Grand Junction Dog Bites / Animal Attacks Attorney
It’s estimated that 61 percent of Colorado residents own at least one pet. For dog owners, the plethora of dog-friendly hiking trails, public parks and veterinary services make it enjoyable to have at least one in the house. It’s also a great responsibility, as there are numerous laws by which the owner must abide to be as safe as possible. If you happen to be bit by a dog or otherwise attacked by an animal, we at Killian, Davis, Richter & Kraniak, PC are experienced Grand Junction dog bite attorneys who will handle your case with care and compassion.
Colorado Dog Bite Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 4.5 million people are bit by dogs every year. More than half of them are from dogs that are familiar to us, with children being particularly susceptible. This may happen because children don’t know how to interact with a dog, and they make a sudden movement or touch the dog in a way that frightens them.
As stereotypical as it sounds, the U.S. Postal Service keeps track of how many of its postal workers get bit by dogs. Nationally in 2015, 6,549 of their employees were attacked by dogs. Houston, TX was the worst of the cities; 77 USPS employees were attacked. Denver ranked 11th in the survey of 50 cities, with 38 dog bites.
Often, when people think about dog bites, they think about contracting rabies, a usually fatal disease in humans if not treated immediately. But rabies in humans is exceedingly rare. From 2003 to 2014, there were 33 confirmed cases of rabies contracted by humans being bit. Which means that there is about a one-one thousandth of one percent chance that you will contract it. The telltale signs of a dog having rabies are fever, excessive panting, inability to swallow, and unusual shyness or aggression.
Even though rabies is rare, statistics show that 1 in 5 dog bites become otherwise infected by cellulitis or C canimorsus infections. Lacerations, ligament damage and broken bones are other potential complications from dog bites. If you are bitten by one, no matter how familiar it may be to you, seek medical attention immediately. Breeds such as pitbulls, mastiffs, rottweilers, sharpeis and boxers cause 86 percent of attacks that induce bodily harm.
Grand Junction, Colorado Dog Laws
When a person is bitten by a dog or other domestic animal badly enough to cause injury and necessitating medical treatment, the bite must be reported to the county or state health department. The dog or other animal must then be confined for examination at the owner’s expense, and the owner cannot interfere in any way. Other general laws of which owners should be aware:
- A maximum of three adult cats and three adult dogs are allowed in one house.
- Pet licenses are required in Grand Junction and Mesa County. It’s $10 for a one-year license, $25 for a three-year.
- There is a barking law. Obviously, dogs bark sometimes but 30 consecutive minutes of unprovoked barking in a 24-hour period is considered nuisance barking.
Mesa County also has general safety tips to avoid being bit by a dog. The number one mistake that people make is to run. No one is faster than a dog, and their natural instinct is to chase. Stand still, don’t approach a strange one, and let one sniff you before making other movements. Spaying or neutering is not required by law, but it is highly recommended, as unaltered dogs and cats are more likely to bite.
Colorado operates under the “strict liability” rule, which means that even if the owner could not have possibly foreseen the animal acting aggressively, they are still liable for injuries from the bite. For this rule to apply, the victim must have been on public property or lawfully on private property.
Beyond the physical injuries, a dog bite can cause emotional suffering and psychological trauma. We understand this, and Killian, Davis, Richter & Kraniak, PC has the expertise to handle your dog bite injury claim and the dedication to fight for fair compensation.