Los Angeles, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: Am I still at fault if I told my neighbors to wait so that my dogs can use the restroom outside?

I live in a gated house with more houses in the back of the house.

My dogs (3 total) are very territorial and will attack anyone they don’t know who is in the yard or passing by.

As my neighbor with her kids tries to enter to the gate, I proceed to tell her to wait outside the gate so my dogs can finish the restroom and I can take them inside.

She refuses, tells me she does not have to wait (knows the behavior of my dogs) and continues to open the gate where my dogs run and try to attack her.

I’m only one person and can’t grab all my dogs at once.

So my question really is if my dogs do attack her and this is the scenario what are the consequences on my end? How can I fight this if she does take action?

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

A: You are responsible for your dogs. You cannot bar co-tenants from use of common property because your dogs are dangerous. You have an obligation to make your dogs not dangerous, or to remove them from the property. California is a strict liability state for dog bites. Get training and/or get muzzles, or move.

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