Does California Require a Dog To Be Quarantined After It Bites Someone?

Yes.  California law requires a dog be quarantined after it bites someone.  [1]

Under California’s dog bite law, the owner will be held strictly liable for the injuries sustained by the victim.  The attack must either occur on public property or lawfully on private property, e.g., the victim was not trespassing.  Both the victim and the dog owner is legally responsible for reporting the incident to the local health officer.

This initial bite report triggers the responsible public agency to investigate the incident. This report will also prove liability and damages.  

 Below, our California personal injury lawyers discuss California's quarantine law.  

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1. Am I required to report a dog bite in California? 

 Yes.  Both the victim and the dog owner must report the incident to the local health officer.  After either the victim or dog owner files a report, the county agency starts the investigation into the circumstances behind the bite. 

 The purpose of the investigation is to:

  1. verify the accuracy of the initial report and collect additional information about the alleged bite incident(s);
  2. determine the severity of potential consequences of the bite, primarily the risk of rabies virus transmission;
  3. assemble information to help guide appropriate medical care for the victim; and,
  4. identify measures to reduce or eliminate the potential for additional bite incidents. [2]

California does not have a “one-bite” rule. Therefore, it does not matter if the owner did not have notice of the dog's dangerous tendencies. The incident must be reported regardless if the animal had a previous biting history.   

2. Is quarantine required after a dog bites someone in California?

Yes. The State of California requires the dog be quarantined after it attacks a person. The purpose of the quarantine is to assess if the dog has been exposed to the rabies virus.

3. How long does the dog have to be quarantined in California? 

The dog will be quarantined and observed for at least ten (10) days in a manner and place determined by the local health official.  Typically, the quarantine will occur at the owner's premises, or at the county Animal Care Center.

The county Animal Care Center assesses the health of the dog throughout the quarantine period to ensure that the dog is not displaying symptoms of rabies. If the dog remains healthy for the 10-day period, the dog will be taken out of quarantine.

4. How do I report an animal bite in California? 

If you have been attacked by a dog, you can report the incident to your local authorities below.

  1. Los Angeles County
  2. Orange County
  3. Sacramento County
  4. San Diego County
  5. Santa Barbara County
  6. San Francisco County

Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog? 

Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

Call us at (855) LAWFIRM to discuss your case in confidence with an experienced California injury lawyer.

We have offices throughout California, including in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, San Diego and Riverside Counties, as well as Central and Northern California.

Related Topics 

  1. Lawsuit in California when a dog bites another dog
  2. What is the statute of limitations (time limit) for filing a dog bite lawsuit?
  3. Attorneys for dog bite lawsuits
  4. Does California require euthanasia of a dog that bites someone?
  5. Does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?

Legal References:

  1. Code Regs., tit. 17, § 2606
  2. The Investigation, Management, and Prevention of Animal Bites in California, 3rd Edition. 

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