Like other municipalities, Miami-Dade regulates dog ownership for the safety of the general public as well as your dogs. Anyone violating an ordinance can be fined but, just as importantly, risks getting sued if their dog hurts someone.
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, our premises liability attorneys can help anyone injured on someone’s property, including in a dog attack. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Leash & Transportation Laws
Miami has certain ordinances that regulate how you restrain your dog. In particular, you must abide by the following:
- According to Section 5-20(d), dogs must be restrained whenever they leave your property, unless they are in a zone that is designated as leash-free. Many owners fail to follow this ordinance and quickly take off the leash whenever they enter a park so their dog can roam free.
- Owners cannot chain or tether their dogs when they are not present. This is to prevent cruelty to the animal.
- If you are transporting a dog in the back of a pickup truck, the dog must be in a container.
Boarding & Vaccination Laws
Miami also has several ordinances that regulate your dogs even when they don’t leave the property. For example:
- Only 4 dogs are allowed on a residential property less than one acre in size. Up to 6 dogs are allowed on 1-2 acres and up to 8 are allowed on 2 or more acres. If you have 8 or more dogs, then you will need a kennel license.
- All dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at 4 months of age. They also must be revaccinated according to the specifications set by the manufacturer of the vaccine.
- Owners must license their dogs every year and ensure the dog wears tags.
These laws protect the public. Without a vaccination requirement, a dog could get rabies, which is almost always deadly when passed on to a human. Too many dogs on a property can also become unruly and a risk to anyone who visits your home.
Why These Ordinances Matter
Florida has a strict liability statute for dog bites. However, in some cases, the owner’s negligence might matter. For example, an owner who posts a “Dangerous Dog” sign is not liable in most cases but could be if, for example, he had more dogs than allowed by the ordinance on the property. Violating an ordinance is solid evidence that an owner failed to use sufficient care, which could render the owner liable to dog bite victims.