Dog bites are treated very seriously in California. Dogs can transmit rabies through bites, so all dog bites must be reported immediately to the state. However, many dog owners wonder if they have to file a report if their dog bites them in California.
Technically, you must report it even if your dog bites you and not someone else. Reporting the bite can help you get the medical care that you need. It can also allow you to ensure that your dog is not infected with rabies. Find out more about dog bite regulations in California with the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 896-2723.
How to Report a Dog Bite in California
If your dog bites you in California, you are supposed to report the situation to a local health official. Technically, you are only legally required to report these bites if you live in a “rabies area.” You should be aware that all counties in California have been considered “rabies areas” since 1987.
You will likely need to reach out to your local animal control agency to reach a health official to report the bite. Animal control officers should begin their investigation within 24 hours of the time you are bitten for effective results, so make sure you report the bite quickly.
Note that you do not need to make a report to animal control if your dog bites another dog.
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Aid Offered by Animal Control Officers After a Bite
Animal control officers in California are concerned about the risk of rabies in dog bite cases. However, investigating your dog will not be the sole concern of the officers who investigate your case. They can also assist you as you seek medical care.
You may even be given advice on the best way to ensure that your dog does not bite you again. Sometimes, animal control officials will recommend that you focus on training your dog to prevent another bite.
Quarantines for Rabies Following a Dog Bite
Rabies is a serious illness that can be spread through dog bites. For this reason, the state of California requires all dog bites to be reported, so the offending dog can be quarantined. Note that your dog must be quarantined even if they have a current rabies vaccine. Generally, the quarantine will last for 10 days. Your dog may be quarantined:
Away from Your Home
Most of the time, animal control officers will want to quarantine your dog outside of your home. This allows for a more thorough observation. Quarantine outside of the home also allows for better isolation from other animals and people. Additionally, it ensures your dog is watched by professionals who know what to expect from the early stage of rabies. Your dog may be sent to a:
- Animal shelter
- Veterinary hospital
In Your Home
In some situations, you will be permitted to quarantine your dog at home. Dogs that are at low risk for rabies are more likely to be allowed to stay home. You will have a better chance of keeping your dog at home for quarantine if:
- Your dog’s rabies vaccine is current and
- Your dog does not have a history of violent behavior
You can speak with the animal control technician who comes to assess your situation about your options for quarantine. If you have legal questions about the process you can contact the Simmrin Law Group at (310) 896-2723.
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Regulations on Rabies Quarantine in California
While in quarantine after a bite, your dog must be kept in an enclosed space. Your dog cannot have contact with you, anyone else, or other animals. If you are allowed to keep your dog at home, you must report if your dog:
- Gets sick
- Begins acting abnormally
- Passes away
If your dog begins acting oddly or becomes ill, a veterinarian will be contacted. Your dog could be euthanized if it demonstrates signs that it is infected with rabies. If your dog shows no signs of rabies, it will be released from quarantine, generally after 10 days. Note that you can face criminal charges if you try to avoid a rabies quarantine. You can be fined up to $1,000 and jailed for one year in this situation.
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Understand the Regulations on Dog Bites in California
Due to the risk of rabies, you do have to report if your dog bites you in California. Your dog may end up in quarantine for 10 days after a bite. Attempting to hide a dog after a bite can lead to misdemeanor charges in California. The Simmrin Law Group can help you handle these charges. Find out how with a FREE consultation.
Call our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles at (310) 896-2723 or fill out our online contact form if you are accused of hiding your dog after a bite.