Many cases of dog bites occur when a person is a guest at someone’s house and that person’s dog attacks them. However, some cases of dog bites occur at an animal shelter or shortly after a dog’s adoption from a shelter. If a shelter knowingly hid a dog’s history of biting and a person was attacked, the shelter could be held responsible. This includes but is not limited to lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional trauma and suffering.

What California Law Says About Dog Bites

California Civil Code section 3342 deals directly with dog attacks in the capacity of bites that cause injury when the person hurt was in a public place or was legally occupying a private space. This statute says that in such cases, the owner of the dog may be held responsible.  However, since shelter dogs don’t have an owner, this situation leaves victims wondering how to recover financial restitution.

When Animal Shelters Cover Up a Known History of Viciousness

Sometimes California animal shelters will hide a dog’s history of biting so they can be adopted out instead of euthanized. It may be considered negligence under the law if a shelter places a historically vicious dog in the shelter where it is in contact with people. Furthermore, it’s also negligent if the shelter allows a dog with a history of attacking to be adopted.

However, the injured person must be able to prove:

  • That the injures they suffered were caused directly by the dog’s bite or attack
  • That the shelter knew of the dog’s violent history and did not include that in the paperwork. Also, they didn’t provide the information to the adoptive family
  • The shelter knowingly allowed the vicious dog to come into contact with people or to be adopted

Often, the discovery of this information can be challenging. Therefore, it’s crucial for individuals attacked by shelter dogs to consult with an experienced California dog bite attorney.

Contact Zink & Lenzi Today

Don’t wait to get legal help after an attack at an animal shelter or after a dog is adopted from a shelter. You may be eligible for financial compensation to cover the damages you incurred. At Zink & Lenzi, we can help. Call today for a consultation at 530-895-1234.