Osceola County, Florida, does not specifically provide a definition for “dangerous dogs” under its Code of Ordinances. However, many of the classification procedures and owner requirements are similar to those of other Florida counties. Pursuant to section 4-49 of the Osceola County, Florida, Code of Ordinances once a dog has been classified as dangerous and before the dog can be released, its owner must provide the following within 14 days after receipt of the final determination:
1. A current certificate of rabies vaccination.
2. The existence of a proper enclosure to confine the dangerous dog.
3. The existence of warning signs posted on the owner’s premises at all entry points that informs both children and adults of the dog’s presence on the property.
4. Permanent identification of the dog, such as a tattoo or implantation.
5. The dog has been sterilized.
A dangerous dog is not allowed outside its proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial cord or leash and is under the control of a competent person.
The owner also has the responsibility to notify the department in any of the following circumstances:
1. If the dog becomes loose or otherwise unconfined.
2. The dog has bitten a human being or attacked another animal.
3. The dog has been sold, given away or dies.
4. The dog is moved to another address.
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.