In Alachua County (Gainesville, Archer, Alachua, and Waldo) Florida, residents and visitors are subject to the Alachua County Animal Services Ordinance pursuant to Chapter 72 – Animals. A dog owner has a duty under Section 72.12 to maintain “physical control” of the dog when the dog is off the owner’s property. “Off the owner’s property” includes streets, parks, public property, and private property of others. What is “physical control”? This means immediate and continuous control through the use of a leash or continuous control through the use of an enclosure. The Alachua County leash law serves to protect adults, children, the dog, and other dogs. While many people view their dogs as harmless and docile animals, all people should keep in mind that dogs are animals and, at times, are provoked by instinct or other reasons to attack people and / or other animals. The safety of children in Alachua County, Florida including Gainesville is best served by dog owners who obey and follow the Alachua County Animal Services Ordinance. You can read about the Alachua County, Florida leash law and other provisions of the Ordinance at Alachua County, Florida Animal Services Ordinance.
If a child is bitten by a dog (on or off a leash), the dog owner, under Florida Law, is responsible for the damages caused by the dog bite including but not limited to medical bills (past and future), pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. If you have a question about a Florida dog bite and the related personal injuries to a child, it is important to have the advice, counsel, and legal representation of a Florida Child Injury Lawyer.