Euthanasia Requirement after a Dog Bite in California

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There is a common doubt whether a euthanization of the dog is required according to the law in Dog bite events in California. As per the dog bite laws in the state, it is not required to have the dog euthanized if it bites a person. Below is a discussion regarding the same.

The Big Question  

It is not required to euthanize the dog in case of a dog bite in California. However, if the dog has a history of having bitten someone, it can be euthanized given the following conditions:

  • If the dog has bitten a person on a minimum of 2 distinct occasions;
  • If the dog had received formal training to kill, fight, or attack, inflicted serious damage in someone.

Under the California Civil Code, the dog-bite statute is Section 3342. This is a strict liability statute which offers damages to the dog bite victim if they are bitten:

  • At a public place;
  • Lawfully at any property. This includes the dog owner’s property (the person should not be trespassing).

Note that any person is authorized to approach the court in order to euthanize the dog this includes a friend or a neighbor of the victim. However, before euthanization, a proper legal hearing should happen. The hearing should be regarding the question of whether the dog is a threat to public safety. Meanwhile, the dog owner will also have a chance to explain their side and to present evidence against their dog’s death. Note that if the court determines that the dog is a major threat to the safety of the public, it could be sent for killing.

California law sets an extra duty of care over the owner of the dog with a previous history of biting. In this, the dog owner should do everything possible to ensure that people are not bitten by the same dog. In case the person fails to fulfill their responsibility, any person, like a friend or a neighbor, or even a government entity can file a petition in the court requesting to euthanize the dog.

Legal Hearing before a Dog is Euthanized

It is necessary to have a legal hearing before the dog is euthanized. This will determine whether the dog is a threat to the public.

Dog bite law in California allows a dog with a history of biting to be euthanized for safety reasons. Read the above factors before proceeding with a similar case.