Florida

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Titlesort descending Summary
County of Pasco v. Riehl


When owners of a "dangerous dog" attempted to enjoin such a classification, this court held the dangerous dog statute was unconstitutional.  Because dogs are subjects of property and ownership, the owner's deprivation of a dog entitles him to procedural due process.

Davison v. Berg Deborah Davison volunteered at her local Humane Society to help take care of a dog park. Three years later, Rebecca Berg’s dog who was chasing other dogs collided with Davison. Davison suffered a broken leg that required extensive medical care. Davison then filed an action against Berg under a Florida statute that “imposes liability on dog owners for damage their dogs cause to other persons and animals.” The trial court granted final summary judgment in favor of Berg for two reasons. The first reason was that the signs outside of the park sufficiently warned Davison of the risks of injury inside. The second reason was that Davison essentially consented to the risk of potential injuries by being a volunteer for the dog park. On appeal, this court stated that the Florida statute was a strict liability statute that makes an owner the insurer of their dog’s conduct. The only defense to the statute is for an owner to display in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign that includes the words “Bad Dog.” Berg presented evidence that the park had two signs prominently displayed at the entrance to the park with the title “Dog Park Rules.” The two signs listed rules for entrance to the dog park. One of these rules stated that park use is at the dog owner’s risk. Another rule stated that rough play and chasing were not allowed if any dogs or owners were uncomfortable with that behavior. The last rule stated that visitors enter at their own risk. Even though Davison entered the park at her own risk, the purpose of the sign requirement in the statute was to give notice that a bad dog is on the premises. The Court found that the trial court erred in finding that the signs at the dog park were sufficiently equivalent to “Bad Dog” signs to preclude liability under the Florida statute. The trial court also found that by virtue of Davison volunteering at the dog park, she was aware that she could be injured during the course of her work and that she signed a volunteer application form that acknowledged that she could be exposed to “bites, scratches, and other injuries.” Davison had also witnessed a prior collision between a dog and an individual that resulted in a broken leg. After witnessing that, Davison began to warn others at the Humane Society about the dangers of being inside the dog park with dogs chasing each other. The Court held that even though there may be evidence to support the trial court’s conclusion that Davison consented to the risk of injury, “an actual consent or assumption of the risk defense cannot bar liability.” The Court reversed the trial court’s entry of final summary judgment in favor of Berg.
Detailed Discussion of Florida Great Ape Laws


This article discusses the state laws that govern the import, possession, use, and treatment of Great Apes in Florida. In general, a state permit is required to import or possess apes. The state does not issue permits to keep apes as pets; however, individuals who possessed apes prior to the 1980 ban may be permitted to keep those apes for the remainder of the animals’ lives. The state does issue permits to import and possess apes for commercial or scientific uses to applicants who are qualified by age and experience and who have appropriate facilities. Permittees must comply with stringent legal requirements for the housing, care, maintenance, and use of apes. Also included within the article are local ordinances which have been enacted by counties and municipalities to restrict or regulate Great Apes within political subdivisions of the state.

FL - Agriculture & Consumer Services - Department Duties and Enforcement


This set of laws explains the powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services in enforcing the Animal Industry laws (Chapter 585). Any person or officer that is charged with a duty under the Animal Industry laws may be compelled to perform the same by mandamus, injunction, or other court-ordered remedy. Department employees are authorized to enter any premises in the state for the purposes of carrying out their duties under the Animal Industry laws and it is illegal for any person to interfere with the discharge of those duties.

FL - Assistance Animal - Florida's Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws


The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

FL - Cemetery Regulation - § 497.273. Cemetery companies; authorized functions This statute describes the services a cemetery may provide and whether the cemetery may provide those services exclusively. It prohibits the commingling of cremated animal remains with human remains, but allows the entombment of the cremated remains of the decedent's pet with the authorization of a legally authorized person.
FL - Cruel Confinement - § 21. Limiting Cruel and Inhumane Confinement of Pigs During Pregnancy


This ballot proposal, adopted in 2002 and effective in 2008, addresses the inhumane treatment of animals, specifically, pregnant pigs. The law provides that to prevent cruelty to animals and as recommended by The Humane Society of the United States, no person shall confine a pig during pregnancy in a cage, crate or other enclosure, or tether a pregnant pig, on a farm so that the pig is prevented from turning around freely, except for veterinary purposes and during the prebirthing period; provides definitions, penalties, and an effective date. This measure passed in the November 2002 election with 54% of the vote.

FL - Cruelty, Humane Slaughter - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes/Humane Slaughter Laws


This section comprises the Florida anti-cruelty laws.  Under this section, the word "animal" includes every living dumb creature.  The misdemeanor violation of animal cruelty (section 828.12) occurs when a person unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or carries in or upon any vehicle, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner.  A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering is guilty of a felony of the third degree.  Psychiatric or psychological counseling are also mandatory for convicted offenders.  The section also criminalizes animal abandonment and neglect as well as animal fighting.

FL - Dangerous Dog - CHAPTER 767. DAMAGE BY DOGS. This Florida statute provides that nothing in the dangerous dog act limits the ability of local governments from enacting restrictions on dangerous dogs more severe than the state law, as long as the regulations are not breed-specific.
FL - Definitions - Animal Definitions


The word "animal" shall be held to include every living dumb creature.

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