Dog owners in Florida must comply with both state and local laws. As a responsible pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog does not cause physical or financial damage to people, other pets, livestock or property. You must vaccinate your dog against rabies and follow the county regulations in which you live.
Damage caused by dogs
According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgery, in 2014, over 28,000 Americans underwent reconstructive plastic surgery due to dog bites. The Florida Statute provides that the owner of the dog is responsible for the damage suffered by a dog by a dog, both publicly and legally on private property – even in the home where the dog is staying.
The Florida law says that if your dog bites someone in your property, you are not responsible for the damage. Owners whose dog bites as a result of provocation, teasing or torment are also exempt from the law.
Under Florida law, a dog whose attack causes serious bodily injury or fatalities will be confiscated by local authorities and detained for 10 business days. You have the right to be heard at this time. If you cancel your interview or the judge considers it appropriate, your dog will be euthanized.
Remember to keep control of your dog at all times, according to Florida law, that you are responsible if your dog has injured or killed another pet or animal. Rancher has the right to kill any dog that threatens his inventory.
Dogs classified as dangerous
Under the section on distress for dogs in Florida, the Animal Inspection officer will investigate whether your dog bites, injures or attacks humans or other animals. He will interview you and keep your dog or make sure that you can secure him safely during the investigation.
If your dog is classified as dangerous, you must obtain a registration certificate within 14 days, provide a valid anti-rabies vaccination certificate and ensure a seal that will safely enclose your dog. You must send a visible sign, a warning about a dangerous dog in the area and install a permanent ID on it, such as a microchip.
The registration certificate should be updated annually and the animal inspection should be notified if:
- Your dog relaxes or runs away
- Your dog is biting a human or an animal
- You sell it, give it to it, or drown it
- You are moving the dog to a different address
A dog previously classified as dangerous will be dormant if it bites or attacks
another person or animal. If someone is seriously wounded or killed as a result of such an attack, you may be accused of a third degree.
Required vaccinations in Florida
Dogs older than 4 months in Florida must be vaccinated against rabies and receive an additional booster every year. If you do not give your dog anti-rabies vaccination, you will be fined 500$.
People who want to sell dogs or puppies must vaccinate them before putting them on sale. Required vaccinations and anthelmintics include:
- Dogs with mortar
- Psvo parvo
Ask your breeder for a copy of the vaccination required by law and contact your vet for further vaccinations to ensure your dog’s health.
County regulations in Florida
In addition to the statutes of the state of Florida, dog owners must respect the county rights in which they live. For example, in the county of Miami-Dade, rituals for pet owners include:
- Dogs must be dropped in public.
- It is illegal to own American pit bull terriers.
- You must remove the dog’s excrement in public premises.
- Dogs aged 4 months and older must have a license and wear a badge.
- You can not own more than four dogs if your property is less than 1 acre.
- You can not tie or chain your dog if you are not at home.
- Your dog can not drive in the back of the pickup truck unless it is in a crate.
Check the local dog’s rules to make sure you follow the rules.
Picture Credit: Tina Nord