Nield Law Group, APC
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Dog bite realities in San Diego County

Pets are a big part of many people’s lives. But, pets—especially dogs—can be the cause of serious injury or trauma to humans. Even dog owners can become the victims of attacks depending upon the circumstances. It is important for everyone in San Diego County to have an understanding on how prevalent serious dog bites really are.

A report issued by NBC San Diego indicates that between 2012 and 2013, the number of reported bites by dogs increased by 28 percent. In San Diego County, any dog that has been reported to have bitten a human must be isolated for at least a period of 10 days. If the same dog is reported to have bitten at least one more person within a span of four years, that dog will be officially labelled as dangerous. The county’s Department of Animal Services is reported to investigate as many as 2,500 dog bites annually.

The San Diego County Department of Animal Services notes that dog owners can be subject to criminal, civil and administrative penalties due to a dog bite report, especially if a personal injury is sustained. All bites are required to be reported to the Department of Animal Services regardless of the situation. In addition, the county has strict laws governing vaccinations and use of leashes for all dogs. Dog licenses will not be issued for any animal that has not received rabies vaccinations. Leashes should extend no further than six feet and be used at all times when not on the owner’s premises.

An animal bite injury can become serious even if it initially appears minor. All persons who have been bitten by a dog should know when to seek medical care in these situations.

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