Dog bites, attacks in Las Vegas valley more common than people think

LAS VEGAS - Four dog bite cases have been reported in just one week's time in Clark County.  One of the incidents led to the death of a baby.  But it turns out, dog bites in and across the Las Vegas valley happen more than people think.

Clark County Animal Control says it receives hundreds of reports every year, but just in the last seven days, four separate attacks have occurred.

On Monday a family dog, a pit bull mix, attacked and killed a 6-month-old little girl in Centennial Hills. The parents were not charged, and the 9-year-old male dog was euthanized the next day.

Another incident happened in Centennial Hills on Friday when police say a neighbor shot and killed a pit bull that was attacking two other dogs and their owner.

On Saturday, Metro police said a man was walking his dog when an aggressive pit bull attacked them near Sahara and Rancho.  The man had to shoot the pit bull.  And on Sunday, two people say they were bitten by a group of German Shepards near Nellis and Charleston.

The owner of the dogs told authorities the four German Shepards got loose when they knocked over part of a fence.

"Unfortunately if a dog has attacked and seriously injured somebody, there needs to be repercussions and possibly put the animal down," said dog owner Jeanne Dudeck.

So far this year Animal Control in unincorporated Clark County says it has responded to 330 dog bites.

During that same Jan. 1 through May 15 time frame, there were 412 dog bites in 2016.

"Parents need to teach their kid how to be safe around an animal because at the end of the day they are animals, and they do have animal instincts," said Sara Pedley.  "If you don't respect an animal they may not respect you, so you have to be careful."

In total, separate from the City of Las Vegas and Henderson, the county responded to a staggering 925 dog bites in 2016.

8 News Now requested statistics on dog bite numbers out of Boulder City Animal Control, the City of Las Vegas Animal Control and Henderson Animal Control, but those statistics weren't provided.

So, when someone is attacked or bitten, who's to blame?

The dog owner holds all responsibility and could face penalties, but it all depends on the incident, officials said.  A misdemeanor citation can potentially even face up to $1,000 fine and or jail time up to six months.  The dog could also end up being quarantined.

According to Clark County's code, if the bite occurred at your home and it's rabies vaccinations are current, and the dog was properly restrained, it can be quarantined for 10 days at the owner's residence.

If the bite happened when the dog was at large or if the dog isn't current on vaccinations, the dog will have to be quarantined at animal control or at a vet's office.

So if your dog bites someone, can you still keep it?  That all depends on animal control and whether or not it finds the dog dangerous or vicious.

Here are some of the criteria animal control uses to determine whether or not a dog is dangerous:

  • The dog has had two separate attempted attacks without serious injury.
  • The dog was used in a crime.
  • The dog did bodily harm or killed another animal at large.

If the owner's dog is determined to be dangerous, the owner may be able to keep it, but the owner will also need a yearly permit.

Animal control in Clark County will declare your dog vicious if it has killed or seriously injured a person or another dog.

If the dog is determined to be vicious, the owner has 72 hours to prove it's been euthanized or file an appeal.

If you get bit or your dog bites someone, it's your responsibility to report it to animal control for your jurisdiction.

According to City of Las Vegas municipal code 7.24.020, "Any person, including the owner of an animal, who has knowledge that the animal has bitten a human being has a duty to promptly report the same to the Health Officer or the Animal Control Officer and to provide all pertinent information requested by them."

To report dog bites check out the following links:

Clark County Animal Control

City of Las Vegas Animal Control

Henderson Animal Control

Boulder City Animal Control
 


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