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Bill Making Changes To Florida's Dog Bite Law Passes First House Panel

MGN Online

A bill giving dog owners more options if their dog injures another recently passed its first House committee.

Florida law allows dogs classified as dangerous to be euthanized, but Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) says it doesn’t account for certain circumstances.

“If your dog is not a dangerous dog and bites somebody defending your house, let’s say or let’s say a burglar breaks into your house and the dog bites the burglar, the dog would have to be put down,” said Steube. “There’s no process in place that would allow the hearing officer to be able to take in testimony or evidence as to why the dog did what it did. And, that circumstance, if the dog created severe injury, i.e. lacerations that required sutures, they by law, have to euthanize the animal.”

Steube’s bill allows hearing officers to consider all circumstances, before the dog is put down. He says there are so far three cases—one pending—where two courts have already ruled this particular part of the law unconstitutional.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.