Chicago White Sox -- owns four dogs, according to a report in The Miami Herald. Three of them are Viszlas and one is an American Staffordshire Terrier, which is a type of pit bull.
Pit bulls are banned in Miami-Dade County, where it has been illegal to acquire a new one since 1990.
Buehrle denied that his own pooch would hurt anyone.
Every kind of dog has good and bad, and that depends on the handlers, he told the Herald. Slater would never do anything harmful.
Buehrle and his family have found a new home, though, in south Broward County.
I knew we'd eventually find a place, he told The Miami Herald.
Fans and pit bull supporters took to Twitter to express their approval of Buehrle's decision to live outside of Miami-Dade County rather than give up his dog.
Mark Buehrle just gained a lifetime fan, one person tweeted.
Thank you Mark Buehrle for standing up for the pit bulls! animal advocacy group Sidewalk Angels tweeted.
Tweeted one woman: I just became a Marlins' fan. Good job Mark Buehrle for speaking out against breed bans.
Pit bull attacks are frequently reported in the media. In 2009, a three-month old baby boy in Wales was fatally attacked by two family dogs. One was a Staffordshire Bull terrier and the other was a Jack Russell terrier, according to a report in The Telegraph. In 2011, a pit bull attacked a one-year-old child in Chula Vista, California, according to a local NBC station.
The organization DogsBite.org notes on its Web site that pit bulls have been bred to possess certain dangerous traits: Through selective breeding, pit bulls have developed enormous jaw strength, as well as a ruinous 'hold and shake' bite style, designed to inflict the maximum damage possible on their victims.