Sec. 5-20. - Regulations on dogs in public areas.
(a) Legislative intent. It is deemed in the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of the citizenry and visitors of Miami-Dade County, Florida, that all necessary precautions be implemented to prevent cutaneous larva migrans (a frequently severe skin disorder caused by the infective larvae of a dog hookworm which is transmitted by the contact of the human skin with soil contaminated by dog feces), and visceral larva migrans (a disease caused by the ingestion of larvae dog roundworms which commonly occurs when young children swallow dirt).
(b) It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to allow, whether willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control, a dog into or upon any public park or beach in the county; provided, however, this provision shall not apply to parkways, wayside parks, or other park areas in which dogs are specifically authorized.
(c) It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to allow, whether willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control, a dog to commit any nuisance upon: the sidewalk of any public street; the floor of any common hall in any apartment house, hotel, or other multifamily dwelling; or any entranceway, stairway or wall immediately abutting on a public sidewalk; or the floor of any theatre, shop, store, office building or other building used in common by the public. "Nuisance," for the purposes of this section, shall be defined as defecation and/or urination. If a dog defecates on the grassy swale of a public right-of-way or other such public property, or on private property without the express or implied consent of the property owner, the responsible party shall remove the defecation and deposit it in an appropriate trash receptacle, sanitary disposal unit, or other sealed container.
(d) It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to allow, whether willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control, a dog to be unrestrained or to be at large in any manner in or upon: public property; a common area of a private building or development; or the private property of others without the express or implied consent of the property owner. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a dog may be unrestrained and shall not be deemed to be at large if it is supervised by a competent person and is: (i) in a park area in which dogs are specifically authorized by a municipality or by the County to be unrestrained; or (ii) engaged in the sport of hunting in an authorized area. An intact dog running at large shall be subject to higher civil penalties than a sterilized dog; provided, however, that if the dog is sterilized within 30 days of receipt of the civil violation notice, the penalty shall be reduced to the amount for a sterilized dog. An intact dog shall be sterilized if it has received more than two civil violation notices for violations of this section that, if appealed, have been affirmed.
(e) It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to fail to exercise proper care and control of his dog or dogs so as to allow the dog or dogs to become a public nuisance. Chasing vehicles or persons and trespassing upon public or private property in such a manner as to damage property shall be deemed a public nuisance.
(f) Exceptions. Subsections (b) through (d) of this section shall not apply to a person using a service animal or to a law enforcement officer using an animal for law enforcement purposes. Subsection (e) shall not apply to a law enforcement officer using an animal for law enforcement purposes.
(Ord. No. 08-10, § 3, 1-22-08; Ord. No. 10-27 , § 1, 5-4-10)