Escambia County, Florida defines a “dangerous dog” under Chapter 10 – Animals, Article I – In General, Section 10-3 “Dangerous or Vicious animal,” of the Escambia County, Florida, Code of Ordinances. Section 10-3 defines a dangerous dog as any dog which bites or any manner attacks or attempts to attack or kill any person or other domestic animal. A dog will also deemed dangerous or vicious if it has been used primarily or in part for dog fighting or is trained for dog fighting. Escambia County exempts any dog from being declared dangerous if the attack or the attempt to attack occurred while any personal or other domestic animal was unlawfully on its owner’s or keeper’s premises.
Section 10-14 sets out the procedures and other requirements owners or keeps of dangerous dogs are to follow. The owner of any dangerous or vicious dog shall confine the dog in a proper, humane enclosure. Any owner or keeper who willfully violates this section is subject to civil penalties. Escambia County also incorporates the provision of Florida Laws under ch. 90-180. For more information of those Florida Statutes please see its homepage.
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.