Aliso Viejo, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law and Libel & Slander for California

Q: Hello, last night when I was walking my dog in my apartment complex, two teenage boys SPRINTED past me even though I

was there with my dog. They boxed me in and last night animal control reached out to me because apparently they are claiming my dog bit them even though apparently there is only a minor injury and no penetration of skin. They told me she will probably be quarantined and I want to know what I can do to protect my dog who was only trying to protect me? Especially when they enticed her and are probably lying. Its possible it was her paw, but I know there is no way she BIT. They also didn't attempt to reach out to me personally. I think its harassment and a personal attack. I want to know what questions to ask and what to do to protect my dog. My dog is our family and she is my 4 year olds favorite family member

1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You and your dog are not victims. You are 100% responsible for your dog's behavior, whether it bit someone, or clawed someone, and regardless of whether the boys walked or SPRINTED past you. Boys walk, run, sprint and are boisterous in public and are entitled to act like teenagers without having a dog bite or claw them.

If this is your dog's first encounter with Animal Control, it is unlikely that she will be put down. If there is an injury, there should be some type of proof, like photographs and medical records. You should be entitled to a hearing where you can contest the "charges" of a vicious or dangerous dog. If you have a hearing, you should probably not phrase the events as the boys "enticing" your dog to protect you or as you being personally attacked, unless the boys actually deliberately provoked your dog. Since you apparently don't know what exactly happened, it is hard to accept that the boys are "probably lying." You would have to know what they said, and you would have to know whether someone was bit or clawed, to make a judgment on whether someone was lying. You don't seem to know either of those things

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