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What does the law say about restraining dogs in San Diego?

No matter how nice a dog treats its owner, dogs are still animals, and their behavior is therefore unpredictable. Indeed, attorneys who represent San Diego residents bitten by dogs often speak to the parents of a young child who was bitten while playing in the neighborhood. Invariably in these cases, the owners of the dog will try to say that their dog is docile, and sometimes they'll argue that it was the child's fault for provoking the animal in some way.

San Diego law probably won't see it that way, especially if the owner of the animal failed to keep the dog under restraint. San Diego county has published local dog restraint laws on its website. Let's take a look at what the law says about dog restraint in different scenarios.

1. When the dog is at home:

When a dog is at home, the dog owners are required to keep their dogs under control, either by voice or via an electronic dog containment system. Alternatively, the dog needs to be humanely restrained by a fence, leash or another type of enclosure.

2. When the dog is not at home:

When dog owners are walking their pet, or when the animal is taken into public areas or an area of private property where the dog is allowed, dog owners need to keep their dogs restrained. This must be done with a leash held in hand that is not more than 6 feet in length.

3. When transporting a dog in a car:

If a dog owner is transporting a dog in a vehicle, the animal has to be safely enclosed in the vehicle or it needs to be safely harnessed in such a way as to prevent it from jumping out of the car, being thrown from the car or falling out of the car.

Incidentally, hot weather needs to be considered whenever an animal is in a car because hot temperatures can seriously injure and even fatally injure a pet trapped inside a closed vehicle. As such, motor vehicle drivers must leave their pets at home on hot days. Leaving an animal unattended in a hot car that is unventilated is considered a public offense in San Diego County.

Did you or a loved one get bitten by a dog?

There are numerous rules and regulations in San Diego County that pet owners must follow both to keep their pets and other people safe from getting bitten by their pets. In many situations, when a dog attack happens, it involves a young child and the owner of the dog will be to blame for negligence and/or failure to follow the law as it applies to their dog. Parents of young children who are attacked by dogs can and should seek financial restitution for dog bite injuries in court.

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350 10th Avenue, Suite 900
San Diego, CA 92101

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