California Leash Law – 3 Huge Reasons it Helps Prevent Dog Attacks
The California leash law was most recently altered in 2016.
The California leash law aims to help control loose dogs and reduce the risk for a dog bite injury.
According to Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, the California leash law (code 10.32.010) “prohibits dogs from running at large on any public street, park or other public areas or upon private property other than that of the dog owner”.
Furthermore, the California leash law states that a dog must:
- be restrained by a substantial leash that doesn’t exceed six feet
- be in the control of a competent person when off property
Basically, the California leash law stops owners from letting their dogs roam freely on public property, likely due to the danger a loose dog can present. The dog must be on a leash when in public.
A “competent person” is not clearly defined. In law, the word competent is defined as the “ability to perform a job or occupation, the capacity to reason, or to make decisions”
The California leash law can be of benefit to both potential dog bite victims, as well as dog owners.
Remember, California is a strict liability state in terms of dog bites. According to California Civil Code 3342, dog owners are liable for any damages incurred by the victim of a dog bite while in:
- a public place
- lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog
The former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness does not affect the liability of a dog bite in the state of California.
The California leash law can help prevent dog bites and attacks in a number of different ways.
First, requiring dogs to be on leashes in public settings can help owners control the animal. If a dog is freely roaming a sidewalk, it can decide to attack another person walking in their path.
There are multiple types of dog leashes. Some are retractable, while others are more standard for walking and training.
Dog leashes are made up various materials, including:
Furthermore, the California leash law also helps protect dogs, as the person being attacked may try defending themselves from the attack.
A dog owner can help control their dog and bring them back from the attacked person so they are not injured as well.
Finally, the California leash law can help prevent dog attacks by helping owners form a bond with their dog.
Some dogs respond well to leashes, often wagging their tails due to the joy of getting to go outdoors. Having your dog on a leash can help strengthen the relationship between pet and owner.
Even with dogs on leashes, there is still a risk for a dog bite. There are sometimes warning signs that a dog is ready to attack.
Dogs may bite or attack due to being scared, startled, or even frightened. It could be a reaction to a noise or visual stimuli.
Additionally, dogs may attack as a defense mechanism, thinking someone may be trying to attack their owner or even them.
Dog bites or attacks can lead to a number of serious injuries for the victim, including:
- Deep puncture wounds that may cause an infection
- Eye injuries after a dog scratches the victim’s eyes
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Fractured bones
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Some bites or attacks can result in death.
According to Dogbites.org, California ranked second in the United States for dog bite fatalities during a 12-year study period. This accounted for over 19 percent of all dog bite fatalities, behind only Texas.
Despite the California leash law being in place, not all dog owners will keep their four-legged friends leashed.
If you were attacked by a dog not on a leash, you might be suffering from severe physical injuries or mental anguish.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyers at C&B Law Group. Our team of California personal injury attorneys have practiced law for a number of years, and we currently boast a 99 percent success rate of settling cases.
California leash laws are designed to protect. Don’t let your rights to safety be hampered by a dog bite injury.
We can help recover various damages, including:
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Income
- Mental Trauma
- Punitive Damages