Saturday, October 6, 2012

Proposed law in Florida would create registry of dangerous dogs

Professor Jonathan Turley is reporting on a proposed law in Miami to create an online registry of “dangerous dogs.” The law would require registration of any dogs or other pets that attack or threaten to attack people or other pets.  See the full story (and many reader comments) here.

As is well known, the generally accepted doctrine on domesticated animal attacks is that owners are strictly liable for the injuries caused if they (the owners) had notice of the dangerous propensities of the animal.  If the animal is already a registered offender, plaintiffs would obviously have a much easier time arguing the owner had such notice.  The new registry, therefore, would make the owners more vulnerable to strict liability claims.  To encourage them to register their troubled pets anyway, the law would impose a fine of $1,000 for failure to register.  More importantly, for victims, to help assure coverage in case of possible injuries, the law would require owners of dogs designated as “dangerous” to obtain $50,000 worth of insurance.

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