Rabies Control

State law references:24 BnHover

Authority to provide for health and welfare
F.S. § 125.01.


Sec. 10-31. Definitions:

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Animal means any domestic vertebrate creature.

Cat means any domestic member of the feline species.

Dog means any domestic member of the canine species.

Outbreak means when three or more dogs, cats, or wild animals are found to have rabies by laboratory analysis within the county during a three-month period of time.

Owner or person responsible means any person owning or harboring one or more dogs and/or cats. A dog and/or cat shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for five consecutive days or more.

Public nuisance means any dog and/or cat which:

  1. Attacks or threatens to attack passersby or passing vehicles;
  2. Attacks or threatens to attack other animals;
  3. Damages or threatens to damage private or public property; or
  4. Runs at large. For the purposes of this chapter, "runs at large" shall not include: any animal which has a current rabies vaccination and which is wearing a collar with a tag demonstrating the current rabies vaccination and containing the name and address of the owner; or any dog which is under the control of or in the presence of its owner or its owner's designee; or any hunting dog when present on private property with the prior permission of the property owner.

Veterinary hospital means any establishment maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for surgery, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of animals.

(Ord. No. 86-1, § 1, 3-25-86; Ord. No. 95-16, § 1, 12-12-95)

Cross references: Definitions generally, § 1-2.


Sec. 10-32. Vaccination of dogs and cats.

(a) Every person who owns a dog, cat or ferret by the age of four months within the county shall have such dog and/or cat vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Such vaccination shall be current as specified in applicable state law or regulations.

(b) Evidence of a rabies vaccination shall consist of a current receipt issued and signed by the person administering the vaccine, or his agent. A copy of the rabies certificate shall be kept on file and produced on demand by the person administering such vaccination.

(c) No dog or cat need be vaccinated if a licensed veterinarian has examined the dog or cat and certified that at such time vaccination could endanger its health because of age, infirmity, debility, illness or other medical consideration. The dog or cat shall be vaccinated against rabies as soon as its health permits.

(d) The cost of the rabies vaccination shall be borne by the owner of the dog or cat.

(Ord. No. 86-1, § 2, 3-25-86)


Sec. 10-33. Quarantine; prohibited acts during.

Whenever a quarantine has been declared, no person shall permit any dog or cat which is under his control to be or run at large. Any dog or cat found to be at large during a quarantine shall be impounded by the owner or person responsible, or upon his absence or refusal by the sheriff's department; provided, however, that if the capture and impoundment of such a dog or cat is deemed to be a definite and immediate threat to the public health and safety, the Animal Control department may destroy the dog or cat immediately. Such impoundment shall be at the cost of the owner or person responsible, who shall be liable therefor to the board. Such impoundment shall continue until the quarantine is terminated or the owner or person responsible undertakes to impound the animal.

(Ord. No. 86-1, § 3, 3-25-86)


Sec. 10-34. Reporting of animal bites and quarantine.

(a) Any person having knowledge of an instance in which a person is bitten or otherwise wounded by a dog, cat, or other animal, domestic or wild, or an instance in which a person has been in contact with or handled a known or suspected rabid animal, will report the incident within 24 hours to the county public health unit director or Animal Control Officer.

(b) Chapter 10D-3.091 of the Florida Administrative Code authorizes the county public health unit director or Animal Control Officer to institute quarantine procedures at his/her discretion and judgment for the protection of the public health. The quarantine shall be at the owner's expense. Noncompliance with a quarantine order issued by the county health unit director or Animal Control Officer shall constitute a violation of F.S. § 381.0011(6).

(Ord. No. 86-1, § 4, 3-25-86)


Sec. 10-35. Enforcement of article.

The civil and criminal provisions of this article shall be enforced by those persons or agencies designated by the board of county commissioners. It shall be a violation of this article to interfere with any officer in the performance of his duties under this article.

(Ord. No. 86-1, § 6, 3-25-86)


Sec. 10-36. Civil penalties.

Any person may bring suit to restrain, enjoin or otherwise prevent any violation of this chapter, which suit shall be brought in circuit court of Jackson County, Florida. In addition, violation of this chapter is a civil infraction. The maximum civil penalty which may be imposed hereunder for any single violation shall be $500.00 (or, if the person does not contest the citation, a maximum civil penalty of $250.00). Any person who violates any section or provision of this chapter shall be subject to the following civil penalties:

  1. Upon a first offense, payment to the county of a civil penalty in the amount of $25.00, plus an impound fee of $25.00, plus daily board fees in the actual amount incurred by the county for the board of the animal;
  2. Upon a second offense, payment to the county of a civil penalty in the amount of $50.00, plus an impound fee of $25.00, plus daily board fees in the actual amount incurred by the county for the board of the animal;
  3. Upon a third offense, payment to the county of a civil penalty in the amount of $100.00, plus an impound fee of $25.00, plus daily board fees in the actual amount incurred by the county for the board of the animal;
  4. In the event that the animal has bitten or physically harmed, or threatened to bite or physically harm, another animal or a person, a civil penalty in the amount of $250.00.
  5. The county animal control officer shall, upon having probable cause to believe that a person has violated this chapter, issue a citation to the person. Such citation may be contested in the county court. If a person to whom a citation has been issued fails to pay the civil penalty, fails to appear in court to contest the citation, or fails to appear in court as required by F.S. § 828.27(6), the court shall issue its order to show cause. Such order shall require the person to appear before the court to explain why action on the citation has not been taken and, if such person shall fail to appear in response to the court's directive, that person may be held in contempt of court.
(Ord. No. 86-1, § 7, 3-25-86; Ord. No. 95-16, § 2, 12-12-95; Ord. No. 97-10, § 1, 10-14-97; Ord. No. 98-13, § 1, 5-26-98)

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