Dog Bite Laws in Santa Cruz County

Hardly ever do expect a seemingly friendly dog to bite, but the truth of the matter is that dogs are still animals, and as such, they will still bite when they feel threatened or anxious. Dog bites can leave some truly glaring wounds, and in some cases, can leave a victim with life-threatening infections. According to several studies, out of the 4.5 million dog bite cases that occur every year, 1 out of 5 bites become infected. This is why there are some laws in California, and for the sake of this article, Santa Cruz County, that protects the citizens and visitors of this area from experiencing the full damages that a dog bite wound can cause. Call one of our qualified lawyers at the top-rated Normandie Law Firm with experience handling dog bite claims for more information.

Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz County, known for its stunning coastal views and redwood forest, is home to one of the most prestigious universities in California, University of California Santa Cruz, and the stunning Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Roughly 262,000 people call Santa Cruz County home. Located on the central coast of California, and just south of the San Francisco Bay Area, the county incorporates the northern coast of the Monterey Bay. The county’s seat is the city of Santa Cruz, which in itself receives a large number of tourists every year from around the world. Very few who visit this gorgeous coastal county ever expect to be bitten or injured by a dog. However, these things happen, and as such there are some city and county ordinances that protect both visitors and residents of the area.

Santa Cruz Dog Bite Ordinances
Santa Cruz dog bite laws indicate that every dog four months or older must be licensed. These licenses not only help a dog owner retrieve their dog if they are lost but also help ensure animal control personnel that the dog is properly vaccinated. Another law under the local county dog bite ordinance, is to keep a dog on a leash whenever they are on public or private property that prohibits dogs at large. This law also indicates that the individual handling the dog must be capable of doing so, meaning an adult who won’t be overpowered by a dog if the dog feels threatened or anxious and is intending to bite. If a dog bite does occur, then it is on the dog owner and the dog bite victim to report the bite incident to an official. This official could be a medical professional, or an animal control center officer.

When a dog bites another individual, the dog is to be put on quarantine. This quarantine can be carried out on the property of the dog owner or the animal care center premises. During this quarantine, the dog’s health is monitored for any signs of rabies or other infectious diseases. If a dog owner fails to uphold this quarantine, that dog owner could face a fine or other public consequences. If a dog attacks another animal or has a reoccurring tendency of being violent, then that dog could be labeled as vicious and dangerous animals. When a court labels a dog, vicious and dangerous, the dog’s owner is expected to adhere to some regulations that are put in place by said court. These regulations could include, having the dog on a leash at all times when outside the home; requiring the dog is put in adequate restraints like fencing or walls at home, or requiring the dog and the dog owner to work with a trainer to ensure the dog’s safety to the public.

These laws and a variety of many others are established to protect the visitors and residents of Santa Cruz County from experiencing the damages of an animal attack or dog bite. Understanding these laws is crucial to preventing dog bites, but it is also important to understand the best ways in which to prevent a dog bite, how to treat a dog bite wound and the possible infections that could be contracted if you fail to follow proper procedure. To receive a recommendation for an adequate medical professional, get in touch with a top attorney with expertise in dog bite injury lawsuits.

The Damages & What To Do To Avoid Being Bitten
A majority of dog bites occur in young children, and men and they are often inflicted in the home by dogs that we would say we are familiar with. While these are the most likely cases of dog bites, a dog bite can occur anywhere at any time, so it is in your best interest to be aware of how you can properly prevent a dog bite. Some of these preventative measures include:

  • 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 strange dogs
  • When small children play with dogs, make sure that they are under supervision.

Unfortunately, following these preventative measures do not guarantee that you will avoid being bitten by a dog. Some dogs will still attack when they have been given no reason to do so. This could be due to poor ownership, a trained aggression, or symptoms of the rabies infection. When bitten by a dog it is always important to seek proper medical attention right away, however, reaching medical care fast enough is not always possible. For this reason, it is important to understand the best way to treat a dog bite wound if you ever experience one. Treatment of a dog bite wound depends on the severity and placement of the wound, and some methods of doing so are listed below:

  • 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.

If medical care is not sought out immediately, a dog bite wound can become infected. In some cases, these infections can be treated with proper medicine, however, in other cases, an infection can leave a victim with life-threatening conditions that can be difficult to recover from fully. Some common infections that a dog bite can spread are listed 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 higher 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.

While the damages from dog bites can be severe, there are some laws and regulations that help protect people from the full extent of damages a dog bite can cause. The variety of laws in Santa Cruz County contribute to this cause. California dog bite laws also dictate that in the event of a dog bite, the dog owner is to be held liable for the damages. This means that a dog bite victim can seek assistance from a California attorney and file a dog bite lawsuit against the dog owner. However, with all lawsuits, it is in your best interest to seek adequate legal assistance before bringing your case to court. An expert attorney who has experience in dog bite cases will be a valuable asset to have.

How Normandie Law Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of a dog bite, you have every right to file a claim for compensation against the dog’s owner. Clients who file a claim with Normandie Law Firm may find some if not all of the following damages compensable to them:

  • Past and Future Medical Expenses
  • Loss of Income
  • Loss of potential future income
  • Emotional Damages (anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc…)
  • Punitive Damages (which can only be won by an experienced attorney)

Victims of a dog bites contact our Los Angeles law offices to learn more about how to receive compensation for their injuries. At Normandie Law Firm, our experienced lawyers can assist you in understanding dog bite ordinances in Santa Cruz County and fighting and win your dog bite lawsuit. While we are based in Los Angeles, we also practice in San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, Bakersfield, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento and throughout the state of California.

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Other attorneys will sign you up to their firm but will disappear once your name is on the paper as they are busy signing up more cases. In these instances, their business is based more on volume and will attempt to sign up as many cases as possible. In turn, they will spend less time on cases resulting in severely reduced settlements. Our firm will not treat you like a number. We will be in communication with you throughout our lawsuit and will treat you like family. So if you already have an attorney, don’t worry, we’ll give you a second review of your case 100% free of charge. An accomplished lawyer experienced in dog bite cases will help you.

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If you contact our law offices today, we can walk you through the complicated process of filing your claim completely free of charge. 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. Please, feel free to give us a call, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation for your damages. One of our skilled attorneys with experience in dog bite cases will be available to take your call.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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