How Does Okaloosa County (Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Shalimar, and Niceville) Florida Define a Dangerous Dog? - Dog Bites and Rights of the Injured Person
Okaloosa County adopts and incorporates Chapter 767, Sections 767.10-.14, which concerns the designation, regulation and control of dangerous dogs, into its Code of Ordinances. All owners of dangerous dogs shall certify and register their dog, the registration certificates shall be updated annually at a fee of $100.00. The owner of a dangerous dog must also confine the dog in a securely fenced or enclosed resolution. If the owner violates this section the owner risks having his or her dog impounded.
Pursuant to section 5-26 of the Okaloosa County, Florida, Code of Ordinances, a bad dog is defined as any dog that bites, inflicts injury upon or otherwise attacks a person or another animal without provocation. A dog will also be deemed a "bad dog" if, when unprovoked, it approaches or chases any person in an apparent attitude of attack or in a vicious or terrorizing manner.
Florida law does not require the classification of a dog as a "dangerous dog" in order to pursue claim or a case for dog bite injuries. In fact, there is no requirement that Animal Control take any action for a person to pursue a case for medical bills, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and related damges for a dog bite injury.
Whether a dog is classified as a dangerous dog or not, it is vital that dog owners maintain control of their dogs for the protection of others. This would include consistent use of leashes and a secure backyard and / or front yard with appropriate fencing. In Florida, a dog bite victim typically need only prove that a dog bite took place. There is no requirement that the dog bite victim prove the dangerous history or propensities of the dog. Even if this was the dog's first bite every, the dog bite victim can pursue a cause of action against the dog owner for the related damages and injuries.
You can read more about the Florida Dog Bite Law at Florida Dog Bite Statute - There is Teeth to this Florida Law - Rights of Injured Children and Adults. The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Dog Bite Injuries, Medical Bills and Treatment, Damages / Compensation, and other topics. You can receive a free child injury book at The ABCs of Child Injury. See also Florida Animal and Dog Bite Injuries at the Wood, Atter & Wolf Website.