(A)   Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
      AT LARGE. Not on the owner's property, and not under restraint or the direct control, custody, charge or possession of the owner, or other responsible person.
      CONTROL. The regulation of the possession, ownership, care and custody.
      CRUELTY. As defined in F.S. § 828.02, as may be amended from time to time.
      DANGEROUS DOG. As defined in F.S. § 767.11, as may be amended from time to time.
      ENCLOSURE or PROPER ENCLOSURE OF A DANGEROUS DOG. As defined in F.S. § 767.11, as may be amended from time to time.
      HARBORING. The act of keeping and caring for an animal or of providing premises to which the animal returns for food, shelter, or care for a period of at least 48 hours. HARBORING shall not include circumstances where an individual captures, locates and attempts to find the animal's owner in good faith.
      OFFICER. Any law enforcement officer as defined in F.S. § 943.10, code enforcement officer, or any animal control officer.
      OWNER or KEEPER. Any person, firm or association or corporation who owns, keeps, harbors or controls an animal. If the owner is a minor, as defined by statute, the minor's parent(s) or legal guardian shall be the owner for purposes of this section.
      SEVERE INJURY. As defined in F.S. § 767.11, as may be amended from time to time.
      UNPROVOKED. As defined in F.S. § 767.11, as may be amended from time to time.
   (B)   Dogs at large prohibited.
      (1)   Dogs at large are found to be a public nuisance, and it shall be a violation of this section for any person to permit any dog to be at large as defined herein.
      (2)   No dog shall be allowed to stray, run or go at large, upon any public property or street, sidewalk, park, or on the private property of another without the consent of the property owner.
      (3)   Any person confining or leashing a dog must do so in a manner that is not injurious to the dog's health, or a violation of § 91.17.
      (4)   In order for a dog to be allowed on a public street, the dog shall be under the direct control of the owner or keeper. In order for a dog to be allowed in a park or other public property, it must be permitted by the city for a specific event and the dog shall be under the direct control of the owner or keeper. Sufficient precautions must be taken by the owner of the dog and/or sponsor of the event to ensure the safety and protection of both the public and other animals. Notwithstanding this section, dogs shall be permitted at the city's dog parks in accordance with the rules of such parks.
      (5)   Any dog at large that has attacked or bitten any person or animal in an unprovoked attack shall be a violation of this section.
      (6)   Any dog found by an officer to be at large may be seized and impounded and, as an alternative or in addition to impoundment, the city's Code Enforcement Officer may issue a notice of violation to the owner of the dog, as provided in § 10.99.
   (C)   Dangerous dogs.
      (1)   The Police Department shall designate at least one law enforcement officer to serve as a liaison to work with the city's Code Enforcement Department on all dangerous dog-related matters.
      (2)   The process and procedures for classifying a dog as a dangerous dog shall be as set forth in F.S. § 767.12, as may be amended from time to time. Once a dog has been classified as dangerous, any person so seeks to own or keep a dangerous dog in the city shall comply with the provisions of F.S. § 767.12.
      (3)   In addition to the requirements set forth in F.S. § 767.12, no person shall own or keep a dangerous dog without registering the dangerous dog with the city and obtaining a dangerous dog license tag from the city within 14 calendar days of either the classification of dangerousness by the city; or, in the event an appeal of such classification is taken, the upholding of the classification by a hearing officer or a court of competent jurisdiction. The procedures and requirements for registering the dangerous dog are as follows:
         (a)   The owner or keeper shall complete a dangerous dog registration form for the dog so classified and pay an initial dangerous dog registration fee in the amount of $500.
         (b)   A dangerous dog license tag shall be obtained from the city. The dangerous dog license tag must be renewed annually. Failure to renew the dangerous dog license tag within 30 calendar days from the expiration of the previous tag will result in the issuance of a notice of violation and will subject the owner or keeper, and/or property owner to fines for noncompliance with this section. In the event a current dangerous dog license tag is lost, destroyed, or misplaced or otherwise missing, a replacement dangerous dog license tag must be obtained at the fee set forth in this section.
         (c)   Any additional fees and costs incurred by the owner as a result of registering the dog with the county as required herein shall be the responsibility of the owner.
         (d)   The owner or keeper shall display a sign on his or her premises warning that there is a dangerous dog on the premises. The sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway or street.
         (e)   1.   Every owner of a dangerous dog shall, at all times that he or she owns the dog, maintain and provide a copy of an insurance policy to the city, specifically identifying the dog as covered by the policy, in the amount of no less than $300,000 issued by an insurer authorized to do business within the State of Florida, payable to any person injured in malice by the dangerous dog. Proof of financial responsibility shall be a condition precedent to the city approving the dog's registration. Financial responsibility shall be evidenced by filing with the City Clerk a certificate of insurance from an insurance company authorized to do business in the state, valid for the one-year registration period. The city will be a certificate holder such that the city will be notified if the insurance coverages expire or terminate.
            2.   As an alternative to maintaining the insurance otherwise required, proof of financial responsibility may also be evidenced by establishing a security escrow where the city holds securities (and stock or other powers appropriate to liquidate such securities) as an escrow agent. The value of the escrow of cash and securities shall at all times be maintained in the minimum amount of $300,000. In the event at any time the escrow is reduced, as provided herein, it shall be a requirement that the value of the escrow be restored to its required minimum amount. In the event there is no violation of this division (C) and there is no police report during the registration period for which the escrow is maintained that the dog bit or injured a human or animal, then the escrow shall be continued to be maintained. In the event of a police report that a dog for which the escrow is maintained bit a human or injured an animal, the city shall notify the victim (or parent, guardian, or owner of the victim if the victim is a minor or animal) and may use the cash or liquidate the securities and use the net proceeds thereof to reimburse the human (or parents or legal guardian of the human if the injured human is a minor) for any unpaid hospital or medical or rehabilitation treatment, or for any veterinary care or treatment provided to the animal. In the event of a violation of this division (C), the city may use the amount in escrow to pay for any enforcement action the city may take, including but not limited to, seeking an order requiring the dog involved to be placed by the city in a location outside the city and prohibited from the city at anytime in the future. This subsection shall be supplemental to other methods of enforcing the city's laws that are available to the city. The registrant shall reimburse the city for any legal costs incurred by the city in establishing, monitoring, or performing the escrow. Finally, in the event of a cash escrow, the city may commingle the funds with other city funds, may keep any investment return thereon, will only be required to account for the principal thereof, and only the principal thereof will be used to determine the minimum amount of such escrow for maintenance purposes.
         (f)   A dangerous dog is required to wear a dangerous dog license tag.
         (g)   The owner or keeper shall, on or before the effective date of such registration for which application is being made, have an enclosure for the dangerous dog on the property where the dangerous dog will be kept or maintained.
      (4)   The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog shall:
         (a)   At all times ensure that the dog is securely confined indoors, or confined in an enclosure as defined herein. At any time that a dangerous dog is not so confined, the dog shall be muzzled with a "basket"-type muzzle and in such a manner as to prevent it from biting or injuring any person or animal, and kept on a leash with the owner or custodian in attendance except for while the dog is being transported within the cab or passenger portion of any motor vehicle, provided the vehicle has a roof, and the dog cannot escape through an open window.
         (b)   Notify the city's Code Enforcement Manager immediately if a dangerous dog is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked another animal or has attacked a human being, or has died or has been sold or given away. If the dangerous dog has been sold or given away, the owner or keeper shall also provide to the city the name, address and telephone number of the new owner of the dangerous dog.
         (c)   At all times ensure that the dog's vaccinations, including, but not limited to, rabies vaccines, are current.
      (5)   Any dangerous dog without a valid dangerous dog license tag as required in this division (C), or which is not maintained on property with an enclosure, or which shall be outside of the dwelling of the owner or keeper, or outside of an enclosure except as provided in division (C)(4)(a), may be impounded at the city's direction by animal control or through some other means, placed in quarantine, if necessary, for the proper length of time, or placed by animal control in a location outside the city and prohibited from the city at anytime in the future, after the expiration of 14 calendar days from the date written notice is provided to the owner that such dog has been confiscated. Notice shall be effected by registered mail, certified hand delivery, or service of process in conformance with F.S. Ch. 48. The 14-day time period shall allow the owner or keeper to request a hearing under this division (C). In the event a dangerous dog is impounded, the owner shall pay a dangerous dog impound fee, as set forth in this section.
      (6)   In the event that the owner or keeper of a dangerous dog is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be responsible for complying with the provisions of this section. No dangerous dog license shall be issued to any person under the age of 18 years.
   (D)   Fees.
Dangerous dog registration fee
Dangerous dog tag replacement fee
Annual dangerous dog registration fee
Annual dangerous dog registration late fee
Changes to these fees may be amended by resolution of the City Commission.
(‘69 Code, § 4-16(a)-(e)) (Ord. 37, passed 5-4-61; Am. Ord. 649, passed 4-6-83; Am. Ord. 758, passed 10-2-85; Am. Ord. 1245, passed 1-7-98; Am. Ord. 1503, passed 12-15-04; Am. Ord. 1618, passed 9-17-08; Am. Ord. 1746, passed 2-20-13; Am. Ord. 1805, passed 1-7-15) Penalty, see § 91.99
Statutory reference:
   Owner liable for acts of vicious dog, see F.S. § 767.04