You may know that California has one of the highest rates of dog bites and animal attacks in the country, with thousands of dollars in insurance payouts every year for dog bite injuries. Given that California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, it is extremely important for anyone who is considering bringing a new dog into the family to know about a new adoption law that is designed to protect potential adopters. While the new law is aimed at providing families with more information about whether a dog may have a history that could make a dog bite more likely in the future, the impetus remains on adopters to ask questions about the dog’s viciousness. A recent article in CityWatch discusses the new law and what it could mean for dog owners in dog bite cases.
California Governor Signs New Law Concerning Potential Dog Adopters
On October 2, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom sign AB 588 into law. The new law, according to the article, “is important to anyone who adopts, or considers adopting, a dog from any animal shelter, human society, or “rescue” group in California and to anyone living in a community where an adopted dog is kept.” In short, the new law requires all animal shelters in the state to inform adopters about whether any dog that is four months old or older has bitten a person and broken the skin. Under the new law, the animal shelter is required to inform a person about this type of animal history prior to selling a dog, giving away a dog, or otherwise releasing a dog. The history of bite(s) must be disclosed in writing, along with information concerning the incident in which the dog bite occurred.