Orlando Animal Control Lawyer

Dogs can make for lovable and loyal companions, but they can also be dangerous if they are not trained and restrained properly. With that in mind, both Orange County ordinances and Florida state law impose numerous obligations and restrictions on dog owners in Orlando. Anyone who violates those rules may be subject to fines, criminal prosecution, and potentially even the seizure of their dog by Animal Control authorities.

When you are facing legal action from Animal Control related to your pet, you should strongly consider reaching out to an Orlando Animal Control lawyer for help handling your legal proceedings.

Animal Control has more authority than you might expect in determining which animals are “dangerous” enough to be confiscated and potentially euthanized. To stop that from happening to your pet, you will want an experienced and tenacious defense attorney in your corner.

What Responsibilities Do Pet Owners in Orlando Have?

In Orange County, dog owners must always keep their dogs on a leash no longer than six feet in length while that dog is off their private property – unless they are inside a designated dog park. They cannot take their dog—with exceptions made for guide and service animals—onto public school property, public beaches, or into county parks or buildings at any time.

They must also obtain a dog license from the county within 15 days of their dog reaching four months of age, and vaccinate it from rabies. Individuals with four or more licensed dogs over four months of age must additionally apply for a special permit from the Director of Orange County Animal Services.

Perhaps most importantly, anyone with a dog declared by the Director of Animal Services to be “dangerous or potentially dangerous” based on the definitions provided under Orange County Code of Ordinances § 5-29 must comply with unique requirements. These requirements affect the dog’s enclosure, restraints/muzzle, residential location, and identification, as well as the posting of conspicuous warning signs or notices on their property.

Anyone who fails to comply with any of these requirements is subject to having their dog impounded, quarantined, and potentially euthanized, all outcomes which an Orlando Animal Control attorney could provide crucial help in preventing.

Contesting Seizure by Animal Control

Upon receiving written notice from Animal Services that their dog is being investigated as potentially dangerous, dog owners in Orlando have seven business days to file a written hearing for a request before the Animal Services Classification Committee. If requested properly, the committee should schedule a hearing within five days of receiving the request and within 21 days of the request being submitted. During this time, the animal’s owner can present evidence demonstrating why their dog should not be declared dangerous or potentially dangerous.

Likewise, if a dangerous dog is impounded after allegedly attacking another person or animal without cause, the dog’s owner has ten days to request a hearing in order to contest the dog being put down, which will proceed once the ten-day period expires if the owner does not contest it. This also applies if a dog that was not previously declared “dangerous” attacks and severely injures or kills a human being.

With this in mind, it will be crucial to contact an Animal Control lawyer in Orlando as quickly as possible after receiving this notice. They can even assist in appealing a decision by Animal Control.

Talk to an Orlando Animal Control Attorney About Legal Options

This is a fairly broad summary of the complex rules concerning dog ownership and the handling of dangerous dogs in Orange County. Put simply, this is not the kind of situation you want to try handling alone, especially when your pet’s life may be on the line.

Assistance is available from a knowledgeable Orlando Animal Control lawyer with experience handling these extremely important cases. Call today to discuss your options with The Umansky Law Firm.

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    Orlando Animal Control Lawyer