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Kern County Dog Bite Laws

Have you suffered a dog bite injury in Kern County California? Contact our experienced dog bite attorneys with decades of trial experience and solid negotiations. Please call 1-800-561-4887 for a free consultation and to preserve your rights.

Kern County has a set of laws pertaining to dog bites and dog attacks that are in place to protect the public from serious injury and harm. The laws also set forth a process to determine which dogs are "dangerous" or "vicious" and how dog owners should go about maintaining such animals that have been deemed dangerous. The following are some of the laws that pertain to dangerous dogs in Kern County.

7.08.080 Reports of animal bites

The owner of any animal that bites any person, and any person who treats any person for an animal bite, shall report the circumstances of the animal bite incident to the director who in his or her discretion shall place the animal under regulation or quarantine in a humane manner for such time as may be required or permitted by state law. The regulation or quarantine may be conducted at the home of the owner of the animal or at such other place as may be designated by the director and the animal shall be kept securely confined while under observation. Dogs or cats that have bitten any person and are not vaccinated for rabies may be quarantined at the county animal shelter and the owner shall be liable for the board and care fees. (Ord. G-6942 § 5 (part), 2002)

7.08.150 Dogs at large prohibited--Confinement

It is unlawful for the owner of any dog to allow it to be on the private property of another person or on public property without the consent of the person owning, occupying or controlling the property. Animals on the property of another person with the consent of the person in charge of the property shall be under such restraint as is necessary to protect persons and other animals from injury and to protect the property from damage. In particular, dogs shall be restrained by a leash and under the immediate control of the handler or confined within an enclosed pen when on public property, unless the officer in charge of the property has consented to the owner exercising another form of restraint.

  1. Any person who at any time finds any animal at large in violation of any of the provisions of this section may take up, confine and hold the animal, provided that such person shall within twenty-four (24) hours thereafter notify the director of the fact that he has the animal in his possession and shall surrender possession of the animal to the director upon demand when deemed by the director to be in the animal's best interest and in accordance with the law. If the animal is taken up at a time when an animal shelter is not open for business, the person confining it shall within twenty-four (24) hours after the shelter reopens, notify the director. (Ord. G-6942 § 5 (part), 2002)

7.08.270 Dangerous animals

The director may declare an animal to be dangerous if he has evidence to believe that it poses a potential hazard to the health and safety of humans, other animals or property. In determining whether or not an animal is dangerous, the director shall be guided by, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  1. Whether the animal has bitten any person or other animal, damaged property, or has attempted or threatened to do so;
  2. Circumstances indicating the temper or ferocity of the animal; and
  3. Its general menace to the public;
  4. In addition to other circumstances that the director may consider, an animal shall not be declared dangerous under the following conditions:
    1. No dog may be declared dangerous if any injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time the injury or damage was sustained, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. No dog may be declared dangerous if the dog was protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault. No dog may be declared dangerous if an injury or damage was sustained by a domestic animal which at the time the injury or damage was sustained was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog.
    2. No dog may be declared dangerous if the injury or damage to a domestic animal was sustained while the dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, predator control dog or ranch dog on the property of, or under the control of, its owner or keeper, and the damage or injury was to a species or type of domestic animal appropriate to the work of the dog. (Ord. G-6942 § 5 (part), 2002)

7.08.280 Handling of dangerous animals

A. If the director determines that an animal is dangerous, he shall thereupon give a written order to the owner of the animal to keep it at all times securely fastened or
confined within the owner’s property in a specified manner so as to prevent it from having the opportunity to bite any person or other animal or damage any property.

B. The director will perform periodic inspections to ensure compliance.

C. Any animal determined to be dangerous by the director that bites or otherwise injures a person or other animal or damages property may be impounded for euthanasia. At the time of impoundment the director shall notify the animal’s owner in writing of the right to appeal the euthanasia and the appeal procedures in subsection (D) of this section.

D. The appeal shall be made in writing to the director and filed within five (5) working days of the impoundment. The appeal shall list the name, address and phone number of the legal owner(s) of the animal(s) and shall state the reason(s) for opposition to the euthanasia. The appeal shall be heard within two (2) weeks of its filing by the administrative review board. The disposition of the appeal shall be as described by a majority of the review board.

E. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if upon investigation by the director that probable cause exists to believe the animal in question poses an immediate threat to public safety, then the director may seize and impound the animal pending a hearing as provided in subsection (D) of this section. The owner or keeper of the animal shall be liable to the county for the costs and expenses of keeping the animal, if the animal is later determined to be dangerous. When an animal has been impounded pursuant to this paragraph, and it is not contrary to public safety, the director shall permit the animal to be confined at the owner’s expense in an approved kennel or veterinary facility.

7.08.290 Violation of order on dangerous animal

Any violation by the owner of a dangerous animal of an order of the director pertaining to that animal constitutes a misdemeanor punishable as provided in Section 1.12.030 of this code. (Ord. G-6942 § 5 (part), 2002)

Contacting an Experienced Injury Lawyer

The experienced and knowledgeable Kern County dog bite attorneys at Bisnar Chase provide quality legal representation to injured victims and their families. We have seen first-hand the devastation caused by dog attacks and how they can affect victims not just physically, but also psychologically and financially. Dog attacks do have long-term consequences for victims and their families. To obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights, please contact us. We are here to help. Call 1-800-561-4887.

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