Richardson Dog Bite Lawyer | Richardson Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Richardson Dog Attack Attorney
Dallas County Dog Bite Accident Attorney
Dangerous Dog Facts:
- An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year;
- Approximately 334,000 people are admitted to US emergency rooms annually with dog bite-associated injuries, and another 466,000 are seen in other medical settings;
- An unknown number of other people who have been bitten do not sustain injuries deemed serious enough to require medical attention;
- Almost half of all persons bitten are children younger than 12 years old; and
- People more than 70 years old comprise 10% of those bitten and 20% of those killed.
According to Zoonosis Control Division of the Texas Department of Health, domesticated dogs comprise most the dog bites in any given year. Even more shocking, Texas was the leader in dog bite fatalities in 2007, with seven fatalities stemming from dog bites that year alone. There is a regional Zoonosis office in Richardson located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 1301 South Bowen Road, Suite 200, Arlington, Texas 76013, (817) 264-4920 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Richardson Definitely Can Reduce Richardson Dog Bites
As so many things in life, dog bites can be reduced by what happens in the home. A dog is not always the one to blame in the instance of a dog attack or dog bite injury. Many owners use their dogs for illegal dog fights and these dogs are victimized every bit as much as the victims of their attacks, and they too are often severely injured or even killed in dog fighting rings as they fight for their lives. Negligent and abusive dog owners should be held liable for their actions. A decision to be a responsible dog is a personal decision and one that requires responsibility. There are many places in and around Richardson, Texas to have your dog trained for obedience. Dog owners are also able to take their dog to an area designated for dogs to play. Dog parks are there so that the owner can take their dog to an area where they can run around and play in an fenced-in and safe place. Dog parks are a responsible place to take your pet to ensure that when they are running off their leash that they will not run away from you and/or cause harm to a person or another animal. Some Dog Training Facilities and Dog Park locations in the General Richardson Area include:
Petco Animal Supplies
1401 East Spring Valley Road
Richardson, TX 75081
Breyers Canine Home Academy
501 Worcester Way
Richardson, TX 75080
Camp Bark O'Lot
1606 Montclair Drive
Richardson, TX 75081
Redding Trail Dog Park
14677 Proton Drive
Addison, TX 75244
Wagging Tail Dog Park
5841 Keller Springs Road
Dallas, Texas 75248
Dogs should be trained and any sense of aggressive behavior exhibited by a dog should be immediately attended to by the pet owner in order to avoid a future incident. What it boils down to is that if you or a loved one have been bitten, attacked, maimed, or killed by a dog or other animal, you should be entitled to some degree of compensation from the animal’s owner or handler. Contact one of the experienced Richardson dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Texas’s “One Bite” Rule & Dog Bite Claims Based on Negligence
Texas follows the arcane “one bite rule.” This means that a pet owner is liable when:
- the owner knew that the dog had bitten someone before or had a “dangerous propensity” for biting;
- the bite was caused by the negligence of the person handling the dog;
- the bite was caused by a violation of a leash law, prohibition against dogs trespassing or running at large, or a similar animal control law; or,
- the bite injury was caused intentionally by the owner or person handling the dog.
When it cannot be proved that the dog’s owner or handler knew of the dog’s propensity to bite, negligence can form the basis of a claim. An example of a negligence-based claim could occur when the owner of a dog whose breed is notorious for its violent propensities — such as a pit bull, Rottweiler, or German Shepherd — allows their dog to run loose in a children’s park or other public area without supervision. The dog’s owner will be held liable based on negligence if the dog bites a child in the park.
However, a person does not have to be the dog’s owner to be held liable for a bite victim’s injuries. A child bitten at a day care facility for dogs could, through the child’s parents, make a claim against the pet care center, even though the dog was owned by a third party who was absent at the time of the bite. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you should contact a Richardson dog bite attorney to pursue your personal injury claims. Even if the dog has no prior history of aggression and has never bitten anyone before, Texas’s “one bite rule” may allow a Richardson dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Richardson Negligence Per Se Dog Bite Lawyer
When a statute or ordinance is violated and the violation leads to an injury, this is called negligence per se.
Negligence per se is frequently found in cases of dog bites, dog maulings, and dog attacks, often resulting from a violation of:
- leash laws;
- dog trespass laws; or,
- no “free-run” laws.
Usually, these types of dog control laws and ordinances are only found in large Texas cities; however, Richardson has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Richardson requires that all dogs over four months of age be licensed with the city officials. If you or a loved one has been bitten or mauled by a dog running loose in violation of the law of Richardson or Dallas County, you should contact a local Richardson dog bite attorney immediately.
Lillian’s Law (H.B. 1355)
The so-called “Lillian Stiles Law,” sponsored by Senator Eliot Shapleigh and passed in 2007, increases the jail time for owners who fail to secure their dogs in a reasonable manner, resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another. Under the law, a dog owner will be charged with a third-degree felony if their dog causes serious bodily injury to a victim during an unprovoked attack. A third-degree felony is punishable by 2-10 years of prison time as well as a potential fine of up to $10,000. If the victim dies from an unprovoked dog attack, H.B. 1355 would impose a charge of second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Click here for more information on the passage of Lillian’s Law,
Texas still allows a dog to be chained up, which is not only bad policy, but also dangerous to children and others who are routinely attacked by dogs that have been chained. Lillian’s law helps protect Richardson residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Richardson dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Richardson dog bite lawyer today.
Some of Texas' Laws on Dog Bites
Some of the laws are found in the Texas Health & Safety Code, Title 10, Chapter 822 Regulation of Animals:
- Subchapter A General Provisions; Dogs That Attack Persons or Are a Danger to Persons;
Subchapter D Dangerous Dogs;
- 822.041. Definitions;
- 822.042. Requirements for Owner of Dangerous Dog;
- 822.0421. Determination That Dog is Dangerous;
- 822.0422. Reporting of Incident in Certain Counties and Municipalities;
- 822.0423. Hearing;
- 822.043. Registration;
- 822.044. Attack by Dangerous Dog;
- 822.045. Violations;
- 822.046. Defense; and
- 822.047. Local Regulation of Dangerous Dogs
Dallas County Dangerous Dog Laws
Sec. 6-1. - Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Animal means a warm-blooded animal.
Cat means a domestic feline (Felis catus) of either sex, including one neutered or sterilized.
Dog means a domestic canine (Canis familiaris) of either sex, including one neutered or sterilized.
Domestic animal means dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and any other species of animal which is sold or retained as a household pet, but shall not include skunks, nonhuman primates, and any other species of wild, exotic or carnivorous animal that may be further restricted in this chapter.
Harboring means the act of keeping and caring for an animal, or of providing a premises to which the animal returns for food, shelter or care for a period of ten days.
Impoundment means quarantining an animal in a designated detention site which is under the supervision of the county health officer or his representative.
Owner means any individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, or any other legal entity who has the right of property in an animal, or who harbors any animal, or allows an animal to remain about its premises for a period of ten days.
Person means any individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, or any other legal entity.
Quarantine means strict confinement under restraint by closed cage or paddock or in any other manner approved by the state department of health or its designee on the private premises of the owner or at a facility approved by the state department of health or its designee for a period of at least ten days or more as prescribed by the county health officer.
Rabies means an acute viral disease of man and animal affecting the central nervous system and usually transmitted by an animal.
Rabies vaccination means the vaccination of a dog, cat or other domestic animal with a modified live virus rabies vaccine which shall be administered only by or under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
Running at large means pertaining to any animal off the premises of the owner and not under the physical, visible or audible control of the owner or his authorized representative. An animal intruding upon the property of another person other than the owner shall be termed "running at large."
Stray means any animal that is allowed to run free with no physical restraint beyond the premises of the owner or for which there is no identifiable owner.
Veterinarian means a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the state.
Vicious animal means any animal that commits an unprovoked attack upon a person on public or private property, or that attacks, threatens to attack or terrorizes a person on public property or in a public place.
Wild animal means all species of animals which exist in a natural unconfined state and are not usually domesticated.
(Ord. No. 82-1598, § 1, 10-4-1982)
Cross reference— Definitions generally, § 1-2.
Sec. 6-2. - Penalties for violation of chapter.
(a) Violation of dog and cat vaccination requirements. An owner commits an offense if he fails or refuses to have each dog and cat he owns vaccinated against rabies, and such animal is required to be vaccinated under the provisions of article III, division 2 of this chapter. An offense under this subsection is a class C misdemeanor.
(b) Violation of animal quarantine requirements. An owner commits an offense if he fails or refuses to quarantine or present for quarantine any animal which is required to be placed in quarantine under the provisions of article III, division 4 of this chapter. An offense under this section is a class C misdemeanor.
(Ord. No. 82-1598, § 8, 10-4-1982)
Sec. 6-3. - Fees; licenses; permits.
The county health officer, with the consent and approval of the commissioners court shall establish a schedule of fees for impoundment or quarantine which are on file in the county health and human services department.
(Ord. No. 82-1598, § 7.2, 10-4-1982)
Secs. 6-4—6-30. - Reserved.
City of Richardson Dangerous Dog Laws
Sec. 5-11. - Guard dogs.
(a) Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) Anti-escape means any housing, fencing or a device which the guard dog cannot go over, under, through or around.
(2) Commercial property means:
a. A portion of land and/or buildings zoned for or utilized for commercial business uses in the city, including temporary sites.
b. Any vehicle utilized for commercial business purposes in the city.
(3) Guard dog means any dog that is utilized to protect commercial property.
(4) Handler means a person who is responsible for and capable of controlling the operation of a guard dog.
(5) Housing means any location where the guard dog is kept when not utilized for protection purposes.
(b) Permits. The following provisions shall pertain to the issuance of permits for guard dogs:
(1) A separate guard dog permit must be applied for each dog on commercial property where guard dogs are to be used or where dogs are to be kept, boarded, bred, sold, let for hire or trained for a fee for guard dog purposes. Procedures for permit application, for inspection of guard dog facilities, and for issuance of dog identification tags will be established by the director of the health department. Permits for both permanent and temporary locations may be transferred to a new location operated by the same business firm during the permit year. However, such transfers shall not be effective until an animal control officer has inspected and approved the required facilities at the new location and the information required below for permit applications has been recorded.
(2) Advance notification to the director of health shall be required for permit transfers.
(3) Guard dog permit applications shall include the following information:
a. The business name, address and telephone number of the commercial property where guard dogs are to be used.
b. The name, address and telephone number of the dog's handler who can be reached at any time during the day or night.
c. The number of dogs to be used and a general description of their use.
d. The location where dogs are to be housed.
e. Any other information that the director of health deems necessary by rules and regulations. Permit holders shall notify the director of health if any information recorded as part of the permit application is changed during the course of the period for which the permit is issued.
(4) An animal control officer shall inspect the facilities where the guard dog is to be used and housed when the guard dog permit is applied for and when it is renewed.
(5) If the inspection reveals that the requirements of this section are met, a permit fee established by resolution of the city council for each approved commercial property shall be paid to the city and a special guard dog identification tag shall be issued by the animal control officer. The permit shall be displayed at the approved commercial property and an identification tag shall be affixed to the collar of each dog used. Nothing in this section shall exempt guard dogs from any of the other provisions of this chapter.
(6) Each permit shall be valid for the period of one year and must be renewed annually within 30 days after the renewal date. The renewal fee shall be established by resolution of the city council.
(7) Each permit must be obtained prior to housing or utilizing guard dogs at the commercial property; provided, that for those commercial properties where guard dogs are in use when this chapter becomes effective, there shall be a 90-day period in which to obtain the permit without penalty.
(c) Exclusions. Dogs which are used to protect the property of their owner's private residence shall be excluded from the provisions of this section unless such residence is located on premises utilized for commercial purposes.
(d) Unlawful acts; revocation of license. It shall be unlawful for any owner or person in control of any guard dog to keep or permit the same in or about any public house, public place, street or alley of the city. The director of health shall have the authority to revoke the dog license of an owner or a dog which is determined to be vicious, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(Code 1966, § 3-12)
Cross reference— Police, ch. 17.
State law reference— Vicious dogs, V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 42.12; destruction of vicious dogs, Vernon's Ann. C.C.P. art. 18.182; guard dog companies, Vernon's Ann. Civ. St. art. 4413(29bb), §§ 14A, 14B.
Sec. 5-9. - Registration permit; vaccination.
(a) A registration permit may be for either a three-year period, for animals receiving vaccination every three years, or a one-year period for animals receiving a vaccination every year, dependent upon the duration of the rabies vaccination used by the veterinarian.
(b) The owners of all animals capable of transmitting rabies are hereby required to have such animals or pets vaccinated against rabies with an approved vaccine administered by a veterinarian, who shall issue the owner of the animal a vaccination certificate, the owner shall retain such certificate until the vaccination is renewed. At the time of the vaccination, a metal tag shall be issued by the veterinarian showing the tag number and the year of issuance.
(c) Lost or stolen permit tags may be replaced by payment of a fee established by resolution of the city council and presentation of the registration application. If a tag and registration application are lost or stolen, a new license must be purchased at the regular fees.
(d) The registration permit fee established by resolution of the city council for all animals covered under this chapter shall be payable to the environmental health department of the city.
(e) Proof of current rabies vaccination of an animal is required before a registration permit/tag will be issued by the city. The owner may register an animal in person at the city health department, through a participating veterinarian in the city, or on line at the city web page. If the owner registers the animal in person a registration tag will not be issued unless a certificate of vaccination is presented to the city health department. If the owner registers the animal on line a registration permit/tag will be issued and mailed to the owner after the city verifies current rabies vaccination for the animal.
(Code 1966, §§ 3-4(d), (e), 3-7; Ord. No. 3455, § 3, 3-22-04; Ord. No. 3813, § 1, 3-28-11)
State law reference— Municipal registration of dogs and cats, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code § 826.031; vaccination of dogs and cats, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code § 826.021.
Family Bystander Mental Anguish Claims
Texas recognizes the right of bystanders to recover damages for mental anguish caused by witnessing an accident, with the following limitations: the bystander must be a parent or child of the victim and the victim must have been killed or severely injured in the animal attack or mauling. Therefore, if you have witnessed a close family member mauled or bitten by a dog, you may want to pursue legal action on behalf of the injury victim as well as your own claims for witnessing such a horrific event. Contact a Richardson dog bite lawyer today to discuss bystander and mental anguish claims.
Negligence Based on Failure to Stop an Attack
A Texas dog owner owes a duty to attempt to stop his dog from attacking a person after the attack has begun. This is a civil duty, meaning that the Richardson dog bite victim can sue for monetary damages if the dog owner does not attempt to stop the attack.
If you or a loved one have been bitten or mauled by a dangerous dog in Richardson or Dallas County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Richardson dog bite injury lawyers listed on this page.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog?
- Make every attempt to keep the animal in sight, find its owner, and obtain the owner’s contact information, preferably verified by their photo ID.
- Immediately wash the wound out with soap and warm water.
- Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shots.
- Seek the help of a physician or visit a local hospital.
- Report the bite to the Richardson Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of a Richardson dog bite attorney, if necessary, and maintain copies of all medical records and other relevant evidence.
For more information on dog bites and their victims, visit DogsBite.org
Dog Bite Reporting:
If you would like to report a Richardson area or Dallas County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Richardson Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Richardson SPCA. The Richardson SPCA may be reached at:
Contact one of the experienced Richardson dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Richardson and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Central Texas, including Addison, Audelia, Buckingham, Buckingham North, Farmers Branch, Garland, Murphy, North Branch, North Dallas, Orchard Hills, Parker, Plano, Sachse, University Park, and other communities in Collin County and Dallas County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Dallas County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.