Choosing a Dog – Is Change Coming?

File:Families find new furry friends at adoption event 140726-M-DN141-001.jpg

Choosing a Dog – Is Change Coming?

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville Dog Bite attorney. I have been handling dog bite and attack cases and helping injured parties recover for many years. During this time, I have been able to observe and study many factors which contribute to the potential for personal injury in general and dog bites in particular. Past articles have highlighted potential sources for dogs as pets, citing the value of local breeders and pet adoption/rescue organizations. Recent legislative activity has brought this subject into the news once again, as the governor may soon sign into law AB 485, considered by many third parties to be an example for other states to emulate. If passed, the new bill will require California pet stores to source their animals from shelters.

Placer County SPCA

Roseville is served by the Placer SPCA an organization recognized for the eleventh consecutive year with a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent evaluator of charities.  Like many other adoption/rescue agencies, Placer’s SPCA may be asked to play a much larger role in the management of dogs and cats available for adoption in the near future. The Placer SPCA is one of over 200 such agencies in California, who may soon have their day to day role changed dramatically by pending legislation.

Why the Change?

Puppy Mills have long been a center of controversy on the supply side of the cats and dogs market. Opponents say that the 10,000 breeders licensed by the USDA are less than ideally suited for the supply of animals to retailers and wholesalers. The USDA has pointed to abuses in the system caused by lack of oversight and conflicting or even nonexistent state laws. In the US, these suppliers produce about two million puppies each year for sale in the US market. For any number of reasons as mentioned in previous blogs, there are almost 1.2 million dogs euthanized each year in animal shelters. The pending California legislation, awaiting the governor’s action, will eliminate the sale of dogs from wholesale puppy mills to retailers. Local breeders and animal shelters will be allowed to fill this void and make dogs and other pets available for sale. It should be noted that several large, nationally recognized organizations have gone on record in opposition to the legislation.

Will Roseville be Affected?

Yes, the role(s) of California agencies and local breeders will expand as they become regulated sources for dogs in the retail sales business. Proponents argue that their current humanitarian missions, status and role in immunization, adoption and behavior training makes them ideally suited to fill this demand in the marketplace. Local pet stores and pet retailers will be required to show the origin of the animal as coming from an adoption agency or local breeder. Local breeders will not be affected by the pending legislation.

Will Finding the Right Dog be More Difficult?

It’s hard to say, however, our advice remains the same and is built on decades of experience with dog bite and attack cases. Introducing a dog into a family requires certain considerations as to breed, size and presence of children. Young children are likely to sustain the most severe dog bites because of size and familiarity with the animal.The decision to have multiple dogs in the house may increase the likelihood of bites and attacks. Selecting a breed with less aggressive tendencies should still be a top priority and guiding force in selecting a dog. California Dog owners are responsibly for the control and behavior of their dogs. Landlords should use the rental agreement to document and confirm tenant responsibilities, such as rental insurance and limits on their dogs, which may reduce their liability.

Roseville Dog Bite Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville Dog Bite Lawyer. Being attacked by a dog can leave a person with physical and emotional injuries. If you or a loved one have been bitten or injured by a dog, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice with no obligation. You can also reach me online at

Learn more about my practice from my client reviews on the legal referral website AvvoGoogle+, and Yelp.

See some of my past successful Verdicts and Settlements are available here.

I am a Million Dollar Advocates Forum member. This group is composed of some of the country’s best trial lawyers who have won $1 million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Families Find New Furry Friends by Sgt. Valerie Eppler, USMC. Public Domain.
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