Man’s Best friend
Dogs are definitely man’s best friend – they are fun, loyal and have great personalities. I know we all enjoy our dogs and love to let them run around and play, but safety comes first and you need to protect yourself from unnecessary lawsuits and big payouts for damages.
Florida law states that the owner of a dog that bites a person is strictly liable for damages, regardless of whether the dog has a prior history of being vicious or whether the owner knew about that viciousness. So even if your dog has always been sweet and non-violent, you are responsible if your dog has a bad day and decides to bite someone. This applies if you are out in public, in a private place and even in your own home and yard.
The best way to protect yourself is to post a visible sign that says “BAD DOG” for everyone to see. I’m sure your dog is not a bad dog, but it doesn’t matter. That sign will protect you from liability if your dog randomly decides to bite or attack, regardless of who’s at fault. The dog owner is not liable for injuries if that sign is clearly visible and readable.
Aside from civil liability, you may be arrested on criminal charges if your dog has a history of bites and aggression. We want you to enjoy your pet, but we want you to also protect yourself. Make sure your dog is on a leash at all times when around other people. In a large group, in may be better to go ahead and cage your dog or put it in a separate room, especially if your dog tends to get anxiety or stressed around people. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to dog bites because they may rough-house and provoke animals. So you must use extra caution around small kids.