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Escambia County Commission considers establishing dog parks on beaches

On behalf of Terence Gross of Gross & Schuster, P.A. posted in Dog Bites on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

In a recent post, we noted a series of canine attacks and escapes in Melbourne Beach reportedly has been causing concern among citizens there, and even became the subject of a special meeting. Authorities there are now looking for new ways to come down on dog owners whose pets attack, chase or intimidate adults, children and other pets.

On a related note, the Escambia County Commission recently met to consider a proposal to create dog parks on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. The proposal would create two Gulf-side dog beaches on Pensacola Beach and five on county-owned portions of Perdido Key.

The regulations governing the parks would be basically identical: parks hours running from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from May 1 to Sept. 30, and sunrise to 10 a.m. Oct. 1 through April 30; dogs would be required to be leashed; and no fees would apply for using the parks.

Dog attacks do happen, and can happen unexpectedly, whether at dog parks, on country roads, or in town. It is important for victims of these attacks to realize that they can seek recovery if necessary.

Florida law on liability for dogs that attack is governed at both the state and the local level. Lawmakers in Florida have prohibited breed-specific local ordinances since 1990. The law does allow a bite victim to recover damages for acts of negligence, negligence per se, scienter and intentional torts. Each of these forms of liability has a slightly different meaning, which we’ll explore in our next post.

Source:, “Nate Monroe: The dogs are back on track,” February 20, 2012

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