Section 14-27 of the Pasco County, Florida, Code of Ordinances, provides definitions for the following types of animals:
1. “Aggressive Animal.” Any animal that, without provocation, constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals. Aggressive behavior includes but is not limited to: 1). A loose, unconfined animal, that when unprovoked chases or approaches a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; 2). Chases vehicles; 3). Molests livestock or other domestic animals.
2. “Vicious Animal.” Any animal which kills or unjustifiably causes physical injury to a person or to any domestic animal.
“Dangerous Dogs” are addressed under section 14-42 of the Pasco County, Florida, Code of Ordinances.
Section 14-42 incorporates Florida Statute sections 767.10-.15. For the plain language of the Florida statutes see Chapter 767 – Damage by Dogs.
The following are responsibilities of a dog owner whose dog is under investigation for possibly being determined as a dangerous dog:
1. If the dog that is subject of a dangerous animal investigation is not impounded shall be humanely and safely confined by the owner in a securely fenced or enclosed area pending the outcome of the investigation.
2. During the investigation, the dog subject to the investigation may not be relocated or have ownership transferred pending the outcome.
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.