California has strict rules to deal with dog bite cases. The laws in California refer to the rights and responsibilities of both owner and the victim. The laws of the state also demands quarantine of the dog when a dog bite is occurred. This is done to prevent the transmission of rabies from the dog to the injured human.
Reporting of the incident
In California, a dog bite should be reported by both the victim and the dog’s owner. There will be at least one local animal control office in every city where a dog bite case should be reported. After the reporting is done, an animal control officer will be assigned to conduct a detailed investigation on the incident. During the time of investigation the officer will verify that the information in the initial report is true and will collect additional information if needed, and will also determine the severity of the bite as well the chance for rabies infection.
He/she will also help the victim to seek proper medical care and will also determine the steps that have to be taken in order to prevent such an attack in the future. The officer will also visit the victim as well as the home of the offending dog as a part of the investigation. Usually, this will be done within 24 hours after filing the report.
The investigation should be thorough and objective. The officer has to collect proper evidences like pictures of the scene or injuries suffered by the victim etc. They will have to document their findings for future reference. They also conduct a test to find if there is any risk of rabies transmission.
The dogs which are found to have rabies or those which are at high risk of having rabies will have to be euthanized according to the situation. Dogs that are determined to have low risk for rabies will have to be quarantined.
Quarantine after bite
According to the laws of California, it is mandatory to quarantine the dogs that bite someone. After the report has been filed for a dog bite, the offending dog will be quarantined to avoid the risk of the rabies transmission. This rule is only applicable if the dog bites a human, not any other animals.
The dogs, if it bites a person, will be quarantined and observed for at least 10 days to check the possibility of the dog having rabies virus. Even though the dogs that are under the rabies vaccination are considered to be at low risk, still they should be quarantined and observed after a dog bite. The purpose of this law is to protect the victim of the dog bite, dog owner and also the public.
The quarantine of a dog after it bites someone is done either at the dog’s house, or at a local shelter or a veterinarian’s office. The decision about the place where the dog should be quarantined will be made by the animal control officer. Once after 10 days are over and still the dog doesn’t show any signs of rabies then the quarantine process will be cancelled.
Quarantine at Home or Away
It is better to quarantine a dog away from the home at an animal shelter, kennel, veterinary hospital or any other similar facilities. It will help to isolate the dog from other animals and facilitate close observation of the dog. The staff working at such facilities will be trained to observe for the onset of rabies and can also ensure that the proper conditions required for a quarantine order are met.
But if the risk of rabies is low or at a manageable level, then the dog will be permitted to be quarantined in its own home. The chance for allowing a home quarantine is more if the owner is able to prove that the dog’s rabies vaccinations are up to date and the dog does not have any history of violence.
Even if the dog is under the home quarantine, it should be kept in an enclosed facility indoors or outdoors for preventing it from coming in contact with other animals or people. Only one adult will have the permission to tend to the dog and if there are any children in the home, the restriction will be even stricter. Animal control officers might make unannounced and unexpected visits to ensure the proper compliance with the quarantine order. If the dog owner fails to comply with the rules and regulations of the home quarantine, then the dog will be moved to an external location.
Releasing a dog from quarantine
After the quarantine period (which is most probably 10 days) is over, the dog will be examined to verify that it does not have rabies infection and is otherwise healthy. Only an animal control officer has the right to officially release a dog from quarantine. The dog will be vaccinated against rabies, if not already vaccinated, before releasing from quarantine. The victim of the dog bite will be also informed that the dog is rabies free and is otherwise healthy.
Making a claim after a bite
If you are bitten by a dog, then you have the right to file a lawsuit for claiming money against losses you suffered. You have to contact a dog bite attorney to know more about the legal procedures associated with making the claim. A dog attack lawyer will fight on your behalf in the court to make sure that you get the right compensation you deserve.