Lake County Florida designates a whole article of its Code of Ordinances for the classification, owner requirements, confinement, etc. regarding dangerous dogs. You can find all the information regarding a dangerous dog in Lake County under Chapter 4 – Animals, Article III – Dangerous Dogs and Animals of the Lake County Code of Ordinances. Pursuant to Article III, a dangerous dog cannot be classified as dangerous unless incidents have been reported, thoroughly investigated and confirmed. After a dog has been classified as dangerous, the owner of the dog must comply with the following requirements:
1. Upon the determination that the dog is dangerous, obtain a certificate of registration, which must be renewed annually;
2. Obtain a certificate of rabies vaccination and county tag;
3. Confine the dog in a proper enclosure and post warning signs at all the entry points on the premises where the dog is maintained that would inform both children and adults of the dog’s presence; and
4. Obtain permanent identification of the dog either through a tattoo or electronic implantation. See Section 4-57 – Danger dog requirements, for more.
A dangerous dog is not allowed to be outside its proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled, retrained by a substantial chain or leash and under the control of a competent person.
Lake County will not classify a dog as dangerous if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time of the injury, was unlawfully on the dog owner’s property or, while on lawfully on the dog owner’s property, was tormenting, abusing or otherwise assaulting the dog or its owner or a family member. Another exception is made if the dog was protecting or defending a human being from an unjustified assault or attack.
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.