At the February 7, 2017 Gulfport City Council meeting, there was an agenda item (Item 8) to address "animal complaint procedures and policies." Per Chief Vincent's memo in the agenda packet, three specific questions were addressed at the meeting:1) Is there a more clear definition of “vicious” and “dangerous” dogs as those terms are used in the Gulfport city code 5-13 and 5-31; 2) What education and tools are provided to city staff to enable enforcement of regulations; and 3) Can anything be done to improve enforcement relative to dangerous animals?
After a robust discussion and comments from Gulfport residents, the issue of how to handle "dangerous dogs" in Gulfport, as well as how the Pinellas County ordinance is handled by County officials, will be addressed at an upcoming Gulfport City Council meeting.
As I stated at the City Council meeting, it is my opinion that the Gulfport Animal Ordinance Code may need to be revised to more adequately represent the actions necessary to protect residents and pets. Those with multiple "dangerous dog" violations, citations and fines should not be able to readily continue repeating the offense.
Information to Know -- Gulfport Ordinances
Gulfport FL Code of OrdinanceSec. 5-13: Unlawful possession of dangerous/vicious domesticated animal
Gulfport FL Code of OrdinanceSec. 5-30: Dogs running at large prohibited
Gulfport FL Code of OrdinanceSec. 5-31: Vicious dogs and barking dogs prohibited (nuisance)
Gulfport FL Code of OrdinanceSec. 5-32: Warrant charging the offense
NOTE: The City of Gulfport defers to the Pinellas County Ordinance for the handling of "dangerous dog" designation, investigation and administration.
Information to Know -- Pinellas County Ordinances / APPLIES TO GULFPORT
Pinellas County FL Code of Ordinance Sec. 14-64: Dangerous Animal