Preventing Dog Bites: A Sarasota Injury Lawyer Discusses Leash Laws In Florida

Dog bites are not only physically painful, but also emotionally traumatic. Victims of severe dog bite injuries may require extensive rehabilitation or surgery. They may suffer from permanent scarring or physical impairments, in addition to lasting emotional scars. In rare cases, dogs have even mauled people to death. If a dog attacked you or your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced Sarasota injury attorney can protect your legal rights and fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

Dog Bite Statistics

According to the American Humane Association:

  • An estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur annually in the United States
  • Nearly 800,000 dog bites require medical treatment
  • Approximately 71 percent of dog bite injuries involve arms, legs, hands and feet
  • Approximately 50 percent of dog attacks involve children under age 12
  • Children under age 10 account for approximately 70 percent of dog bite fatalities
  • Most dog bite victims know the dog

Leash laws around the country strive to keep both people and pets safe.

Leash Laws in Florida

Although Florida does not have a statewide leash law, most of the state’s 67 counties do have leash laws in place. In Sarasota County, for instance, pet owners cannot allow their dogs to run at large and must keep their dogs leashed when on public property, on someone else’s property and in common areas of condominium developments and mobile home parks. Several parks in Sarasota County offer fenced leash-free areas, while other parks permit leashed dogs. Sarasota County allows service dogs at all parks and beaches.

What You Can Do to Prevent Dog Bites

In addition to abiding by leash laws, dog owners can take the following measures to prevent dog bites:

  • Spay or neuter all non-breeding dogs
  • Supervise dogs, especially around children
  • Train and socialize dogs
  • Keep dogs behind a fence or on a leash
  • Avoid chaining or tethering dogs

People can also observe the following dog safety tips to minimize their risk of injury:

  • Do not pet a dog without asking the owner for permission first
  • Do not pet a dog that is behind a fence or sitting in its owner’s car
  • Do not approach a dog while it is sleeping or eating
  • Do not pet a dog that is playing with a toy

It is important to remember that dogs are animals with the potential for unpredictable behavior, even though we cherish them as members of the family. If you or your loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, contact a knowledgeable Sarasota injury lawyer today to learn about your legal rights.

Categories: Dog Bites