Dog Attack Raises Questions About Prevention and State Law - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Dog Attack Raises Questions About Prevention and State Law

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Tuesday's dog mauling follows a string of similar incidents on Kelly Circle. Incident reports show that over a period of two years another dog also owned by the Daniel's household in Callaway had two separate biting incidents.

The first came in 2010 and the second in May of last year. After the second attack the white and black bulldog was deemed dangerous by animal control.

"There's a host of steps that an owner of a dangerous dog has to go through in order to keep that animal," said Bay County Public Information Valerie Sale. "He chose to go ahead and have it euthanized."

Then just a year later history repeated itself. Edward Daniels, the owner of the two bulldogs involved in this weeks incident, was cited for letting the dogs run loose just a week ago.

"They were running at large and they were acting aggressively and that is a fifty dollar penalty," said Sale.  

But state law trumps any county ordinance. Florida statutes require a lengthy process to deem a dog dangerous.  Even then, state law does not require that a dog be classified as dangerous in order to be euthanized after an accident like the one that put Tyler Jett in critical condition Tuesday.

"The statute states if an animal has not been declared dangerous and it causes severe injury or death to a person then animal control takes those dogs into their possession and they're euthanized within ten working days," said Sale. "However, the owner of the animals does have recourse they are afforded due process to appeal that."

The investigation is ongoing and charges have been filed for the actual attack from Tuesday.  As for preventing incidents like this in the future, authorities say it may be tough under Florida's current law.

"The laws give owners of property, dogs, a lot of due process," said Sale. "We are bound by what the statutes allow us to do."

Daniels has ten days to put in an appeal or the dogs involved in this weeks incident will be put down.