Full Statute Name:  West's Florida Statutes Annotated. Title XLV. Torts. Chapter 767. Damage by Dogs. Title XL. Real and Personal Property (Chapters 689-724). Chapter 705. Lost or Abandoned Property. Title XLVI. Crimes (Chapters 775-899). Chapter 823. Public Nuisances.

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Primary Citation:  West's F. S. A. § 767.01 - 16; § 705.19; § 823.041; § 823.15 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  October, 2016 Alternate Citation:  FL ST §§ 767.01 - 16; § 705.19; § 823.041; § 823.15
Summary:

These Florida statutes outline the state's dog provisions, which mainly cover dangerous dog/dog bite laws.  The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness.  However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person's negligence contributed to the biting incident.  If a dog that has previously been declared dangerous attacks or bites a person or a domestic animal without provocation, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.  The dog will be impounded for a period of ten days during which time the owner of the dog may request a hearing.

Statute Text: 

(link to cruelty provisions)

(link to assistance animal provisions)

 

(Does not contain laws related to pari-mutuel wagering/dog racing.)

Title XXXIII. Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Investments, and Solicitations (Chapters 494-560). Chapter 509. Lodging and Food Service Establishments; Membership Campgrounds. Part I. Public Lodging and Public Food Service Establishments

509.233. Public food service establishment requirements; local exemption for dogs in designated outdoor portions

Title XLV. Torts.  Chapter 767. Damage by Dogs.

767.01 . Dog owner's liability for damages to persons, domestic animals, or livestock

767.02 . Sheep-killing dogs not to roam about

767.03 . Good defense for killing dog

767.04 . Dog owner's liability for damages to persons bitten

767.05 . Owner's liability for damages by dog to dairy cattle

767.07 . Interpretation

767.10 . Legislative findings

767.11 . Definitions

767.12 . Classification of dogs as dangerous; certification of registration; notice and hearing requirements; confinement of animal; exemption; appeals; unlawful acts

767.13 . Attack or bite by dangerous dog; penalties; confiscation; destruction

767.135. Attack or bite by unclassified dog that causes death; confiscation; destruction

767.136. Attack or bite by unclassified dog that causes severe injury or death; penalties

767.14 . Additional local restrictions authorized

767.15 . Other provisions of chapter 767 not superseded

767.16 . Bite by a police or service dog; exemption from quarantine

Title XL. Real and Personal Property (Chapters 689-724).  Chapter 705. Lost or Abandoned Property.

705.19 . Abandonment of animals by owner; procedure for handling

823.041 . Disposal of bodies of dead animals; penalty

823.15 . Dogs and cats released from animal shelters or animal control agencies; sterilization requirement

Title XLVI. Crimes (Chapters 775-899). Chapter 877. Miscellaneous Crimes.

877.14. Merchandising of dogs; required records; penalty for violation

 

Title XXXIII. Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Investments, and Solicitations (Chapters 494-560). Chapter 509. Lodging and Food Service Establishments; Membership Campgrounds. Part I. Public Lodging and Public Food Service Establishments

509.233. Public food service establishment requirements; local exemption for dogs in designated outdoor portions

(1) Local exemption authorized.--Notwithstanding s. 509.032(7), the governing body of a local government may establish, by ordinance, a local exemption procedure to certain provisions of the Food and Drug Administration Food Code, as currently adopted by the division, in order to allow patrons' dogs within certain designated outdoor portions of public food service establishments.

(2) Local discretion; codification.--

(a) The adoption of the local exemption procedure shall be at the sole discretion of the governing body of a participating local government. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require or compel a local governing body to adopt an ordinance pursuant to this section.

(b) Any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall provide for codification within the land development code of a participating local government.

(3) Limitations on exemption; permit requirements.--

(a) Any local exemption procedure adopted pursuant to this section shall only provide a variance to those portions of the currently adopted Food and Drug Administration Food Code in order to allow patrons' dogs within certain designated outdoor portions of public food service establishments.

(b) In order to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, the local exemption procedure shall require participating public food service establishments to apply for and receive a permit from the governing body of the local government before allowing patrons' dogs on their premises. The local government shall require from the applicant such information as the local government deems reasonably necessary to enforce the provisions of this section, but shall require, at a minimum, the following information:

1. The name, location, and mailing address of the public food service establishment.

2. The name, mailing address, and telephone contact information of the permit applicant.

3. A diagram and description of the outdoor area to be designated as available to patrons' dogs, including dimensions of the designated area; a depiction of the number and placement of tables, chairs, and restaurant equipment, if any; the entryways and exits to the designated outdoor area; the boundaries of the designated area and of other areas of outdoor dining not available for patrons' dogs; any fences or other barriers; surrounding property lines and public rights-of-way, including sidewalks and common pathways; and such other information reasonably required by the permitting authority. The diagram or plan shall be accurate and to scale but need not be prepared by a licensed design professional.

4. A description of the days of the week and hours of operation that patrons' dogs will be permitted in the designated outdoor area.

(c) In order to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, the local exemption ordinance shall include such regulations and limitations as deemed necessary by the participating local government and shall include, but not be limited to, the following requirements:

1. All public food service establishment employees shall wash their hands promptly after touching, petting, or otherwise handling dogs. Employees shall be prohibited from touching, petting, or otherwise handling dogs while serving food or beverages or handling tableware or before entering other parts of the public food service establishment.

2. Patrons in a designated outdoor area shall be advised that they should wash their hands before eating. Waterless hand sanitizer shall be provided at all tables in the designated outdoor area.

3. Employees and patrons shall be instructed that they shall not allow dogs to come into contact with serving dishes, utensils, tableware, linens, paper products, or any other items involved in food service operations.

4. Patrons shall keep their dogs on a leash at all times and shall keep their dogs under reasonable control.

5. Dogs shall not be allowed on chairs, tables, or other furnishings.

6. All table and chair surfaces shall be cleaned and sanitized with an approved product between seating of patrons. Spilled food and drink shall be removed from the floor or ground between seating of patrons.

7. Accidents involving dog waste shall be cleaned immediately and the area sanitized with an approved product. A kit with the appropriate materials for this purpose shall be kept near the designated outdoor area.

8. A sign or signs reminding employees of the applicable rules shall be posted on premises in a manner and place as determined by the local permitting authority.

9. A sign or signs reminding patrons of the applicable rules shall be posted on premises in a manner and place as determined by the local permitting authority.

10. A sign or signs shall be posted in a manner and place as determined by the local permitting authority that places the public on notice that the designated outdoor area is available for the use of patrons and patrons' dogs.

11. Dogs shall not be permitted to travel through indoor or nondesignated outdoor portions of the public food service establishment, and ingress and egress to the designated outdoor portions of the public food service establishment must not require entrance into or passage through any indoor area of the food establishment.

(d) A permit issued pursuant to this section shall not be transferred to a subsequent owner upon the sale of a public food service establishment but shall expire automatically upon the sale of the establishment. The subsequent owner shall be required to reapply for a permit pursuant to this section if the subsequent owner wishes to continue to accommodate patrons' dogs.

(4) Powers; enforcement.--Participating local governments shall have such powers as are reasonably necessary to regulate and enforce the provisions of this section.

(5) State and local cooperation.--The division shall provide reasonable assistance to participating local governments in the development of enforcement procedures and regulations, and participating local governments shall monitor permitholders for compliance in cooperation with the division. At a minimum, participating local governments shall establish a procedure to accept, document, and respond to complaints and to timely report to the division all such complaints and the participating local governments' enforcement responses to such complaints. A participating local government shall provide the division with a copy of all approved applications and permits issued, and the participating local government shall require that all applications, permits, and other related materials contain the appropriate division-issued license number for each public food service establishment.

Credits
Added by Laws 2006, c. 2006-72, § 3, eff. July 1, 2006. Amended by Laws 2007, c. 2007-5, § 127, eff. July 3, 2007; Laws 2009, c. 2009-195, § 46, eff. Oct. 1, 2009.

 

Title XLV. Torts.  Chapter 767. Damage by Dogs.

767.01. Dog owner's liability for damages to persons, domestic animals, or livestock

Owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person or to any animal included in the definitions of "domestic animal" and "livestock" as provided by s. 585.01.

CREDIT(S)

Rev.St.1892, § 2341; Laws 1901, c. 4979; Gen.St.1906, § 3142; Rev.Gen.St.1920, § 4957; Comp.Gen.Laws 1927, § 7044; Laws 1994, c. 94-339, § 1.

 

767.02. Sheep-killing dogs not to roam about

It is unlawful for any dog known to have killed sheep to roam about over the country unattended by a keeper. Any such dog found roaming over the country unattended shall be deemed a run-about dog, and it is lawful to kill such dog.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1893, c. 4185, § 1; Gen.St.1906, § 3143; Rev.Gen.St.1920, § 4958; Comp.Gen.Laws 1927, § 7045.

 

767.03. Good defense for killing dog

In any action for damages or of a criminal prosecution against any person for killing or injuring a dog, satisfactory proof that said dog had been or was killing any animal included in the definitions of "domestic animal" and "livestock" as provided by s. 585.01 shall constitute a good defense to either of such actions.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1901, c. 4978, § 1; Gen.St.1906, § 3144; Rev.Gen.St.1920, § 4959; Comp.Gen.Laws 1927, § 7046; Laws 1979, c. 79-315, § 1; Laws 1994, c. 94- 339, § 2.

 

767.04. Dog owner's liability for damages to persons bitten

The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person's negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words "Bad Dog." The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1949, c. 25109, § 1; Laws 1993, c. 93-13, § 1. Amended by Laws 1997, c. 97-102, § 1155, eff. July 1, 1997.

 

767.05. Owner's liability for damages by dog to dairy cattle

An owner or keeper of any dog that kills, wounds, or harasses any dairy cattle shall be jointly and severally liable to the owner of such dairy cattle for all damages done by such dog; and it is not necessary to prove notice to or knowledge by any such owner or keeper of such dog that the dog was mischievous or disposed to kill or worry any dairy cattle.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1979, c. 79-315, § 2; Laws 1981, c. 81-259, § 482.

 

767.07. Interpretation

Section 767.05 is supplemental to all other laws relating to dogs not expressly referred to therein and shall not be construed to modify, repeal, or in any way affect any part or provision of any such laws not expressly repealed therein or to prevent municipalities from prohibiting, licensing, or regulating the running at large of dogs within their respective limits by law or ordinance now or hereafter provided.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1979, c. 79-315, § 2.

 

767.10. Legislative findings

The Legislature finds that dangerous dogs are an increasingly serious and widespread threat to the safety and welfare of the people of this state because of unprovoked attacks which cause injury to persons and domestic animals; that such attacks are in part attributable to the failure of owners to confine and properly train and control their dogs; that existing laws inadequately address this growing problem; and that it is appropriate and necessary to impose uniform requirements for the owners of dangerous dogs.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, c. 90-180, § 1.

 

767.11. Definitions

As used in this act, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) “Dangerous dog” means any dog that according to the records of the appropriate authority:

(a) Has aggressively bitten, attacked, or endangered or has inflicted severe injury on a human being on public or private property;

(b) Has more than once severely injured or killed a domestic animal while off the owner's property; or

(c) Has, when unprovoked, chased or approached a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, provided that such actions are attested to in a sworn statement by one or more persons and dutifully investigated by the appropriate authority.

(2) “Unprovoked” means that the victim who has been conducting himself or herself peacefully and lawfully has been bitten or chased in a menacing fashion or attacked by a dog.

(3) “Severe injury” means any physical injury that results in broken bones, multiple bites, or disfiguring lacerations requiring sutures or reconstructive surgery.

(4) “Proper enclosure of a dangerous dog” means, while on the owner's property, a dangerous dog is securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top to prevent the dog from escaping over, under, or through the structure and shall also provide protection from the elements.

(5) “Animal control authority” means an entity acting alone or in concert with other local governmental units and authorized by them to enforce the animal control laws of the city, county, or state. In those areas not served by an animal control authority, the sheriff shall carry out the duties of the animal control authority under this act.

(6) “Animal control officer” means any individual employed, contracted with, or appointed by the animal control authority for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of this act or any other law or ordinance relating to the licensure of animals, control of animals, or seizure and impoundment of animals and includes any state or local law enforcement officer or other employee whose duties in whole or in part include assignments that involve the seizure and impoundment of any animal.

(7) “Owner” means any person, firm, corporation, or organization possessing, harboring, keeping, or having control or custody of an animal or, if the animal is owned by a person under the age of 18, that person's parent or guardian.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, c. 90-180, § 2; Laws 1993, c. 93-13, § 2. Amended by Laws 1997, c. 97-102, § 1156, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 2011, c. 2011-211, § 1, eff. July 1, 2011.

 

767.12. Classification of dogs as dangerous; certification of registration; notice and hearing requirements; confinement of animal; exemption; appeals; unlawful acts

(1) An animal control authority shall investigate reported incidents involving any dog that may be dangerous and, if possible, shall interview the owner and require a sworn affidavit from any person, including any animal control officer or enforcement officer, desiring to have a dog classified as dangerous.

(a) An animal that is the subject of a dangerous dog investigation because of severe injury to a human being may be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority, placed in quarantine, if necessary, for the proper length of time, or impounded and held. The animal may be held pending the outcome of the investigation and any hearings or appeals related to the dangerous dog classification or any penalty imposed under this section. If the dog is to be destroyed, the dog may not be destroyed while an appeal is pending. The owner is responsible for payment of all boarding costs and other fees as may be required to humanely and safely keep the animal pending any hearing or appeal.

(b) An animal that is the subject of a dangerous dog investigation which is not impounded with the animal control authority must be humanely and safely confined by the owner in a securely fenced or enclosed area. The animal shall be confined in such manner pending the outcome of the investigation and the resolution of any hearings or appeals related to the dangerous dog classification or any penalty imposed under this section. The address at which the animal resides shall be provided to the animal control authority. A dog that is the subject of a dangerous dog investigation may not be relocated or its ownership transferred pending the outcome of the investigation and any hearings or appeals related to the dangerous dog classification or any penalty imposed under this section. If a dog is to be destroyed, the dog may not be relocated or its ownership transferred.

(2) A dog may not be declared dangerous if:

(a) The threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was unlawfully on the property or who, while lawfully on the property, was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or its owner or a family member.

(b) The dog was protecting or defending a human being within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault.

(3) After the investigation, the animal control authority shall make an initial determination as to whether there is sufficient cause to classify the dog as dangerous and, if sufficient cause is found, as to the appropriate penalty under subsection (5). The animal control authority shall afford the owner an opportunity for a hearing prior to making a final determination regarding the classification or penalty. The animal control authority shall provide written notification of the sufficient cause finding and proposed penalty to the owner by registered mail, certified hand delivery, or service in conformance with the provisions of chapter 48 relating to service of process. The owner may file a written request for a hearing regarding the dangerous dog classification, penalty, or both, within 7 calendar days after receipt of the notification of the sufficient cause finding and proposed penalty. If the owner requests a hearing, the hearing shall be held as soon as possible, but not later than 21 calendar days and not sooner than 5 days after receipt of the request from the owner. If a hearing is not timely requested regarding the dangerous dog classification or proposed penalty, the determination of the animal control authority as to such matter shall become final. Each applicable local governing authority shall establish hearing procedures that conform to this subsection.

(4) Upon a dangerous dog classification and penalty becoming final after a hearing or by operation of law pursuant to subsection (3), the animal control authority shall provide a written final order to the owner by registered mail, certified hand delivery or service. The owner may appeal the classification, penalty, or both, to the circuit court in accordance with the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure after receipt of the final order. If the dog is not held by the animal control authority, the owner must confine the dog in a securely fenced or enclosed area pending resolution of the appeal. Each applicable local governing authority must establish appeal procedures that conform to this subsection.

(5)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), the owner of a dog classified as a dangerous dog shall:

1. Within 14 days after issuance of the final order classifying the dog as dangerous or the conclusion of any appeal that affirms such final order, obtain a certificate of registration for the dog from the animal control authority serving the area in which he or she resides, and renew the certificate annually. Animal control authorities are authorized to issue such certificates of registration, and renewals thereof, only to persons who are at least 18 years of age and who present to the animal control authority sufficient evidence of:

a. A current certificate of rabies vaccination for the dog.

b. A proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog and the posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign at all entry points which informs both children and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property.

c. Permanent identification of the dog, such as a tattoo on the inside thigh or electronic implantation.

The appropriate governmental unit may impose an annual fee for the issuance of certificates of registration required by this section.

2. Immediately notify the appropriate animal control authority when the dog :

a. Is loose or unconfined.

b. Has bitten a human being or attacked another animal.

c. Is sold, given away, or dies.

d. Is moved to another address.

Before a dangerous dog is sold or given away, the owner shall provide the name, address, and telephone number of the new owner to the animal control authority. The new owner must comply with all of the requirements of this section and implementing local ordinances, even if the animal is moved from one local jurisdiction to another within the state. The animal control officer must be notified by the owner of a dog classified as dangerous that the dog is in his or her jurisdiction.

3. Not permit the dog to be outside a proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under control of a competent person. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but will prevent it from biting a person or animal. The owner may exercise the dog in a securely fenced or enclosed area that does not have a top, without a muzzle or leash, if the dog remains within his or her sight and only members of the immediate household or persons 18 years of age or older are allowed in the enclosure when the dog is present. When being transported, such dogs must be safely and securely restrained within a vehicle.

(b) If a dog is classified as a dangerous dog due to an incident that causes severe injury to a human being, based upon the nature and circumstances of the injury and the likelihood of a future threat to the public safety, health, and welfare, the dog may be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.

(6) Hunting dogs are exempt from this section when engaged in any legal hunt or training procedure. Dogs engaged in training or exhibiting in legal sports such as obedience trials, conformation shows, field trials, hunting/retrieving trials, and herding trials are exempt from this section when engaged in any legal procedures. However, such dogs at all other times in all other respects are subject to this and local laws. Dogs that have been classified as dangerous may not be used for hunting purposes.

(7) A person who violates any provision of this section commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

Credits
Laws 1990, c. 90-180, § 3; Laws 1993, c. 93-13, § 3; Laws 1994, c. 94-339, § 3. Amended by Laws 1997, c. 97-102, § 1157, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 2016, c. 2016-16, § 2, eff. March 8, 2016.

 

767.13. Attack or bite by dangerous dog; penalties; confiscation; destruction

(1) If a dog that has previously been declared dangerous attacks or bites a person or a domestic animal without provocation, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. In addition, the dangerous dog shall be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority, placed in quarantine, if necessary, for the proper length of time, or impounded and held for 10 business days after the owner is given written notification under s. 767.12, and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. This 10-day time period shall allow the owner to request a hearing under s. 767.12. The owner shall be responsible for payment of all boarding costs and other fees as may be required to humanely and safely keep the animal during any appeal procedure.

(2) If a dog that has previously been declared dangerous attacks and causes severe injury to or death of any human, the owner is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. In addition, the dog shall be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority, placed in quarantine, if necessary, for the proper length of time or held for 10 business days after the owner is given written notification under s. 767.12, and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. This 10-day time period shall allow the owner to request a hearing under s. 767.12. The owner shall be responsible for payment of all boarding costs and other fees as may be required to humanely and safely keep the animal during any appeal procedure.

(3) If the owner files a written appeal under s. 767.12 or this section, the dog must be held and may not be destroyed while the appeal is pending.

(4) If a dog attacks or bites a person who is engaged in or attempting to engage in a criminal activity at the time of the attack, the owner is not guilty of any crime specified under this section.

Credits
Laws 1990, c. 90-180, § 4; Laws 1993, c. 93-13, § 4; Laws 1994, c. 94-339, § 4. Amended by Laws 2016, c. 2016-16, § 3, eff. March 8, 2016.

 

767.135. Attack or bite by unclassified dog that causes death; confiscation; destruction

If a dog that has not been declared dangerous attacks and causes the death of a human, the dog shall be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority, placed in quarantine, if necessary, for the proper length of time or held for 10 business days after the owner is given written notification under s. 767.12, and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. This 10-day time period shall allow the owner to request a hearing under s. 767.12. If the owner files a written appeal under s. 767.12 or this section, the dog must be held and may not be destroyed while the appeal is pending. The owner is responsible for payment of all boarding costs and other fees as may be required to humanely and safely keep the animal during any appeal procedure.
Credits
Laws 1990, c. 90-180, § 4; Laws 1993, c. 93-13, § 4; Laws 1994, c. 94-339, § 4. Renumbered from § 767.13(2) and amended by Laws 2016, c. 2016-16, § 3, eff. March 8, 2016.

 

767.136. Attack or bite by unclassified dog that causes severe injury or death; penalties

(1) If a dog that has not been declared dangerous attacks and causes severe injury to, or the death of, a human, and the owner of the dog had knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities, yet demonstrated a reckless disregard for such propensities under the circumstances, the owner of the dog commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) If the dog attacks or bites a person who is engaged in or attempting to engage in a criminal activity at the time of the attack, the owner of the dog is not guilty of any crime under this section.

Credits
Added by Laws 2016, c. 2016-16, § 4, eff. March 8, 2016.

 

767.14. Additional local restrictions authorized

This act does not limit any local government from adopting an ordinance to address the safety and welfare concerns caused by attacks on persons or domestic animals, placing further restrictions or additional requirements on owners of dogs that have bitten or attacked persons or domestic animals, or developing procedures and criteria for the implementation of this act, provided that no such regulation is specific to breed and that the provisions of this act are not lessened by such additional regulations or requirements. This section does not apply to any local ordinance adopted prior to October 1, 1990.

Credits
Laws 1990, c. 90-180, § 5. Amended by Laws 2016, c. 2016-16, § 5, eff. March 8, 2016.

 

767.15. Other provisions of chapter 767 not superseded

Nothing in this act shall supersede chapter 767, Florida Statutes 1989.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, c. 90-180, § 6.

 

767.16. Bite by a police or service dog; exemption from quarantine

(1) Any dog that is owned, or the service of which is employed, by a law enforcement agency, is exempt from this part.

(2) Any dog used as a service dog for blind, hearing impaired, or disabled persons that bites another animal or a human is exempt from any quarantine requirement following such bite if the dog has a current rabies vaccination that was administered by a licensed veterinarian.

Credits
Laws 1991, c. 91-228, § 1. Amended by Laws 2016, c. 2016-16, § 6, eff. March 8, 2016.

 

Title XL. Real and Personal Property (Chapters 689-724).  Chapter 705. Lost or Abandoned Property.

705.19. Abandonment of animals by owner; procedure for handling

(1) Any animal placed in the custody of a licensed veterinarian or bona fide boarding kennel for treatment, boarding, or other care, which shall be abandoned by its owner or the owner's agent for a period of more than 10 days after written notice is given to the owner or the owner's agent at her or his last known address may be turned over to the custody of the nearest humane society or dog pound in the area for disposal as such custodian may deem proper.

(2) The giving of notice to the owner, or the agent of the owner, of such animal by the licensed veterinarian or kennel operator as provided in subsection (1) shall relieve the veterinarian or kennel operator and any custodian to whom such animal may be given of any further liability for disposal. Such procedure by a licensed veterinarian shall not constitute grounds for disciplinary procedure under chapter 474.

(3) For the purpose of this section, the term "abandonment" means to forsake entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner or the owner's agent. Such abandonment shall constitute the relinquishment of all rights and claim by the owner to such animal.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1979, c. 79-228, § 1; Laws 1981, c. 81-157, § 1. Amended by Laws 1997, c. 97-102, § 792, eff. July 1, 1997.

 

823.041. Disposal of bodies of dead animals; penalty

(1) Any owner, custodian, or person in charge of domestic animals, upon the death of such animals due to disease, shall dispose of the carcasses of such animals by burning or burying at least 2 feet below the surface of the ground; provided, however, nothing in this section shall prohibit the disposal of such animal carcasses to rendering companies licensed to do business in this state.

(2) It is unlawful to dispose of the carcass of any domestic animal by dumping such carcass on any public road or right-of-way, or in any place where such carcass can be devoured by beast or bird.

(3) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(4) For the purposes of this act, the words "domestic animal" shall include any equine or bovine animal, goat, sheep, swine, dog, cat, poultry, or other domesticated beast or bird.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1961, c. 61-359, §§ 1 to 4; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 936; Laws 1974, c. 74-383, § 66; Laws 1975, c. 75-24, § 1; Laws 1975, c. 75-298, § 41.

 

823.15. Dogs and cats released from animal shelters or animal control agencies; sterilization requirement

(1) The Legislature has determined that the importation of dogs and cats into, and the uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats in, this state pose risks to the well-being of dogs and cats, the health of humans and animals, and the agricultural interests in this state. Importation of dogs and cats from outside the United States could result in the transmission of diseases that have been eradicated in the United States to dogs and cats, other animals, and humans living in this state. Uncontrolled breeding results in the birth of many more puppies and kittens than are needed to provide pet animals to new owners or to replace pet animals that have died or become lost. This leads to many dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens being unwanted, becoming strays and suffering privation and death, being impounded and destroyed at great expense to the community, and constituting a public nuisance and public health hazard. It is therefore declared to be the public policy of the state that every feasible means be used to reduce the incidence of birth of unneeded and unwanted puppies and kittens. Determining which programs result in improved adoption rates and in reduced euthanasia rates for animals in shelters and animal control agencies is crucial to this effort.

(2)(a) Each public or private animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency operated by a humane organization or by a county, municipality, or other incorporated political subdivision, shall prepare and maintain the following records and make them available for public inspection and dissemination for the 3 preceding years. The following data will be available on a monthly basis commencing July 31, 2013:

1. The total number of dogs and cats taken in by the animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency, divided into species, in the following categories:

a. Surrendered by owner;

b. Stray;

c. Impounded;

d. Confiscated;

e. Transferred from within Florida;

f. Transferred into or imported from out of the state; and

g. Born in shelter.

Species other than domestic cats and domestic dogs should be recorded as “other.”

2. The disposition of all animals taken in by a public or private animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency operated by a humane society or by a county, municipality, or other incorporated political subdivision, divided into species. These data must include dispositions by:

a. Adoption;

b. Reclamation by owner;

c. Death in kennel;

d. Euthanasia at the owner's request;

e. Transfer to another public or private animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency operated by a humane society or by a county, municipality, or other incorporated political subdivision;

f. Euthanasia;

g. Released in field/Trapped, Neutered, Released (TNR);

h. Lost in care/missing animals or records; and

i. Ending inventory/shelter count at end of the last day of the month.

3. A public or private animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency operated by a humane society, or by a county, municipality, or other incorporated political subdivision which routinely euthanizes dogs based on size or breed alone must provide a written statement of such policy. Dogs euthanized due to breed, temperament, or size must be recorded and included in the calculation of the total euthanasia percentage.

(b) Records of a public animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency operated by a humane society must be made available to the public pursuant to provisions in chapter 119.

(3) In furtherance of this policy, provision shall be made for the sterilization of all dogs and cats sold or released for adoption from any public or private animal shelter or animal control agency operated by a humane society or by a county, city, or other incorporated political subdivision, by either:

(a) Providing sterilization by a licensed veterinarian before relinquishing custody of the animal; or

(b) Entering into a written agreement with the adopter or purchaser guaranteeing that sterilization will be performed within 30 days or prior to sexual maturity. The shelter or animal control agency shall require a sufficient deposit from the adopter or purchaser, which deposit shall be refundable upon presentation to the shelter or animal control agency of written evidence by the veterinarian performing the sterilization that the animal has been sterilized. The deposit or donation may be based upon recommended guidelines established by the Florida Federation of Humane Societies. Failure by either party to comply with the provisions of this paragraph shall be a noncriminal violation as defined in s. 775.08(3), punishable by a fine, forfeiture, or other civil penalty, and, in addition thereto, the deposit or donation shall be forfeited to the shelter or animal control agency. Any legal fees or court costs used for the enforcement of this paragraph are the responsibility of the adopter. Upon the request of a licensed veterinarian, and for a valid reason, the shelter or animal control agency shall extend the time limit within which the animal must be sterilized.

(4) All costs of sterilization pursuant to this section shall be paid by the prospective adopter unless otherwise provided for by ordinance of the local governing body, with respect to animal control agencies or shelters operated or subsidized by a unit of local government, or provided for by the humane society governing body, with respect to an animal control agency or shelter operated solely by the humane society and not subsidized by public funds.

Credits

Laws 1980, c. 80-87, §§ 1 to 3. Amended by Laws 2013, c. 2013-32, § 1, eff. July 1, 2013.

 

Title XLVI. Crimes (Chapters 775-899). Chapter 877. Miscellaneous Crimes.

877.14. Merchandising of dogs; required records; penalty for violation

(1) Every person engaged in the business of selling dogs shall keep a complete and true record of all transactions, showing the date of transaction and the name and address of the person from whom each dog was purchased or otherwise obtained and to whom it was sold. The record also should show a sufficient description of the dog such as breed, sex, color, markings, and distinguishing features. The record shall at all times be subject to the inspection of all police and peace officers.

(2) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Credits
Laws 1969, c. 69-285, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 1159.

 

 

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