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Bakersfield Dog Bite Lawyer

Kern County Dog Bite Laws Explained

Kern County Animal Services exists to protect the health and safety of its residents and to ensure that all animals residing within county limits are treated humanely. All dog owners are expected and legally required to respect the safety of their fellow residents by acting responsibly and preventing their dog from causing injury or creating a nuisance.

Despite safety ordinances — and common sense — many people choose to treat their animals poorly, neglecting or abusing them, which causes these animals to become aggressive. Anyone who has been attacked or bitten by a dog knows just how traumatic a dog attack can be.

Dog attacks are emotionally scarring and painful experiences that require costly medical treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog attack, it’s important that you speak with an experienced Bakersfield dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. The compassionate Bakersfield dog bite lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers understand what you are going through, and we will recover fair and just compensation if you or a loved one was attacked by a dog.

Kern County Animal Related Ordinances

Below are Kern County dog ordinances every Bakersfield resident must know about:

  • Any dog can be deemed dangerous, potentially dangerous or vicious when there is evidence to believe an animal poses a hazard to the health and safety of humans, other animals, and property. This designation is determined after an administrative hearing presided over by an administrative hearing official
  • All dogs older than 4 months are required to maintain a current dog license and rabies vaccination.
  • It is illegal for a dog owner to allow their dog to create a nuisance through barking or other noise.
  • The owner of any dog that bites a person — and anyone who treats people for animal bites — is required to report the incident to Kern County Animal Services.
  • It is illegal for dog owners to allow their dog on the private property of another person or on public property without consent. All dogs must be restrained to protect persons, animals, and property from damage.

If you were bitten by a dog in Kern County, please click here to file a report of the incident.

Breed Specific Ordinances in California

California law doesn’t specifically target pitbulls, but there are breed specific regulations that apply primarily to pitbulls and related breeds. 392 deaths were caused by a dog attack in the United States in the past twelve years. Unfortunately, 65% of those deaths were caused by pitbulls. If you combine pitbull fatality numbers with rottweiler fatality numbers, the alarming figure of 65% climbs up to 76%. And if you include dog breeds that are “cousins” of pitbulls and rottweilers, 76% rises to nearly 90%.

According to California’s breed specific ordinances:

  1. Any pitbull over the age of four months, and all other breeds included in California’s breed specific ordinances, must be licensed.
  2. All pitbulls, and all other breeds included in California breed specific ordinances, must be spayed or neutered.

California Dog Bite Statistics And Strict Liability

Alarming dog bite statistics:

  • Young children possess the greatest risk of being attacked by a dog. Almost half of all children under the age of twelve have suffered at least one dog bite.
  • Children are involved in 79% of all fatal dog attacks.
  • Liable dog owners were responsible for over $686 million in dog related injury costs in 2017.
  • An average dog bite claim totals about $37,000.
  • Insurance companies pay out more than $1 billion a year in dog bite settlements.

More dog bite statistics:

  • More than 1,000 people a day require emergency medical care for dog bite injuries.
  • A dog bite happens once every 75 seconds.
  • More than 6,750 U.S. Postal Service workers suffered a dog attack in 2016.
  • 4.5 million dog bites happen every year in the United States
  • On average, 1 in 5 dog bites become infected.

Strict Liability — California Dog Bite Laws

Dog owners are liable for any injuries suffered by anyone bitten by their dog when in a public place, or while lawfully on private property. This includes the dog owner’s property, as well. This is referred to as a strict liability statute, meaning that a dog owner cannot dispute fault if their dog bites or attacks someone — they will automatically be liable to the victim who was injured. An injured party may therefore recover damages without needing to prove negligence on the dog owner’s part. 

Further, anyone who has custody or control of a dog may be held strictly liable even if they are not the dog’s owner. Strict liability will apply even if the person took reasonable precautions to prevent an attack.

Our Team is Here to Help

If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite or attack in the Bakersfield area, contact an experienced Bakersfield dog bite lawyer at West Coast Trial Lawyers today. Our attorneys will help get you the maximum compensation for your short and long-term medical care and other losses and damages. Consultations with a dedicated Bakersfield dog bite lawyer at our firm are always free, and you only pay when we get you compensation for your injuries. You can reach our friendly staff today by emailing us at or by calling toll free at (661) 347-3610.

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