“Isn’t it illegal to walk a dog without a leash in Los Angeles?” you’re probably wondering right now. And if you are, chances are that you or any of your friends or relatives recently got bit by a dog.
Dogs bite. There are about 78 million dogs currently owned in the U.S., and some of the bite. And given that dogs are merely domesticated wolves, it only makes sense that some of them bite.
Even the tiniest dogs bite, but you usually hardly feel a thing. But it’s nonetheless still a dog bite.
Some bites can leave a small, temporary bruise, while others can be deadly. In fact, an estimated 4.5 million Americans get bit by dogs every year, a rather shocking statistic that has prompted authorities to minimize dog bites.
One of the solutions is making it illegal to walk your dog without a leash. In Los Angeles, fines start at $100 the first time you’re caught walking a dog without a leash, $200 for a second offense and $500 for a third one.
So why do residents of Los Angeles still keep walking their dogs without a leash, putting passers-by at a higher risk of dog bites?
What to do if you were bit by an off-leash dog?
The number of dogs in Los Angeles keeps rising every year, and so do dog bites. Angelenos own an estimated nearly 1.7 million dogs in 2017.
Some owners comply with the leash laws, while others don’t. The leash program, called Administrative Citation Enforcement, was introduced in Los Angeles in 2014, but many Angelenos still choose to walk their dogs off the leash.
The number of dog bites in the city still remains high, and most of these bites come from off-leash dogs, which means residents of Los Angeles are breaking the law and are putting their dogs, themselves and people around in danger.
If you’ve been bit by a dog, seek medical help immediately. Even a tiny puncture that may seem like no big deal can cause infection. If you were bit by an off-leash dog, call the cops and ask them to write down a police report.
With the police report and medical conclusion, you’re entitled to pursue a dog bite claim in Los Angeles. In fact, a dog owner will be held responsible even if someone falsely accuses his/her dog of trying to bite them.
If the dog was witnessed running off-leash, the dog owner will be in trouble. Such a dog could be quarantined for rabies, and if the dog is not on a rabies vaccine it can even be put down.
Fun fact: leashes can be no longer than six feet. If they are, the dog owner may be fined for breaking the leash law.
If you were bit by a dog in Los Angeles and you want to pursue a dog bite claim, don’t hesitate to contact our attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg.