How Does Flagler County (Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, and Bunnell) Florida Define a Dangerous Dog? Rights of the Injured Person?

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Pursuant to Section 5-66 (Biting Without Provocation; Dangerous or Rapid Dogs) of the Flagler County Code of Ordinances provides as follows:

In the event that a dog bites a human being without provocation, the dog shall be confined under the authority of the animal control officer of the county, at the owner’s expense, pending the completion of an investigation of the incident. Dogs confined under this provision which are deemed to be dangerous or rabid will be dealt with according to the applicable laws of the state. Such action shall be at the owner’s expense.

The Flagler County Code of Ordinances adopt Florida Statutes Sections 767.10 through 767.16 as the authority by which a dog is classified as a dangerous dog for Flagler County. You can read these statutes at the Official Website for the Florida Statutes – Chapter 767.

If the Flagler County, Florida – Animal Control, determines a dog qualifies or constitutes a dangerous dog, then notice will be provided to the dog owner and a hearing will be conducted to determine the appropriate placement and control of the dog AND / OR to determine if the dog should be impounded, sterilized, classified, and / or destroyed.

It is vital that the dog owner take responsibility and attend the hearings if the dog owner has an interest in saving the animal and also protecting his neighbors and the general public from the potential harm of the “dangerous dog”.

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. See Florida Dog Bite Statute – There is Teeth to this Florida Law – Rights of Injured Children and Adults.

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.