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Dog Bite Laws in Orange County

Orange County is a quaint area that escapes all of the noise and chaos of the big city of Los Angeles.  It has a perfect climate which residents can enjoy at the many beaches and parks which decorate the city. It is home to many attractions which help promote the arts, culture, and unity. Many of the residents own loyal and honest dogs, and they are a part of their families. Unfortunately, these dogs can bite when they feel threatened or anxious making for some seriously damaging implications. Reports have shown that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States. Out of these 4.5 million dog bites, 1 out of 5 become infected. These infections can cause severe damage to your health and overall well-being. If you ever experience a dog bite, it is important to understand first and foremost, what to do after receiving the bite, and what laws protect you and influence the event. This article will focus on laws that affect dog bite incidents in Orange County.

Orange County Dog Bite Laws
The dog bite laws in Orange County state you are required by law to report any bite or scratch from a domestic or wild animal. This law is put in place, as any warm-blooded animal can carry rabies, which is extremely lethal when contracted by humans. The Orange County Animal Care and the State of California for that matter require that domestic animals involved in a bite, or scratch caused by teeth to a person are quarantined for ten days minimum. This quarantine requires that the animal is confined and isolated from other animals and people. This quarantine can be carried out at the owner’s premise (depending on certain factors), or at the Orange County Animal Care Center. An officer will then evaluate the health of the animal at both the beginning and at the end of the quarantine period to check that the animal is not displaying symptoms of rabies. If the animal remains healthy for the ten-day period, then they are released. There are some quarantines that could be carried out in the event of a dog bite. These different quarantines are listed as follows:

  • Animal vs. human: This form of quarantine is described as an animal’s quarantine from human contact. At any point when a warm-blooded mammal breaks the skin of a human with its teeth, the human may have been exposed to rabies.
  • Pet vs. wildlife: This is a form of quarantine; it’s a pet’s quarantine from wildlife. At any point when a pet dog or cat has come into contact with a wild mammal like a skunk, bat, or raccoon, a quarantine is required.
  • Government: When an animal enters the Orange County jurisdiction from another country without a state-approved rabies vaccine a quarantine period is required.

Orange County dog law also requires that any person with a dog must keep it restrained via fence, wall, chain, or leash. If the dog is held by a leash, the person handling the dog must be competent and able. This means that a bigger dog is required to be handled by an adult rather than a small child.

If you have been bitten by a dog, it is in your right to pursue legal action against the party responsible. Under Orange County law, the owner of the dog can be held liable for the damages inflicted. However, when pursuing legal action, it is in your best interest to retain the assistance of a skilled attorney.

The Implications & What To Do
Dog bites more often occur at home than anywhere else, and it may surprise you to know that they are likely to be caused by dogs that are familiar to us. Those at the highest risk of dog bites are children, aged 5 to 9 years old, and men. However, that is not to say that a dog bite can’t occur anywhere else in a dog that is a stranger to you. It is in your best interest to always be aware of the best course of action in preventing the dog bite. Listed below are some tips that could help you avoid a dog bite.

  • When approached by an unfamiliar dog remain motionless
  • If a dog knocks you down curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears and neck
  • Don’t approach unfamiliar dogs
  • When small children play with dogs, make sure they are under supervision.
  • If a dog looks as though they are going to attack, don’t run from the dog
  • Don’t panic or make loud noises when approached by an unfamiliar dog
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for its young.
  • Don’t pet a dog without allowing it to see you and sniff you first.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively

Sometimes even following these preventative measures may not keep you from being bitten by a dog. If you are bitten by a dog, there are some things you can do to treat the wound based on the severity of the injury. These suggested treatments are listed as follows:

  • 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 if not treated properly could lead to life-threatening infections. Some common damages from dog bites are listed as follows:

  • 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 serious conditions in those with a weakened immune system.
  • MRSA: methicilin-resistant Staphyloccous 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 bacteria called Clostridium tetani, and can cause rigid paralysis in people exposed to it through deep bite wounds.

These are just some of the infections and damages that you could sustain in the event of a dog bite. Thankfully, there are some laws that protect you from experiencing the complete severity of these injuries without some form of retribution. These laws tend to vary from county to county, and it is in your best interest to stay informed about the laws that influence your particular county in the event of a dog bite incident.

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 San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, 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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