The county already has a dangerous dog ordinance on the books, said Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, who is the prime sponsor of a new measure that would beef it up. Commissioner Sally Heyman and Miami-Dade Animal Services' Kathy Labrada spoke about the proposal.
Miami-Dade County Commissioners are set to vote Tuesday on a proposal that would create an online registry of dangerous dogs.
If county commissioners approve the ordinance, owners would be forced to post photos and details of their bad dogs for all to see.
“The proposed online registry of dangerous dogs will basically just be putting information at the fingertips of residents of Miami-Dade County,” said Kathy Labrada, the chief of shelter operations and enforcement for Miami-Dade Animal Services.
The county already has a dangerous dog ordinance on the books, Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz said. He is the prime sponsor of the new measure, which would beef up the ordinance by expanding the type of acts considered cruel to animals, creating new regulations for aggressive dogs, and placing new restrictions on irresponsible owners.
“It increases the civil penalties. There isn’t going to be criminal sanctions such as jail, but there’ll be an increase in the fines that matches the Florida statute,” Commissioner Sally Heyman said.
Diaz said of the penalties: “It’s going to go up from $500 to $1,000 and if it happens again it could go to $2,000, and then things could get a lot more serious after that.”
Under the measure, a dog could be declared dangerous for attacking or causing severe injury or the death of a domestic animal more than once, or for attacking a person or approaching a person in a menacing fashion, Labrada said.
The measure would allow individuals to have information related to dogs that have been deemed aggressive or dangerous for their attacks.
“I’m a dog lover myself, and I’m a parent and I’m a person that really cares about the animals, but we have to make sure people are responsible for those animals,” Diaz said.
Another bill on Tuesday’s agenda, which Heyman proposed, would require owners of “dangerous” dogs to carry $50,000 worth of insurance, and it would allow police to confiscate dogs, which Animal Services currently does, The Miami Herald reported.