Reaching down to pet a cute puppy or to caress the fur of a larger dog doesn't always end so well. According to the American Humane Association, approximately 7.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. every year. It doesn't matter how young or old or how nice the dog seems to appear, all dogs are capable of biting and causing harm to humans.
Not only are dog bites a prevalent problem throughout the U.S., but they are particularly frequent in California. According to the United States Postal Service Dog Attack City Rankings for 2012, Los Angeles, California took the number one spot for the city where the most number of dog attacks occurred. In 2012, 69 dog attacks happened in Los Angeles.
Opposition to the creation of a Megan's Law-style website for dogs
In order to limit the number of dog attacks and bites that happen in the state every year, the Orange County board of supervisors had been considering creating a database to list the addresses of where dangerous dogs resided, similar to the California's Megan's Law that requires sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies.
However, according to the LA Times, the creation of this website was denied by a vote done by the county's board of supervisors. Members of the board stated that they were worried about the creation of this website because:
- They were concerned about keeping the site up to date.
- It would have been difficult for dog owners to remove their dog from the site even after the dog stopped acting dangerously.
- County residents can already call OC Animal Care to find out the location of dangerous dogs.
Although creating a website to list dangerous dogs in this county was voted down, the adopted resolution by the county now gives the Animal Care Director the ability to declare certain dogs dangerous and to impose certain requirements on their owners, like making a dog's owner obtain liability insurance or require them to sterilize their dog.
What to do after a dog bite
Although many dog bites can be treated at home by keeping the wounded area clean or bandaged, medical care should be sought out if the bleeding from the bite won't stop, if the dog that bit you was unfamiliar or if the area surrounding the bite is showing any signs of infection.
After you have received proper and necessary medical care for your dog bite, consult with an attorney that can help you receive compensation for your injuries and hold the dog's owner liable for their dog's actions.