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California

West's Annotated California Codes. California Food & Agriculture Code, Division 14, Chapter 9. Chapter 9. Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs. Also referenced: Civil Code. Division 4. General Provisions. Part 1. Relief. Title 2. Compensatory Relief. Chapter 2. Measure of Damages. Article 2. Damages for Wrongs. Also Referenced: Health and Safety Code. Division 105. Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. Part 6. Veterinary Public Health and Safety. Chapter 1. Rabies Control. Also referenced: Penal Code. Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments. Title 10. Of Crimes Against the Public Health and Safety

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code 31601 - 31683; West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code 3342 - 3342.5; West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code 121685; West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code 398 - 399.5

Citation: CA FOOD & AG 31601 - 31683; CA CIVIL 3342 - 3342.5; CA HLTH & S 121685; CA PENAL 398 - 399.5


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2012

Summary:   This is the California statute for the rules and regulations regarding dangerous and/or vicious dogs. It defines what constitutes a dangerous and/or vicious dog, what is to be done with said dog(s), and provides a model provision for municipalities to follow.  The other set of provisions contains the relevant dog bite law.  California has strict liability for dog bites such that liability is imposed regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. The criminal provisions for animal bites and mischievous animals causing death or serious bodily injury are also provided.


Statute in Full:

 

Dangerous Dog Provisions:

California Food & Agriculture Code, Division 14, Chapter 9. Chapter 9. Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs.

§ 31601. Legislative declarations and findings

§ 31602. Potentially dangerous dog defined

§ 31603. Vicious dog defined

§ 31604. Severe injury defined

§ 31605. Enclosure defined

§ 31606. Animal control department defined

§ 31607. Impounded defined

§ 31608. County defined

§ 31609. Nonapplication of act

§ 31621. Hearing on declaration of  dog as potentially dangerous or vicious

§ 31622. Determination and orders; notice; compliance; appeal

§ 31623. Failure of owner or keeper to appear; decision

§ 31624. Finality of determination

§ 31625. Seizure and impoundment pending hearing

§ 31626. Circumstances under which dogs may not be declared potentially dangerous or vicious

§ 31641. Licensing and vaccination; potentially dangerous designation maintained in registration records; additional fee

§ 31642. Keeping and controlling potentially dangerous dogs

§ 31643. Death, sale, transfer, or permanent removal; notice

§ 31644. Removal from list of potentially dangerous dogs

§ 31645. Destruction; nondestruction, conditions; enclosures

§ 31646. Prohibition of owning, possessing, controlling, or having custody

§ 31662. Fines; limits

§ 31663. Fines; payment

§ 31681. Severable provisions

§ 31682. Forms, preparation; existing civil liability or criminal laws, effect of chapter

§ 31683. Local programs

Dog Bite Provisions:

Civil Code. Division 4. General Provisions. Part 1. Relief. Title 2. Compensatory Relief. Chapter 2. Measure of Damages. Article 2. Damages for Wrongs

§ 3342.Dog bites; liability of owner; military or police work excluded; limitations

§ 3342.5. Duty of owner; action; dogs trained to fight, attack, or kill; legislation by city and county

Rabies and Bites:

Health and Safety Code. Division 105. Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. Part 6. Veterinary Public Health and Safety. Chapter 1. Rabies Control

§ 121685. Law enforcement agency dogs; quarantine after biting people; availability for examination; notice of abnormal behavior

Criminal Provisions:

Penal Code. Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments. Title 10. Of Crimes Against the Public Health and Safety

§ 398. Animal bite; provision of identifying information and vaccination status; fine; definition of bite

§ 399. Mischievous animal causing death or serious bodily injury; negligence of owner or person having custody or control; punishment

§ 399.5. Dogs trained to fight, attack, or kill causing injury; negligence of owner or custodian; hearing; exceptions

 

 

 

California Food & Agriculture Code, Division 14, Chapter 9. Chapter 9. Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs.

§ 31601. Legislative declarations and findings

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Potentially dangerous and vicious dogs have become a serious and widespread threat to the safety and welfare of citizens of this state. In recent years, they have assaulted without provocation and seriously injured numerous individuals, particularly children, and have killed numerous dogs. Many of these attacks have occurred in public places.

(b) The number and severity of these attacks are attributable to the failure of owners to register, confine, and properly control vicious and potentially dangerous dogs.

(c) The necessity for the regulation and control of vicious and potentially dangerous dogs is a statewide problem, requiring statewide regulation, and existing laws are inadequate to deal with the threat to public health and safety posed by vicious and potentially dangerous dogs.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 


§ 31602. Potentially dangerous dog defined

"Potentially dangerous dog" means any of the following:

(a) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.

(b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, bites a person causing a less severe injury than as defined in Section 31604.

(c) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury attacking a domestic animal off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31603. Vicious dog defined

" Vicious dog" means any of the following:

(a) Any dog seized under Section 599aa of the Penal Code and upon the sustaining of a conviction of the owner or keeper under subdivision (a) of Section 597.5 of the Penal Code.

(b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being.

(c) Any dog previously determined to be and currently listed as a potentially dangerous dog which, after its owner or keeper has been notified of this determination, continues the behavior described in Section 31602 or is maintained in violation of Section 31641, 31642, or 31643.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 


§ 31604. Severe injury defined

"Severe injury" means any physical injury to a human being that results in muscle tears or disfiguring lacerations or requires multiple sutures or corrective or cosmetic surgery.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31605. Enclosure defined

"Enclosure" means a fence or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children, and which is suitable to confine a vicious dog in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or keeper of the dog. The enclosure shall be designed in order to prevent the animal from escaping. The animal shall be housed pursuant to Section 597t of the Penal Code.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31606. Animal control department defined

"Animal control department" means the county or city animal control department. If the city or county does not have an animal control department, it means whatever entity performs animal control functions.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31607. Impounded defined

"Impounded" means taken into the custody of the public pound or animal control department or provider of animal control services to the city or county where the potentially dangerous or vicious dog is found.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31608. County defined

"County" includes any city and county.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31609. Nonapplication of act

(a) This chapter does not apply to licensed kennels, humane society shelters, animal control facilities, or veterinarians.

(b) This chapter does not apply to dogs while utilized by any police department or any law enforcement officer in the performance of police work.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31621. Hearing on declaration of  dog as potentially dangerous or vicious

If an animal control officer or a law enforcement officer has investigated and determined that there exists probable cause to believe that a dog  is potentially dangerous or vicious the chief officer of the public pound or animal control department or his or her immediate supervisor or the head of the local law enforcement agency, or his or her designee, shall petition the superior court of the county wherein the dog is owned or kept for a hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the dog in question should be declared potentially dangerous or vicious. A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case. A city or county may establish an administrative hearing procedure to hear and dispose of petitions filed pursuant to this chapter. Whenever possible, any complaint received from a member of the public which serves as the evidentiary basis for the animal control officer or law enforcement officer to find probable cause shall be sworn to and verified by the complainant and shall be attached to the petition. The chief officer of the public pound or animal control department or head of the local law enforcement agency shall notify the owner or keeper of the dog that a hearing will be held by the superior court or the hearing entity, as the case may be, at which time he or she may present evidence as to why the dog should not be declared potentially dangerous or vicious. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be served with notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition, either personally or by first-class mail with return receipt requested. The hearing shall be held promptly within no less than five working days nor more than 10 working days after service of notice upon the owner or keeper of the dog. The hearing shall be open to the public. The court may admit into evidence all relevant evidence, including incident reports and the affidavits of witnesses, limit the scope of discovery, and may shorten the time to produce records or witnesses. A jury shall not be available. The court may find, upon a preponderance of the evidence, that the dog is potentially dangerous or vicious and make other orders authorized by this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1. Amended by Stats.1998, c. 931 (S.B.2139), § 168, eff. Sept. 28, 1998; Stats.2002, c. 784 (S.B.1316), § 119.)

 

§ 31622. Determination and orders; notice; compliance; appeal

(a) After the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 31621, the owner or keeper of the dog shall be notified in writing of the determination and orders issued, either personally or by first-class mail postage prepaid by the court or hearing entity. If a determination is made that the dog is potentially dangerous or vicious, the owner or keeper shall comply with Article 3 (commencing with Section 31641) in accordance with a time schedule established by the chief officer of the public pound or animal control department or the head of the local law enforcement agency, but in no case more than 30 days after the date of the determination or 35 days if notice of the determination is mailed to the owner or keeper of the dog. If the petitioner or the owner or keeper of the dog contests the determination, he or she may, within five days of the receipt of the notice of determination, appeal the decision of the court or hearing entity of original jurisdiction. The fee for filing an appeal, payable to the clerk of the court, is as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 70626 of the Government Code. If the original hearing held pursuant to Section 31621 was before a hearing entity other than a court of the jurisdiction, appeal shall be to the superior court. If the original hearing was held in the superior court, appeal shall be to the superior court before a judge other than the judge who originally heard the petition. The petitioner or the owner or keeper of the dog shall serve personally or by first-class mail, postage prepaid, notice of the appeal upon the other party.

(b) The court hearing the appeal shall conduct a hearing de novo, without a jury, and make its own determination as to potential danger and viciousness and make other orders authorized by this chapter, based upon the evidence presented. The hearing shall be conducted in the same manner and within the time periods set forth in Section 31621 and subdivision (a). The court may admit all relevant evidence, including incident reports and the affidavits of witnesses, limit the scope of discovery, and may shorten the time to produce records or witnesses. The issue shall be decided upon the preponderance of the evidence. If the court rules the dog to be potentially dangerous or vicious, the court may establish a time schedule to ensure compliance with this chapter, but in no case more than 30 days subsequent to the date of the court's determination or 35 days if the service of the judgment is by first-class mail.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1. Amended by Stats.1998, c. 931 (S.B.2139), § 169, eff. Sept. 28, 1998; Stats.2002, c. 784 (S.B.1316), § 120; Stats.2005, c. 75 (A.B.145), § 46, eff. July 19, 2005, operative Jan. 1, 2006.)

 

§ 31623. Failure of owner or keeper to appear; decision

The court or hearing entity of original jurisdiction or the court hearing the appeal may decide all issues for or against the owner or keeper of the dog even if the owner or keeper fails to appear at the hearing. 

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31624. Finality of determination

The determination of the court hearing the appeal shall be final and conclusive upon all parties. 

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31625. Seizure and impoundment pending hearing

(a) If upon investigation it is determined by the animal control officer or law enforcement officer that probable cause exists to believe the dog in question poses an immediate threat to public safety, then the animal control officer or law enforcement officer may seize and impound the dog pending the hearings to be held pursuant to this article. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be liable to the city or county where the dog is impounded for the costs and expenses of keeping the dog, if the dog is later adjudicated potentially dangerous or vicious.

(b) When a dog has been impounded pursuant to subdivision (a) and it is not contrary to public safety, the chief animal control officer shall permit the animal to be confined at the owner's expense in a department approved kennel or veterinary facility. 

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31626. Circumstances under which dogs may not be declared potentially dangerous or vicious

(a) No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious 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 potentially dangerous or vicious 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 potentially dangerous or vicious 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.

(b) No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if the injury or damage to a domestic animal was sustained while the dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control 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.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31641. Licensing and vaccination; potentially dangerous designation maintained in registration records; additional fee

All potentially dangerous dogs shall be properly licensed and vaccinated. The licensing authority shall include the potentially dangerous designation in the registration records of the dog, either after the owner or keeper of the dog has agreed to the designation or the court or hearing entity has determined the designation applies to the dog. The city or county may charge a potentially dangerous dog fee in addition to the regular licensing fee to provide for the increased costs of maintaining the records of the dog.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31642. Keeping and controlling potentially dangerous dogs.

A potentially dangerous dog, while on the owner's property, shall, at all times, be kept indoors, or in a securely fenced yard from which the dog cannot escape, and into which children cannot trespass. A potentially dangerous animal may be off the owner's premises only if it is restrained by a substantial leash, of appropriate length, and if it is under the control of a responsible adult.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31643. Death, sale, transfer, or permanent removal; notice

If the dog in question dies, or is sold, transferred, or permanently removed from the city or county where the owner or keeper resides, the owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall notify the animal control department of the changed condition and new location of the dog in writing within two working days.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31644. Removal from list of potentially dangerous dogs

If there are no additional instances of the behavior described in Section 31602 within a 36-month period from the date of designation as a potentially dangerous dog, the dog shall be removed from the list of potentially dangerous dogs. The dog may, but is not required to be, removed from the list of potentially dangerous dogs prior to the expiration of the 36-month period if the owner or keeper of the dog demonstrates to the animal control department that changes in circumstances or measures taken by the owner or keeper, such as training of the dog, have mitigated the risk to the public safety.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31645. Destruction; nondestruction, conditions; enclosures

(a) A dog determined to be a vicious dog may be destroyed by the animal control department when it is found, after proceedings conducted under Article 2 (commencing with Section 31621), that the release of the dog would create a significant threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.

(b) If it is determined that a dog found to be vicious shall not be destroyed, the judicial authority shall impose conditions upon the ownership of the dog that protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

(c) Any enclosure that is required pursuant to subdivision (b) shall meet the requirements of Section 31605.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31646. Prohibition of owning, possessing, controlling, or having custody

The owner of a dog determined to be a vivious dog may be prohibited by the city or county from owning, possessing, controlling, or having custody of any dog for a period of up to three years, when it is found, after proceedings conducted under Article 2 (commencing with Section 31621), that ownership or possession of a dog by that person would create a significant threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31662. Fines; limits

Any violation of this chapter involving a potentially dangerous dog shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). Any violation of this chapter involving a vicious dog shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31663. Fines; payment

All fines paid pursuant to this article shall be paid to the city or county in which the violation occurred for the purpose of defraying the cost of the implementation of this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31681. Severable provisions

If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31682. Forms, preparation; existing civil liability or criminal laws, effect of chapter

The Judicial Council shall prepare all forms necessary to give effect to this chapter, including a summons or citation to be used by law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of this chapter. This chapter does not affect or change the existing civil liability or criminal laws regarding dogs.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1.)

 

§ 31683. Local programs

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a city or county from adopting or enforcing its own program for the control of potentially dangerous or vicious dogs that may incorporate all, part, or none of this chapter, or that may punish a violation of this chapter as a misdemeanor or may impose a more restrictive program to control potentially dangerous or vicious dogs, provided that no program shall regulate these dogs in a manner that is specific as to breed.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1989, c. 761, § 1. Amended by Stats.2005, c. 668 (S.B.861), § 1.)

 

Civil Code. Division 4. General Provisions. Part 1. Relief. Title 2. Compensatory Relief. Chapter 2. Measure of Damages. Article 2. Damages for Wrongs
 
§ 3342. Dog bites; liability of owner; military or police work excluded; limitations

(a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

(b) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was defending itself from an annoying, harassing, or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:

(1) In the apprehension or holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect's involvement in criminal activity.

(2) In the investigation of a crime or possible crime.

(3) In the execution of a warrant.

(4) In the defense of a peace officer or another person.

(c) Subdivision (b) shall not apply in any case where the victim of the bite or bites was not a party to, nor a participant in, nor suspected to be a party to or a participant in, the act or acts that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work.

(d) Subdivision (b) shall apply only where a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work as adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for the police or military work enumerated in subdivision (b).

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1953, c. 37, p. 675, § 6. Amended by Stats.1988, c. 298, § 1.)

 

§ 3342.5. Duty of owner; action; dogs trained to fight, attack, or kill; legislation by city and county

(a) The owner of any dog that has bitten a human being shall have the duty to take such reasonable steps as are necessary to remove any danger presented to other persons from bites by the animal.

(b) Whenever a dog has bitten a human being on at least two separate occasions, any person, the district attorney, or city attorney may bring an action against the owner of the animal to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bites have been changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. This action shall be brought in the county where a bite occurred. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

(c) Whenever a dog trained to fight, attack, or kill has bitten a human being, causing substantial physical injury, any person, including the district attorney, or city attorney may bring an action against the owner of the animal to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bites have been changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. This action shall be brought in the county where a bite occurred. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

(d) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (b) based on a bite or bites inflicted upon a trespasser, or by a dog used in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was actually performing in that capacity.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent legislation in the field of dog control by any city, county, or city and county.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the liability of the owner of a dog under Section 3342 or any other provision of the law.

(g) A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1968, c. 1274, p. 2400, § 1. Amended by Stats.1976, c. 470, p. 1216, § 1; Stats.1984, c. 655, § 1; Stats.1998, c. 931 (S.B.2139), § 18, eff. Sept. 28, 1998.)

 

Health and Safety Code. Division 105. Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. Part 6. Veterinary Public Health and Safety. Chapter 1. Rabies Control
 
§ 121685. Law enforcement agency dogs; quarantine after biting people; availability for examination; notice of abnormal behavior
 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a dog used by any state, county, city, or city and county law enforcement agency shall not be quarantined after biting any person if the bite occurred while the dog was being used for any law enforcement purpose. The law enforcement agency shall make the dog available for examination at any reasonable time. The law enforcement agency shall notify the local health officer if the dog exhibits any abnormal behavior.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

 

Penal Code. Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments. Title 10. Of Crimes Against the Public Health and Safety

§ 398. Animal bite; provision of identifying information and vaccination status; fine; definition of bite

(a) If a person owning or having custody or control of an animal knows, or has reason to know, that the animal bit another person, he or she shall, as soon as is practicable, but no later than 48 hours thereafter, provide the other person with his or her name, address, telephone number, and the name and license tag number of the animal who bit the other person. If the person with custody or control of the animal at the time the bite occurs is a minor, he or she shall instead provide identification or contact information of an adult owner or responsible party. If the animal is required by law to be vaccinated against rabies, the person owning or having custody or control of the animal shall, within 48 hours of the bite, provide the other person with information regarding the status of the animal's vaccinations. Violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).

(b) For purposes of this section, it is necessary for the skin of the person to be broken or punctured by the animal for the contact to be classified as a bite.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.2007, c. 136 (A.B.670), § 1. Amended by Stats.2008, c. 179 (S.B.1498), § 178.)

§ 399. Mischievous animal causing death or serious bodily injury; negligence of owner or person having custody or control; punishment

(a) If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal, while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, kills any human being who has taken all the precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a felony.

(b) If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal, while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, causes serious bodily injury to any human being who has taken all the precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony.

CREDIT(S)

(Enacted 1872. Amended by Stats.2001, c. 257 (A.B.1709), § 1, eff. Sept. 5, 2001.)

§ 399.5. Dogs trained to fight, attack, or kill causing injury; negligence of owner or custodian; hearing; exceptions

(a) Any person owning or having custody or control of a dog trained to fight, attack, or kill is guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, if, as a result of that person's failure to exercise ordinary care, the dog bites a human being, on two separate occasions or on one occasion causing substantial physical injury. No person shall be criminally liable under this section, however, unless he or she knew or reasonably should have known of the vicious or dangerous nature of the dog, or if the victim failed to take all the precautions that a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation.

(b) Following the conviction of an individual for a violation of this section, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bite or bites have changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

(c) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) based on a bite or bites inflicted upon a trespasser, upon a person who has provoked the dog or contributed to his or her own injuries, or by a dog used in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was actually performing in that capacity. As used in this subdivision, “provocation” includes, but is not limited to, situations where a dog held on a leash by its owner or custodian reacts in a protective manner to a person or persons who approach the owner or custodian in a threatening manner.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the liability of the owner of a dog under Section 399 or any other provision of law.

(e) This section shall not apply to a veterinarian or an on-duty animal control officer while in the performance of his or her duties, or to a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, if he or she is assigned to a canine unit.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1984, c. 655, § 2. Amended by Stats.1999, c. 265 (S.B.103), § 2.)


 

§ 399.5. Dogs trained to fight, attack, or kill causing injury; negligence of owner or custodian; hearing; exceptions

(a) Any person owning or having custody or control of a dog trained to fight, attack, or kill is guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, if, as a result of that person's failure to exercise ordinary care, the dog bites a human being, on two separate occasions or on one occasion causing substantial physical injury. No person shall be criminally liable under this section, however, unless he or she knew or reasonably should have known of the vicious or dangerous nature of the dog, or if the victim failed to take all the precautions that a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation.

(b) Following the conviction of an individual for a violation of this section, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bite or bites have changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

(c) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) based on a bite or bites inflicted upon a trespasser, upon a person who has provoked the dog or contributed to his or her own injuries, or by a dog used in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was actually performing in that capacity. As used in this subdivision, “provocation” includes, but is not limited to, situations where a dog held on a leash by its owner or custodian reacts in a protective manner to a person or persons who approach the owner or custodian in a threatening manner.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the liability of the owner of a dog under Section 399 or any other provision of law.

(e) This section shall not apply to a veterinarian or an on-duty animal control officer while in the performance of his or her duties, or to a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, if he or she is assigned to a canine unit.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1984, c. 655, § 2. Amended by Stats.1999, c. 265 (S.B.103), § 2; Stats.2011, c. 15 (A.B.109), § 344, eff. April 4, 2011, operative Oct. 1, 2011.)

 

  



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