Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Irresponsible dog owners

Since moving from a town in Oregon with a population of over 90,000 to a small coastal town in California a month ago, I have never encountered more dogs running loose, most without tags. They are not fenced in and they don't have owners looking after them.

I've been chased by a 3 legged dog, I've encountered a pit bull in the forest. I've been chased by a Cocker spaniel, and a Wiener dog, I got goose bumps when a very large Husky sitting in it’s lawn and barked at me. My heart came out of my chest after that one.

The scariest incident came the afternoon when I had to run just a few miles from my home. The husky and the 3 legged dog came out of no where and were following me. When I stopped to encounter them, the husky looked as if it were going to bite me. I had my mace with me, was about to use it. I yelled at them to go home, they backed off just a little, but were still trying to follow me. The worst part of all this was that the owner of the husky was pulling into his driveway and still didn’t do anything for me. I got away from the dogs. At my turn around for my running route, I said a prayer and headed back toward the area, bravely. I wanted the owner’s address of the husky. As I got the address, the dogs were at a different house on the opposite side of the street. I got that house # as well and I stopped. I bravely took my hand out to pet the dogs and they turned out to be friendly. I noticed the husky was not wearing a collar and tag but the 3 legged dog was.

I remembered what Deputy Shane told me when I took a self defense class a few months prior. If the incident is happening now, dial 911. So I took out my cell phone and called. They transferred me to animal control and after talking with them for awhile and giving them all the information (while petting the husky) they told me that unfortunately they wouldn't be able to do anything about it until the following day!!!!

The husky had been hanging around a head start building, so I went inside to chat with me. The woman inside told me that she knows the dogs very well and they are a frequent problem. 

After researching dog laws, trying to find something that applied to my area, this was all that I could come up with;

California is one of the states that has a dog bite statute, meaning a law that repudiates in whole or part the common law's requirement of "scienter" (i.e., knowledge that the animal had previously injured a person in the same manner, such as by a bite). California Civil Code section 3342 provides as follows:
3342.  (a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.  A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing problem for me. It's too bad that these dog owners don't have enough common sense to be responsible with their dogs. 

Since writing this, I have learned that the Husky, whom I might add is large enough to be on the set of the Twilight series, is named Lucky. He got his name because it was once hit by a car going 40 and the dog was completely unharmed. Interesting.

1 comment:

  1. It's so sad that good dogs end up in the hands of stupid people. You are wonderful for giving the dogs a try and finding out they are friendly. I have to say it again....there are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners.