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California

West's Annotated California Codes. Penal Code. Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments. Title 10. Of Crimes Against the Public Health and Safety

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: CA PENAL 398 - 399.5

Citation: West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code 398 - 399.5


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2012

Summary:   If an owner of an animal knows that the animal bit another person, s/he shall provide the other person with his or her name, address, telephone number, and the name and license tag number of the animal, and vaccine information. A violation is an infraction punishable by a fine of  up to $100. If any person who owns an animal and knows of its vicious propensities, allows it to run at large and the animal kills any person, the owner may be guilty of a felony. If the animal causes  serious bodily injury, then the owner may be guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony.  The court may order the removal of the animal or its destruction.


Statute in Full:

 

§ 398. Animal bite; provision of identifying information and vaccination status; fine; definition of bite

§ 399. Mischievous animal causing death or serious bodily injury; negligence of owner or person having custody or control; punishment

§ 399.5. Dogs trained to fight, attack, or kill causing injury; negligence of owner or custodian; hearing; exceptions

 

§ 398. Animal bite; provision of identifying information and vaccination status; fine; definition of bite

(a) If a person owning or having custody or control of an animal knows, or has reason to know, that the animal bit another person, he or she shall, as soon as is practicable, but no later than 48 hours thereafter, provide the other person with his or her name, address, telephone number, and the name and license tag number of the animal who bit the other person. If the person with custody or control of the animal at the time the bite occurs is a minor, he or she shall instead provide identification or contact information of an adult owner or responsible party. If the animal is required by law to be vaccinated against rabies, the person owning or having custody or control of the animal shall, within 48 hours of the bite, provide the other person with information regarding the status of the animal's vaccinations. Violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).

(b) For purposes of this section, it is necessary for the skin of the person to be broken or punctured by the animal for the contact to be classified as a bite.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.2007, c. 136 (A.B.670), § 1. Amended by Stats.2008, c. 179 (S.B.1498), § 178.)


§ 399. Mischievous animal causing death or serious bodily injury; negligence of owner or person having custody or control; punishment

(a) If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal, while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, kills any human being who has taken all the precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a felony.

(b) If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal, while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, causes serious bodily injury to any human being who has taken all the precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony.

CREDIT(S)

(Enacted 1872. Amended by Stats.2001, c. 257 (A.B.1709), § 1, eff. Sept. 5, 2001.)


§ 399.5. Dogs trained to fight, attack, or kill causing injury; negligence of owner or custodian; hearing; exceptions

(a) Any person owning or having custody or control of a dog trained to fight, attack, or kill is guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, if, as a result of that person's failure to exercise ordinary care, the dog bites a human being, on two separate occasions or on one occasion causing substantial physical injury. No person shall be criminally liable under this section, however, unless he or she knew or reasonably should have known of the vicious or dangerous nature of the dog, or if the victim failed to take all the precautions that a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation.

(b) Following the conviction of an individual for a violation of this section, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bite or bites have changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

(c) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) based on a bite or bites inflicted upon a trespasser, upon a person who has provoked the dog or contributed to his or her own injuries, or by a dog used in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was actually performing in that capacity. As used in this subdivision, “provocation” includes, but is not limited to, situations where a dog held on a leash by its owner or custodian reacts in a protective manner to a person or persons who approach the owner or custodian in a threatening manner.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the liability of the owner of a dog under Section 399 or any other provision of law.

(e) This section shall not apply to a veterinarian or an on-duty animal control officer while in the performance of his or her duties, or to a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, if he or she is assigned to a canine unit.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.1984, c. 655, § 2. Amended by Stats.1999, c. 265 (S.B.103), § 2; Stats.2011, c. 15 (A.B.109), § 344, eff. April 4, 2011, operative Oct. 1, 2011.)

 


 



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