California law does not mandate that every dog must be put down after it bites a person. However, in some cases, it may be required. This is typically limited to animals that are either trained to fight or have a history of injuring people.
Many dog bite victims avoid pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. They fear it could result in the dog being euthanized. It is helpful to understand it is possible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit without petitioning for this. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney can guide you through the process.
When Dogs Can Be Euthanized Following an Attack
In California, there are three different circumstances under which the state could euthanize a dog. Each of these must follow an attack on a human being. The three circumstances include:
- The dog has rabies
- The animal was trained as a fighting dog or attack dog, or
- The dog has bitten two people previously.
Unlike the other two circumstances listed above, there is no need for a hearing before the state can put down a rabid dog. When it comes to dogs that have bitten twice before or were trained as attack dogs, euthanasia is only an option following a hearing.
The Hearing Process
There must be a hearing before the state can put down most dogs following an attack. The point of these hearings is to determine if the dog represents a threat to the public. The dog owner has the right to be heard and make their case that their animal is not dangerous.
Any person can initiate one of these hearings by filing a complaint with their local animal control office. This person could be the dog bite victim, an animal control officer, a witness, or a law enforcement officer.
The specific process for these hearings varies from one county to another. Each local jurisdiction sets its own rules. Despite the different approaches in each community, one thing is true in every case: the dog owner must be notified before the hearing can commence.
At the hearing, the state will present evidence that the animal is a risk to public safety. The owner will then have a chance to make their case for the dog. Some critical factors that are considered in these cases include:
- Whether there have been previous attacks
- If provocation occurred before the attack
- If the victim was trespassing
- If the owner has taken steps to secure the animal
- The extent of any injuries
- The scope of any property damage
Schedule a Free Consultation with our Team of Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyers
It is important to remember that these proceedings are entirely separate from your personal injury claim. Whether you file a complaint regarding the dog or not, you are still entitled to seek compensation through a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
At Salamati Law, we have a track record of success in handling dog bite injury claims. We understand how devastating these injuries can be. To discuss your case with a Los Angeles dog bite attorney, call right away for your free consultation.