Florida’s Dog Bite Law: The Pets Are Pardoned 

 February 17, 2016

By  LMW Attorneys

Dogs are commonly referred to as man’s best friend and are an intimate part of many families. However, what happens when your dog has an altercation with a neighbor, child or perhaps even an intruder? Unfortunately, until recently, the most common sentence for a dog was euthanasia. This law is in the process of being changed in Florida, so the result for your canine companion doesn’t have to be death.

Padi and the Legal Ramifications

Padi, a 4-year-old Labrador mix, is a major reason this law is now changing. A child approached Padi at a pet clinic and continued to walk towards the dog as Padi tried to get away. When backed into a corner, the dog felt threatened enough to bite the child, resulting in stitches and reconstructive surgery. The case went to civil court, where a judge ruled the former law unconstitutional. In the end, the law found it should allow for situational explanations before automatically requiring a dog to be euthanized.

Former Law Was “Unduly Oppressive”

Under the former law, the circumstances in which dog attacks or bites took place were not considered when determining the outcome for the dog. Whenever a human sustained injuries, the dog at fault was subject to be put down without question. Upon further exploration of this law, it would also mean that your dog could be euthanized for protecting your home against an intruder. Thankfully, since Judge Owens declared this law arbitrary, Florida dog owners are rejoicing!

How to Avoid Civil Court With Your Beloved Canine

In order to avoid any altercations with your canine best friend, you should have your dog on a leash any time you are out in public. This includes not allowing your dog to roam around your neighborhood on its own. Keep your dog’s tags and vaccinations current to protect the health of your dog and those he comes into contact with. You can find other helpful tips here.

Contact Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A.

If you face the challenge of civil court with your dog, call Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., or visit our website. We have years of experience in personal injury, and are here for you when accidents happen. We stay up-to-date on all Florida laws and statutes in order to best serve you! Call us today to learn more about how we can help.