If you have a dog, you know how important they can be to you and your family. They are the source of an incredible amount of joy and happiness, as they welcome you and your family every day when you come home.
Unfortunately however, even some of the best behaved dogs are capable of biting someone. Many people don’t consider this factor when they first purchase a dog, but you should take it into account and understand Arizona dog bite law.
If you have questions or have been the victim of a dog bite attack, please contact us. Our personal injury team is dedicated to helping victims of dog bites receive compensation for their injuries, time lost at work and pain and suffering.
Understanding What the Law Demands If Your Dog Bites Someone
Before continuing, it is important to explain that these same laws apply whether your dog is the one that has bitten someone else or another person’s dog or cat, or if you are the victim of the attack. Whenever a dog bites anyone, the first step taken is quarantining the dog. As a result, it cannot come in contact with any other person and is kept in a fenced yard.
In the majority of cases, the dog’s owner is asked to quarantine the animal. This means that the owner must keep it inside their home or behind the fence in their backyard so that it cannot come in contact with anyone else. If the owner is unable or unwilling to provide these kinds of accommodations, the dog can be taken to the local animal control shelter for it to be placed in quarantine.
Moreover, the quarantine may require that if there are children in the home, they should be kept away from the dog. The primary concern of any governing authority handling a case like this is to ensure that the dog is not able to cause any kind of further damage. The last thing they want is to subject a small child to a potentially vicious dog.
The Search Is On
While the dog is in quarantine, investigators will determine if any incident has previously occurred where the dog has been the provocateur in a biting incident. If there is a history of the dog aggressively attacking other animals or people, this needs to be known to decide what to do with the dog.
In the majority of cases, this is an isolated incident and the dog is considered to pose a minimal risk to complete action like this in the future. Therefore, the dog owner is let off the hook with a warning or a ticket and asked to keep greater control of their animal, as long as there is no history of prior incidences.
However, if there are incidences that have occurred before, or if the dog has continued to act in an aggressive manner during the quarantine, then the dog can be declared either a potentially dangerous dog or a vicious dog.
The Distinctions are Huge
You should know that the distinction between these two terms is enormous. If your dog is declared as potentially dangerous, this means that the dog is simply required to be placed in an escape-proof environment, such as a fenced backyard, so that it cannot have contact with anyone else to pose a potential re-occurrence.
This can also require that there be no children present in the home. As mentioned before, the court is concerned about the potential risk of the dog attacking someone else, and so children are usually required to be separated to ensure that a risk of biting does not present itself.
The animal can also be required to be restrained on a leash, so that its ability to move about freely is greatly restricted. This is often the case with larger sized dogs where it is determined by the governing body that the backyard may not be enough in keeping the dog restricted, and so further restraint is required.
In the event that the dog is declared as vicious, an entirely different set of circumstances arises in this case. It means that the dog poses a severe risk to the community, as well as to its owner, neighbors, and other animals. Such cases may see that the dog needs to be euthanized, preventing any further risk.
While this may seem as a rather severe way to resolve the problem, the truth is that these animals have had a number of cases where they have bitten people or other animals, or where they have acted in a rather extreme fashion while under quarantine. That’s why they are considered quite dangerous to the general public and therefore cannot be simply released even to the owners in a restricted environment.
The Actions Are Necessary
When a dog bites a person, such an action is taken very seriously by the governing bodies of the community. The last thing that one wants to see happen is this animal create a re-occurrence of the incident.
If you have a dog that has bitten someone else, the best action you can take is to provide an environment that keeps it isolated and ensure that it presents itself in the best possible way. Some investigators can be quite overzealous, which is why you need to take the extra steps to protect your pet.
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.