New Florida bill would create ‘dangerous dog registry’ and require liability insurance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — New restrictions and requirements for owners of dangerous dogs in Florida could be coming soon if a bill filed by a local state lawmaker crosses the finish line.


The legislation comes as a response to a devastating dog attack in Putnam County last year.

Pamela Rock, a 61-year-old postal worker was attacked and killed by a pack of five dogs while delivering mail in Putnam County in August of last year.

The dogs had attacked people several times in the past and the owner had unsuccessfully attempted to surrender them to animal control multiple times.

No charges were filed after the attack and the owner was not held liable.

“What we found is that at the federal level and at the state level there was no true culpability as to the animal owner,” said State Representative Bobby Payne (R-Palatka).

Payne got to work on a bill after hearing about the case and speaking with the victim’s family.

“This is an example where someone died and we need to do much more than just say it was a one-time event or it was an event where we didn’t take the right actions,” said Payne.

The newly filed legislation would require dogs to be confiscated during dangerous dog investigations.

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If they’re determined to be dangerous, owners would have to keep their dogs securely confined behind a locked fence while outdoors or inside their homes.

They’d also have to obtain $100,000 of liability insurance to cover damages if their dog attacks someone.

Additionally, the bill would require the creation of a dangerous dog registry, so members of the public could search and identify where dangerous dogs are living in their area.

Payne argued even if just one portion of the bill crosses the finish line, it will help prevent a tragedy like the one last summer from happening again.

“And I just want to make sure that we’re doing the right things, trying to do more and not go too far. It’s not about all animals. It’s not about all dogs. It’s about dogs that are dangerous,” said Payne.

A Senate companion bill has not been filled yet, but Payne indicated one is coming.

The legislative session officially kicks off on January 9th.

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