Articles Posted in Animal Laws

FL_dogs.jpgOur South Florida criminal defense lawyers have learned that a Dania Beach man faces up to three months in jail and over $89,000 in fines for his nine dogs. The city allows residents up to three dogs, and despite attempts by the city to bring the resident into accordance with the law, he has not complied.

That’s why local officials have made this municipal issue a criminal one. The Florida resident has been cited for having too many dogs on his property, failure to clean it up, and being a general neighborhood nuisance. Neighbors say they’re sorry to see things unfolding in this manner, but they’ve been trying to get the dog-owner to take better care of his property for years.

In Broward County, 95% of municipal code violations are resolved through fines, ticketing, and hearings before special magistrates. However, neighboring cities see they’ll be watching to see how this criminal suit is resolved and may try similar tactics in their own jurisdictions.

Source: Dania Beach man could go to jail for the dogs he keeps, South Florida Sun Sentinel, July 23, 2010 Continue reading

Norwegian_pig_FL.jpgAccording to a police report, a 54-year-old woman dialed 911 about a 4-year-old male who was unable to breathe and may have choked on a marshmallow. When emergency responders arrived at the home, they discovered, not a 4-year-old child as they’d expected, but a 4-year-ol d pet pig.

The police chief said they had several crews at the scene and Lifeflight on standby because they assumed it was a child in distress. Initially, their reaction was one of relief, followed by disbelief. Had the caller been more specific about the circumstances surrounding the emergency, crews could have responded in a more appropriate manner rather than bringing so many crews.

The city prosecutor is looking at the case to decide the woman will be charged.

Source: Woman Calls 911 for Pet Pig, Fox 8, April 29, 2010 Continue reading

Earlier this year, Travis the chimpanzee made headlines for attacking a woman unprovoked, ripping off her nose, hands, lips, and eyelids. She was left blind with multiple other injuries. The woman’s attorneys had filed a $50 million lawsuit against the chimp’s owner, but prosecutors announced in December that the owner will not face criminal charges.

An attorney for the state of Connecticut said there is nothing to indicate that the 200-pound chimp’s owner knew the animal was dangerous and ignored that danger. The chimp was reportedly shot and killed by police. Prior to the incident this year, the animal had escaped from his owner’s car in 2003 and led police on a chase for several hours.

Wildlife experts say the incident should serve as a reminder that chimps are unpredictable and unsuitable as pets.

Source: Chimp’s owner won’t face charges in attack,, December 8, 2009 Continue reading

Last month, a Florida man shot a black bear near his home in Shalimar. Although there are no legal means of killing a bear in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission makes recommendations on whether the person should be charged. In this case, the bear reportedly lunged at the man popped her teeth.

black_bear.jpgA report from the commission says the 52-year-old man thought she was going to attack and shot her to defend himself, not intending to kill the mother bear. The report also states that the man was unsure who to call to report the incident, so he called his neighbor, an Okaloosa County Commissioner. The neighbor called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to report a bear in the area, and the man called the agency the next morning to report the shooting.

Although some local conservationists have criticized the man for killing the bear, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has recommended against criminal charges for the man.

Source: 7:00 P.M. UPDATE: Man who shot mother bear won’t be charged (REPORT),, December 8, 2009 Continue reading

Florida_alligator.jpgDue to growing concerns over the buying, selling, and possession of exotic animals in Florida, legislators and wildlife officials said they are attempting to limit sales over the Internet. While Florida law requires permits and registration for those who own exotic animals, only about 10% of exotic animal owners actually comply with the law.

According to officials, a first-time offense is a misdemeanor with a small fine attached, but repeat offenders could face jail time and fines of up to $10,000. The licensing fee is $100 and will remain at $100 so it does not become a burden for exotic animal owners.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will hold an amnesty day on October 3 so that any exotic animal can be surrendered no questions asked. Officials have also identified six species they are especially concerned about, because of their large size. Hunters are encouraged to kill the following reptile species: Burmese, African rock, scrub and reticulated pythons, the green anaconda, and the Mile monitor lizard.

Legislators, wildlife officials examine Florida’s exotic animal laws, South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 9, 2009 Continue reading

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