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Sacramento County Dog Bite Laws

Dogs are one of our closest and most loyal companions. In the household, they provide a typical family with decreased levels of stress, increased exercise levels and a feeling of both levity and comfort. However, these animals are still animals and tend to bite or attack when they feel anxious or threatened. These bites can be incredibly damaging and can leave a victim with injuries that can last a lifetime. Based on some reports, 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States. From these 4.5 million dog bite incidents, 1 out of 5 become infected. These infections can cause severe damages and may require extensive medical treatment to reach a full recovery. If you or a loved one ever experience a dog bite, it is helpful to understand what to do after receiving said bite and what laws protect you from being dealt further damage. This article will focus on what to do after a dog bite and the laws that protect the victims of dog bites that occur in Sacramento County.

The Implications & What To Do
Most dog bite incidents tend to occur at home more than anywhere else. Surprisingly enough, they are also often inflicted by the dogs that we are most familiar with. Those at the highest risk of dog bites are children aged 5 to 9 years old and men. However, these dog bites can occur through other means and at different locations. For this reason, it is incredibly important to be aware of the best course of action in preventing the dog bite. Below are some tips as to how you can avoid suffering from a dog bite injury:

  • Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for its young
  • Don’t pet a dog without allowing it to smell you first
  • If a dog looks as though they may attack, don’t run from the dog
  • Don’t panic or make loud noises when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • Don’t approach unfamiliar dogs
  • When small children play with dogs, make sure that they are under supervision.

Sometimes a dog will still bite even after following these preventive measures. Some dogs can still attack when unprovoked, and as such, it is vital that you understand something that you can do to treat the wound. These treatments can vary based on the severity of the injury and are listed below for your reference:

  • Minor Wounds: With minor dog bite wounds it is recommended that you wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, apply an antibiotic cream, then cover the wound with a clean bandage. You should see a healthcare provider if the wound becomes: red, painful, warm, or swollen; if you develop a fever; or if the dog that bit you was acting strangely.
  • Deep Wounds: If you have suffered a deep wound it is recommended that you apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop or slow, or you feel faint or weak, call 911 or any other local emergency medical service immediately. With deep wounds, it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Dog bite wounds can be incredibly damaging, and when they are left untreated can result in life-threatening infections. Some common infections that a dog bite victim can contract are bulleted below:

  • Rabies: Rabies is the most dangerous diseases that people can contract through dog bites. While cases of rabies are rare, the rabies disease is incredibly lethal. Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and once symptoms show is almost always fatal. One of the most common ways to contract rabies is through the bite and saliva of an infected animal. Victims who have been exposed to an animal that could have rabies should immediately seek out medical treatment.
  • Capnocytophaga: This is a bacteria that lives in the mouths of humans, dogs, and cats. These bacteria don’t make dogs or cats sick, so it is not always easy to identify if your pet has it. The spread of Capnocytophaga to humans is rare, but they are typically spread through bites, scratches or close contact with a dog or cat. Most people who come into contact with dogs or cats do not become sick. However, people with a weakened immune system are at a greater risk of becoming sick.
  • Pasteurella: this is a type of bacteria seen in over 50% of infected dog bite wounds. The bacteria commonly cause a painful, red infection around the bite area, but it can cause more severe conditions in those with a weakened immune system.
  • MRSA: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a type of staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. Dogs and other animals can carry MRSA without showing symptoms. However, the bacteria can cause skin, lung, and urinary tract infections in people. In some, MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs and cause life-threatening infections.
  • Tetanus: Tetanus is a toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, and can cause rigid paralysis in people exposed to it through deep bite wounds.

These are just some of the infections that a victim can suffer from after a dog bite. Fortunately, there are a variety of laws in Sacramento County that protect you and others from experiencing the full severity of these injuries. These laws tend to vary from county to county, so it is in your best interest that you are well learned about the laws that are established in your county.

Sacramento County Dog Bite Laws
Sacramento County home to the capital of California, Sacramento City, as well as a large population of 1,418,788. Filled with plenty of state historic monuments, a bustling city-life, and just a short drive from the Bay Area, Sacramento County draws many a tourist throughout the year. Founded in 1854, Sacramento County includes the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade Metropolitan Area. The county covers about 994 square miles and is located at the northern end of the Central Valley. The capitol, Sacramento City, rests just west of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

According to a 2016 statistic, California has the highest, number of dog bite incidents in the nation, at 1,934 incidents; Sacramento County certainly adds to this number. Thankfully, there are some laws in Sacramento County that protect visitors and residents alike from the full trauma and dangers of dog bites. If you are bitten by a dog in Sacramento County, the local animal services center recommends that you seek medical attention immediately, and call emergency services immediately to report the incident. Based on Sacramento County law, all animal bites must be investigated. These investigations don’t always lead to the animal being impounded. Depending on the situation, it may only mean that the animal’s vaccinations and licenses are verified. These bite investigations are in place to protect the public and contain the spread of possibly infectious diseases. When reporting a bite in Sacramento County, they request that you provide some of the following information about the bite to reach a quicker resolution to the bite investigation:

  • Details of the bite, as in how severe, the nature of the injury, if medical care was sought after, and what the results of the medical treatment were.
  • Location of where the bite happened (address)
  • The address and name of the victim
  • The animal owner’s name and address
  • A complete description of the biting animal including, size, color, breed, and gender
  • If possible, the vaccination history of the animal
  • If possible, any information regarding animal licensing
  • Once the bite is accurately reported, the owner of the address of the reported owner is visited to verify that the dog has been vaccinated and the vaccination is current.

The investigation itself is performed by an Animal Control Officer. If no information is verified, the animal cannot be found, or further information deems the complaint to be unfounded, the investigation is closed. If the investigation is found to have merit, the officer will move forward with the next necessary steps to move the issue forward. If it is deemed the animal is vicious, a vicious animal affidavit is to be filed. After the investigation, if the animal has been abandoned or is being kept in an unsafe or unsatisfactory condition a notice to impound the animal in at least two business days is posted at the location by the officer. If the officer finds the situation has not been solved after the two-day period, the animal is then impounded. If the animal appears to be in immediate danger, a hazard to others or needs to be quarantined, the officer has the discretion to impound the animal without prior notice.

If you have been bitten by a dog, it is your right to pursue legal action against the party responsible, or in this case, the dog owner. Under Sacramento County Law and California State Law, the owner of the dog can be held liable for the damages inflicted. However, when pursuing legal actions, it is in your best interest to seek the assistance of a skilled attorney.

How Normandie Law Firm Can Help
Dog bites can be both incredibly physically damaging, and emotionally traumatizing. If you or a loved one has experienced a dog bite as a result of the negligence or misconduct of an owner, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against them. At Normandie Law Firm our dog bites personal injury lawyers can assist you in the often arduous process of building your case, filing your claim, and collecting compensation for your damages. While our attorneys are based out of Los Angeles, we also practice in Sacramento County, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Fresno, San Diego, Orange County, Stockton, Bakersfield, and throughout the entire state of California.

FREE CONSULTATION: As a show this commitment to you and your case we offer our clients the benefits of a zero fee guarantee policy. Under our zero fee policy, all clients don’t pay for our services until their case is won. If you feel in need of a second opinion, second opinion case reviews are also free under this policy. Call now for a free consultation by one of our skilled attorneys, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation for your damages.

 

 

 

 

 

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