Code Section Group

Food and Agricultural Code - FAC

DIVISION 14. REGULATION AND LICENSING OF DOGS [30501 - 31683]

  ( Division 14 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

CHAPTER 9. Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs [31601 - 31683]

  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 1. Findings, Definitions, and General Provisions [31601 - 31609]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1. )

31601.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Potentially dangerous and vicious dogs have become a serious and widespread threat to the safety and welfare of citizens of this state. In recent years, they have assaulted without provocation and seriously injured numerous individuals, particularly children, and have killed numerous dogs. Many of these attacks have occurred in public places.

(b) The number and severity of these attacks are attributable to the failure of owners to register, confine, and properly control vicious and potentially dangerous dogs.

(c) The necessity for the regulation and control of vicious and potentially dangerous dogs is a statewide problem, requiring statewide regulation, and existing laws are inadequate to deal with the threat to public health and safety posed by vicious and potentially dangerous dogs.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

31602.
  

“Potentially dangerous dog” means any of the following:

(a) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.

(b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, bites a person causing a less severe injury than as defined in Section 31604.

(c) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury attacking a domestic animal off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

31603.
  

“Vicious dog” means either of the following:

(a) Any dog that, when unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being.

(b) Any dog previously determined to be and currently listed as a potentially dangerous dog that, after its owner or keeper has been notified of this determination, continues the behavior described in Section 31602 or is maintained in violation of Section 31641, 31642, or 31643.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 561, Sec. 60. (AB 1516) Effective January 1, 2018.)

31604.
  

“Severe injury” means any physical injury to a human being that results in muscle tears or disfiguring lacerations or requires multiple sutures or corrective or cosmetic surgery.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

31605.
  

“Enclosure” means a fence or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children, and which is suitable to confine a vicious dog in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or keeper of the dog. The enclosure shall be designed in order to prevent the animal from escaping. The animal shall be housed pursuant to Section 597t of the Penal Code.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

31606.
  

“Animal control department” means the county or city animal control department. If the city or county does not have an animal control department, it means whatever entity performs animal control functions.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

31607.
  

“Impounded” means taken into the custody of the public pound or animal control department or provider of animal control services to the city or county where the potentially dangerous or vicious dog is found.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

31608.
  

“County” includes any city and county.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

31609.
  

(a) This chapter does not apply to licensed kennels, humane society shelters, animal control facilities, or veterinarians.

(b) This chapter does not apply to dogs while utilized by any police department or any law enforcement officer in the performance of police work.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 761, Sec. 1.)

FACFood and Agricultural Code - FAC1