Katy Dog Bite Lawyer | Katy Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Katy Dog Attack Attorney
Harris 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 Houston located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 5425 Polk Avenue, Suite J, Houston, Texas 77023, (713) 767-3300 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Katy Definitely Can Reduce Katy 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 Katy, 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 Katy Area include:
City of Katy Dog Park
Bill Archer Dog Park
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 Katy 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 Katy 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 Katy dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Katy 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, Katy has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Katy 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 Katy or Harris County, you should contact a local Katy 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 Katy residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Katy dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Katy 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
Harris County Dangerous Dog Laws
Harris County has its own set of laws concerning dangerous dogs:
Not later than the 30th day after a person who owns or has custody or control of a dog learns that he/she owns or has custody or control of a dangerous dog, the person must:
Register the dangerous dog with HCPHES VPH. The dog will be registered by HCPHES VPH only after the following conditions have been met: Payment of an annual registration fee of $50.00 to HCPHES VPH;
The person who owns or has custody or control of the dog provides proof that the dangerous dog has been spayed or neutered. The only exceptions to this spaying or neutering requirement shall be if HCPHES VPH or a licensed veterinarian confirms in writing that either the dog is past the age for breeding, or its condition otherwise makes it inadvisable to spay or neuter the dog.The person who owns or has custody or control of the dog obtained liability insurance coverage or showing financial responsibility in an amount of at least $100,000.00 to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog causing bodily injury to a person and has provided proof of the liability insurance/financial responsibility to HCPHES VPH.The dangerous dog has been implanted with an identifying computer microchip compatible with the scanning equipment utilized by HCPHES VPH. The information contained in the microchip must be reported to HCPHES VPH.
The person who owns or has custody or control of the dog has obtained prior approval from HCPHES VPH that the enclosure is constructed to satisfy the secure enclosure requirement set forth in subsection C, below.Restrain the dangerous dog at all times on a leash in the immediate control of a person or in a secure enclosure, as described in subsection C., below.Notify HCPHES VPH of any attack the dangerous dog makes on a person within forty-eight (48) hours of the attack.
Upon registration, the dangerous dog, shall:
be issued a tag and the tag must be displayed on the animal at all times; wear a collar at all times which is bright orange and contains the words "Dangerous Dog" in big black lettering. This collar may be purchased from HCPHES VPH when the dog is initially registered or a collar substantially similar to the HCPHES VPH collar is acceptable as an alternative or replacement; be transported only within a fully enclosed vehicle and a "Dangerous Dog" sign must be posted in a window on each side of the vehicle. To qualify as a “secure enclosure” under subsection A (2), above, the following requirements must be met;: The dangerous dog must be kept in a secure enclosure which prevents the dog from escaping as well as protects the general public from physical access to and/or contact with the dog.
The secure enclosure shall: have a cement floor, unless another material and/or the construction used is as good as a cement floor in preventing the dog from digging or escaping from the enclosure; have a cover or fixed top if the dog is capable of climbing or jumping; have walls which consist of not less than nine (9) gauge chain link or equivalent. Whether a structure qualifies as a "secure enclosure" is subject to HCPHES VPH's approval, and, in this connection:
the person who owns or has custody or control of an animal must give HCPHES VPH reasonable access to inspect the enclosure; HCPHES VPH may require the person who owns or has custody or control to make structural changes within a certain reasonable time to make the enclosure secure; and a structure shall be deemed not to qualify as a secure enclosure if the person who owns or has custody or control does not give HCPHES VPH reasonable access to inspect the enclosure or if structural changes required by HCPHES VPH are not performed. The secure enclosure must be clearly marked as containing a "Dangerous Dog" on each side of the enclosure. Signs may be obtained from HCPHES VPH when the dog is initially registered. Signs substantially similar to those available through HCPHES VPH will fulfill the requirements of this section.
When the dangerous dog is outside of the secure enclosure, the dog must be controlled by a line or leash not more than six (6) feet in length; the line or leash must be held by a person capable of controlling the dog; and the dog must be humanely muzzled. If the dangerous dog is transferred to a new location, not later than the 7th day after the date of the transfer the person who owns or has custody or control shall notify HCPHES VPH of the change of location and provide the address of the new location of the dog. If ownership, custodianship, or control of the dog changes, the name and address of the new person who owns or has custody or control must be provided to HCPHES VPH. In connection with a change in the ownership, custodianship, or control of a dangerous dog: If the new person who owns or has custody or control resides in Harris County, HCPHES VPH will notify the new person who owns or has custody or control that the dog is a dangerous dog; that the registration of a dangerous dog is not transferable; and that the new person who owns or has custody or control is subject to the requirements of these Regulations. When any person in Harris County becomes the owner, custodian, or controller of a dog that has been previously declared dangerous under these Regulations, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the dog or notice that the dog has been previously declared dangerous (whichever occurs first in time), the new person who owns or has custody or control shall register the dog as required by these Regulations. If the new person who owns or has custody or control is not located in Harris County, HCPHES VPH will notify the new person who owns or has custody or control and the appropriate animal control authority in the area where the dog has been transferred that the dog has been previously determined to be a dangerous dog in Harris County.
Compliance with these Regulations for dangerous dogs is in addition to and concurrent with compliance with rabies control rules and quarantine requirements as set forth in these Regulations and under state law.
SECTION 13. UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOGS
A person who owns or has custody or control of a dog and who uses a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object or trolley system shall comply with Chapter 821, Subchapter D, sections 821.076 through 821.081 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, as amended. Dogs must have a properly fitted collar and restraint system as required by Subchapter D, Chapter 821 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. A person who owns or has custody or control of a dog may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object or trolley system that: unreasonably limit the dog’s movement: between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; or is located within 500 feet of a school; or occurs during extreme weather conditions as defined in Subchapter D, Chapter 821 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. A chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object or trolley system unreasonably limits a dog’s movement if it: uses a collar that is pinch-type, prong-type, or choke-type or that is not properly fitted to the dog; is a length shorter than the greater of: 17 five times the length of the dog, as measured from the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of the dog’s tail; or 10 feet; is in an unsafe condition; or causes injury to the dog.
ARTICLE 2.300 DANGEROUS DOGS
Sec. 2.301 Dangerous Dogs
(a) As used herein, "dangerous dog" means a dog that:
(1) Makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or
(2) Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
(b) The animal control officer may receive a complaint from any police officer, humane officer, animal control officer, or citizen concerning an animal which he/she has reason to believe has a dangerous disposition. The animal must make an unprovoked attack causing bodily injury on a person, and such attack or threat of attack must occur in a place other than the enclosed area were the dog is kept, or threatens a person in a place other than where the dog is kept. The threat must suggest real danger of being bitten. The animal control officer shall investigate the incident. If in the event the animal is found to be a "dangerous dog" as defined in this article, the animal control officer shall:
(1) Notify the owner, keeper of said animal by certified letter that his or her dog has been deemed "dangerous" and that the dog owner shall have thirty (30) days to appeal the decision through the municipal court judge.
(2) The animal control officer shall decide the location of where the animal shall be held during the thirty days.
Sec. 2.302 Requirements for Owner of Dangerous Dog
Not later than the 30th day after a person learns that the person is the owner of a dangerous dog, the person shall;
(1) Register the dangerous dog with the animal control officer;
(2) Restrain the dangerous dog at all times on a leash in the immediate control of a person or in a secure enclosure; and
(3) Obtain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in an amount of at least $100,000.00 to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog causing bodily injury to a person.
Sec. 2.303 Registration of Dangerous Dog
(a) The animal control officer shall register a dangerous dog if the owner:
(1) Presents proof of:
(A) liability insurance or financial responsibility, as required by Section 2.302 of this article;
(B) current city license and current rabies vaccination of the dangerous dog; and
(C) the secure enclosure in which a dangerous dog will be kept; and
(2) Pays an annual registration fee as provided for in the fee schedule found in the appendix of this code.
(b) The animal control officer shall provide to the owner of the dangerous dog a registration collar (bright orange with dangerous dog printed on the material), and two signs warning the public of the dangerous dogs. The owner must keep this collar on the dangerous dog at all times, and place the signs in a conspicuous place on the enclosure of where the dangerous dog is kept.
(c) If an owner of the dangerous dog sells or moves the dog to a new address, the owner, not later than the 14th day after the date of the sale or move, shall notify the animal control officer for the area in which the new address is located. On presentation by the current owner of the dog's prior registration tag or collar, payment of a fee as provided for in the fee schedule found in the appendix of this code, and proof of insurance or financial responsibility the animal control authority shall issue a new registration collar to be placed on the dangerous dog and two new signs to be placed on the enclosure where the dangerous dog is kept.
(d) Every owner of a registered dangerous dog shall notify the animal control officer of any attacks the dangerous dog makes on people.
Sec. 2.304 Attack by Dangerous Dog
(a) A person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a dangerous dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person outside the dog's enclosure and causes bodily injury to the person.
(b) An offense under this article is a Class C misdemeanor, unless the attack causes serious bodily injury or death, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor, the person may be subject to other criminal prosecution under the laws of the State of Texas in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) If a person is found guilty of an offense under this article, the court may order the dangerous dog destroyed by the animal control officer.
(d) In addition to criminal prosecution, a person who commits an offense under this article is liable for a civil penalty as provided for in the general penalty provision found in Section 1.106 of this code. The city attorney may file suit court of competent jurisdiction to collect the penalty. Penalties collected under this article shall be retained by the City of Katy.
Sec. 2.305 Violations
(a) A person who keeps custody or control of a dangerous dog commits an offense if the person fails to comply with Section 2.302 of this article.
(b) An offense under this article is a Class C misdemeanor.
Sec. 2.306 Defense
It is a defense to prosecution under Section 2.304 or Section 2.305 of this article if:
(1) The person is a veterinarian, a peace officer, a person employed by a recognized animal shelter, or a person employed by the state or a political subdivision of the state to deal with stray animals and has temporary ownership, custody, or control of the dog in connection with that position; or
(2) The person is an employee of the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or a law enforcement agency and trains or uses dogs for law enforcement or corrections purposes; or
(3) The person is a dog trainer or an employee of a guard dog company under the Private Investigators and Private Securities Agencies Act (Article 4413 (29bb), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).
(Ordinance adopted 10/6/97)
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 Katy 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 Katy 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 Katy or Harris County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Katy 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 Katy Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of a Katy 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 Katy area or Harris County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Katy Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Special Pals. The Special Pals may be reached at:
Contact one of the experienced Katy dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Katy and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Southeastern Texas, including Aldine, Bellaire, Brookshire, Cinco Ranch, Four Corners, Fulshear, Houston, Jacinto City, Jersey Village, Mission Bend, Missouri City, Pattison, Pecan Grove, Richmond, Rosenberg, Satsuma, Simonton, Spring, Stafford, Sugar Land, Tomball, West University Place, The Woodlands and other communities in Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Harris County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.