El Dorado County ordinance 6.12.050 addresses aggressive and dangerous dogs. Owners of dogs are required to keep their dogs confined to their property or on a leash at all times. Dogs that bite people or other animals can be deemed potentially dangerous or vicious. All animal bites should be reported to Animal Services.
Potentially Dangerous Dog Brochure
If a loose animal is exhibiting aggressive behavior or has bitten someone, call Animal Services. After hours, call the Sheriff's Dispatch at (530) 621-6600.
Did you know? The owner of a dog that bites someone and causes serious injury could face misdemeanor or even felony charges.
If you witness someone being attacked by a dog: Call 911 immediately.
How to protect yourself: Dogs can be unpredictable. Even friendly dogs can be aggressive under certain circumstances. Common warning signs include growling or nipping, protecting food, food bowls or toys, etc.
Dogs officially declared "potentially dangerous" or "vicious": If a dog has bitten a person (or a person has been required to take defensive action twice), attacked another animal, or has been involved in similar situations, Animal Services may request a court hearing to officially have the dog declared as "potentially dangerous" or "vicious." The owners of the dog are notified of a court hearing and have the right to attend and present evidence. The judge determines whether the dog is labeled "potentially dangerous." If the dog receives this designation, it must be confined in an enclosure that prevents it from getting out or children getting in. The dog must also be spayed or neutered, must be microchipped, and must wear a special collar (purchased through Animal Services). Warning signs (in both English and Spanish) must be posted at the property. Additionally, if the dog has bitten a human, the owner is required to maintain liability insurance or post bond covering property damage and bodily injury with a combined single limit of $100,000. If the dog gets out of the enclosure the owner is subject to a misdemeanor fine of up to $500 and a return to court for the dog to be deemed "vicious." The judge will make the decision whether the dog is declared "vicious." If a dog is labeled "vicious" a request can be made to destroy the animal and the owners may be cited with a fine of up to $1000. In the case where a dog severely attacks someone, Animal Services may automatically request a "vicious" dog hearing whether or not it has been previously declared "potentially dangerous."
If you have any questions, please call Animal Services:(530) 621-5795 on the West Slope of the County(530) 573-7925 in South Lake Tahoe(916) 358-3555 Ext. 5795 from El Dorado Hills
Guidelines for Completing Potentially Dangerous Dog Questionnaire
Potentially Dangerous Dog Questionnaire and Witness Statement