JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After a deadly dog attack took the life of a chihuahua named "Peanut" on Jacksonville's southside last week, it's important for pet owners to understand animal control laws and how they can differ from city to city.
In Florida, there is no state-mandated leash law. Instead, the decision to regulate animal control is left up to the county or city government.
In Duval County, pet-owners can not permit a dog or cat to be loose off their private property without a leash, with exception to police and hunting dogs.
Leash laws do not absolve a dog owner of legal responsibility if their dog bites someone while leashed. Unlike leash laws, Florida dog bite laws apply across the state, to everyone, and can result in fines and charges. You can also find local attorneys who specialize in animal bites if you want to pursue legal action.
The larger dog, named Raegan, that attacked Peanut last week was from the Jacksonville Humane Society.
Raegan was doing an overnight stay with a family a couple of buildings away in the Southbrook Condo Complex. Overnight stays are a part of a program with the Humane Society that allows for pet sleepovers with a family to see if they will be a good fit for the home.
Raegan's quarantine will be over next week and they will make a decision on what to do next with her.
Per First Coast News' request, the Humane Society is looking into the background of the dog to see if there were any previous attacks and issued before this incident.