Does California Law Mandate That a Dog That Bit Someone Be Quarantined?

Lawyers for Dog Bites
Animal Attack Attorney

To answer the question in the title in one word, “Yes”. The state of California stipulates that such a dog must be quarantined. Under the dog bite law of the state, the one who owns the dog would be held strictly responsible for the injuries which the victim sustained. The dog attack must occur when that person was lawfully present upon a private property, or upon a public property. The dog bite victim and the owner have to report the incident to their local health official. This initial report on the bite triggers the responsible agency to look into the matter, and also proves liability as well as damages.

Lawyers for dog bites discuss California’s quarantine law below.

What Happens after Either of the Parties Files a Report?

There is no “one bite rule” in California. So, it does not matter whether the owner had no notice of their dog’s dangerous tendencies. That means the dog bite incident has to be reported whether the animal had a biting history or not.

After either the dog bite victim or the owner of the dog files a report, the California county agency starts looking into the circumstances behind the event. The goals of the investigation would as follows.

  • Verify the initial dog bite report’s accuracy, and gather additional information concerning the alleged incident;
  • Determine the seriousness of possible consequences of the dog bite, mainly the risk of the rabies virus’s transmission;
  • Assemble the details to help guide the victim to appropriate medical care; and,
  • Identify steps to reduce or do away with the potential for more dog bite incidents.

Why Is the Dog Quarantined and How Long Must It Be Quarantined?

As mentioned earlier, state law does require that the dog in question be quarantined, for assessing whether it has at all been exposed to said virus. The animal would be quarantined as well as observed for ten days at the least, in a way and place determined by the concerned health official. Usually, the quarantine would happen at the dog owner’s premises itself, or at the county’s Animal Care Center.

The Animal Care Center then assesses the dog’s health throughout the quarantine time period, to make sure it is not showing symptoms of rabies. If it stays healthy for the ten-day period, then it will be taken out from quarantine.

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