How Many Dogs Can You Have in Florida?

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While there isn’t a legal parameter in place for how many dogs you can own in Florida, owners of three or more dogs would need to follow special rules under a proposed law in the Sunshine State.
Maybe you’re a bit like Melissa McCarthy’s character, Megan, in Bridesmaids and overcommitted to adopting one too many dogs. But how many dogs are too many in Florida? 
While most disputes around dog ownership arise at the county level, there have been enough notable council discussions to draw attention to obedient dog ownership at the state level. Nothing official has made it to Congress yet, but there are other laws related to touting Fido n’ friends that you’ll need to know about to avoid fines and penalties in Florida.
To help you get a leash on what the regulations are, Jerry, the home insurance super app, has compiled this guide to legal dog ownership in Florida.
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Does Florida have laws limiting how many dogs you can own?

Where you live has the greatest impact on the number of dogs you can own. If you live in a rural area, the amount is virtually limitless, but urban areas typically restrict the amount to two to three dogs per household
Florida has yet to establish laws putting a cap on dog ownership, but a proposed law would mean residents with three or more dogs would have to do the following:
  • Own a separate building to house the dogs
  • Provide the dogs with a dedicated heat and water source
  • Live no closer than 1,500 feet to the nearest neighbor
  • Shelter no more than 10 dogs
With more than three dogs at home, Florida residencies would be considered kennels. The debate lives on in Florida, but the proposition has come to the surface in many of its 67 counties
Just because this particular rule hasn’t been made official, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other legal parameters around being a Floridan pet parent. Let’s dive into the legal details.

Are there any dog breeds outlawed in Florida?

State law doesn’t ban any particular dog breeds, but it does put restrictions around what’s referred to as a “dangerous dog.” In Florida, the following qualify a dog as dangerous:
  • A dog that has attacked or inflicted injury on a person or property
  • A dog that has severely injured or killed a domestic animal more than once
  • A dog that has aggressively approached or attacked someone in public
The public attack would need to be unprovoked, testified for, and approved by a local authority. Conditions determining whether or not a dog is considered dangerous are decided by the local animal control authority. 
Miami-Dade County is the only area in Florida with a specific ordinance regarding pit bulls, requiring owners to keep their pit bulls in a confined space indoors and/or outdoors with a sign reading “Dangerous Dog.”

What are the leash laws in Florida?

Any dog can perform a David Blaine level of escape artistry when they’re determined to chase after something, but Florida state law puts the onus on the owner to keep them from doing so. 
Under Ordinance No. 14-04, there are three key leash laws Florida dog owners need to follow:
  • Your dog must be leashed. It’s against the law for a domestic animal to stray or roam around any public area without the property owner’s consent.
  • Your dog’s leash has to fit. The collar and leash your dog wears must be ethically and properly fitted to prevent them from breaking loose and/or being uncomfortable.
  • Your dog needs to be kept under control. You need to maintain physical control over your dog at all times in public, and your dog’s leash can’t exceed six feet.
When it comes to leash laws and dangerous dogs in Florida, you could face some serious legal repercussions if you neglect to follow them.  

Penalties for breaking dog laws in Florida

Similar to any violation of the law, the penalties depend on the severity of the situation. Typical offenses related to dog ownership can rack up fines of up to $500
When it comes to injuries sustained from a leash law violation, owners of the loose dog could be hit with a negligence charge and need to compensate the victim for damages.
Under the Dangerous Dog Statute, the owner of a dog that attacked and/or severely injured another person or property could be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree and spend up to one year in jail
Fines could also be issued, including the following:
  • Up to $1,000 fine for an unprovoked attack 
  • Up to $5,000 fine for an unprovoked attach causing severe injury or death
If an owner’s dog causes severe injury or death to another person, they will also face a prison term of up to five years. That’s not to mention the consequences for the dog, which include confiscation, impoundment, and potential euthanaisa. 

Where to find affordable insurance in Florida

Although your Yorkie takes your home’s security pretty seriously—you’ll still need homeowners insurance. Teddy can keep guard for suspicious mailmen while Jerry fetches you the most competitive quotes from over 55 insurance providers.
Need to update your insurance but don’t have the time? Let Jerry do the hard work for you. Jerry contacts your home insurance company to get the details of your current coverage so you don’t have to scale a mountain of questions. Then, they’ll use that information to find you new quotes—based on your current information. 
You get all the best prices and coverage with none of the legwork. Better yet, Jerry will help you bundle your home and auto insurance for even bigger savings. 
“I had limited time to find a new insurance plan in Florida, so I tried Jerry. My experience was personalized and professional, and they found me a plan that fits my portfolio. You should give them a try.” —Valencia T.
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