Levy County distinguishes between “nuisance animals” and “vicious animals.” The definition for both can be found in the Levy County, Florida, Code of Ordinances, Chapter 14 – Animals, Article II – Animal Control, Sections 14-35 and 14-36. Pursuant to section 14-35 – Animal creating nuisances, the owner of a dog which (1) habitually barks, wines howls or otherwise causes objectionable noises; (2) destroys or damages any property of another person or legal entity; (3) causes serious annoyances to a neighboring residence; (4) interferes with the reasonable use and enjoyment of the other person’s property; (5) or is otherwise offensive will be classified as a nuisance animal upon investigation of a nuisance animal complaint. Pursuant to section 14-36 – Vicious animals, the owner of a vicious dog must be confined in a building or secure enclosure. The owner of a vicious dog who either willfully or through failure to exercise due care releases his or her dog or takes the dog out of its mandatory enclosure in a manner that is likely to cause injury to another person or damage to property of another person or legal entity, exposes their dog to being permanently confined or humanely destroyed.
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.