This week, Los Angeles County Supervisors voted to give Department of Animal Care and Control officers the power to declare dogs “vicious.”
A “vicious” dog is one that has been trained to fight or that severely injures or kills a person without provocation.
The new ordinance allows hearing officers to consider prior attacks in another jurisdiction in making that determination. It also expands the definition of a severe injury to include not just bites, cuts or fractures caused directly by a dog, but also, for example, a heart attack brought on by a dog’s aggression.
Once a dog is declared “vicious,” Animal Control can require that the dog be euthanized, or confined, muzzled, or dressed in a fluorescent yellow collar visible from 50 feet away. The dog’s owner can be fined and required to take the dog to obedience classes.
Dog owners will have five days to contest the “vicious” tag in court.
The new ordinance must be voted on a second time before becoming law. Under current law, only a judge can declare a dog dangerous.
The Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control advocated for the change, stating that it will save legal costs and make it easier to protect the public from dog attacks.
If you or a family member has suffered a dog bite, call the Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at McGee, Lerer and Associates. (800) 999-9948. Our lawyers are experienced in handling dog attack claims. We can arrange for arrange for a plastic surgery consultation and psychotherapy on a lien basis, which means the medical provider agrees to wait to be paid until your case settles.