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The Florida Senate

2009 Florida Statutes

Section 767.11, Florida Statutes 2009

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;

(c)  Has been used primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting or is a dog trained for dog fighting; or

(d)  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.

History.--s. 2, ch. 90-180; s. 2, ch. 93-13; s. 1156, ch. 97-102.