With dwindling tax funds, we have re-prioritized our service activities, with the safety of the public remaining our number one concern. Cases involving humans will be approved for hearings on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity. We do not have the resources to pursue prosecution for most cases of animal to animal violence, even those that involve the death of an animal.
However, those who purposefully fight animals will continue to be investigated and prosecuted as this activity is against the law.
Tips to keep animals safe from other animals:
- Make sure fencing around the yard is secure and of sufficient height to not allow your pet to escape or others to enter.
- Put locks on yard gates and consider keeping pets indoors when you are away from the home.
- Make sure the gates from your yard and the doors from your home secure properly.
- Make sure you know the animals in your neighborhood and their owners. Walk the area and make sure that fences and animals are secure. Discuss concerns with your neighbors.
- Do not let your animals roam free. Dogs should be on leash and cats indoors.
- Keep a close eye on your dog when in public; find a safe play situation with dogs you know.
General safety/reporting hints:
- When going for walks, be aware of which neighborhoods have dogs and how they react when you walk by.
- Take note of any "Beware of Dogs" signs.
- Always carry a walking stick or another strong and sturdy item. In case of dog attack, use this item to distract the dog into biting it.
- If you sense a dog attack is imminent, NEVER pick up your dog as a means to protect it. An aggressive dog will not be able to differentiate your body from that of the dog.
- The County does not recognize "vocal command" in lieu of the leash law. Report these offenders even if the dog does not show aggression.
- Never attempt to break up a dog fight with your bare hands. Even trained professionals can get badly injured when attempting to.
- Always report when a dog is loose in your neighborhood, regardless of the dog behavior. Because dogs are naturally territorial, often, a dog's aggression will progress as it feels that it has a larger area to protect. Also, by reporting a loose dog, it allows Animal Care to have history on the dog to establish means for impounding the dog should the situation warrant it.
- Report any bite to a human, regardless of severity.
- Obtain as much information as possible about the owner in the case of any dog-on-dog or dog-on-human bite. Dog owners are required by law to give all information to the victim when a bite occurs. (Penal Code 398).
- If your animal is attacked by wildlife, please report the incident to us as your pet could have been exposed to rabies.
- If your animal does become a victim of another animal's attack, please call us at 916-368-7387 so the incident can be documented.
- If your animal is attacked by wildlife, please contact Animal Care at 916-368-7387. In the case of a skunk or bat, Animal Control will make every attempt to catch or pick it up and test it for rabies at no charge.
- If your animal is injured, you may have other options available, such as civil court, if your animal is injured by another person's pet. We are always available to discuss each situation and offer any help that we can.
Whether a case qualifies for a dangerous/vicious animal designation or not, Animal Care will investigate every case of animal aggression and determine if the animal is to be seized for public safety and what conditions must be met before the animal is returned to the owner. These conditions will be based first and foremost on what is needed to keep the community safe. Learn more about vicious dog hearings...
Please note - Only a hearing officer/judge can order a dog to be euthanized and cannot be ordered into a seizure hearing. However, with a seizure hearing, Animal Care has the authority to hold the dog until the owner demonstrates a capacity to our satisfaction to keep the dog contained. All fees are the owner's responsibility.