Dog bite laws across North Carolina change over the years. Recently, lawmakers approved of a new $500 fine imposed on Cumberland County residents who own dogs that bite another person. Local news reports stated that about three dog attacks happen daily in Cumberland County. Lawmakers created the fine in efforts to help encourage dog owners to be more responsible and contain their animals, and hopefully reduce the number of dog attacks and injuries suffered by innocent people. A few questions and answers about the new dog bite fine:
Are the fines imposed on attacks that take place in Cumberland County?
Not necessarily. The law provides that the fine is imposed on Cumberland County residents. This might mean that a dog owned by a Cumberland County resident that escapes and travels across county lines, then attacks a person outside of Cumberland County, could still qualify for the fine.
Does part or all of the $500 go toward the dog bite victim?
It remains to be seen if provisions will change, currently the victim is not offered any proceeds from the fine.
Does this fine apply to all dog attacks?
No. The new Animal Control ordinance applies to "the owner of a dog that bites a human causing an injury which requires professional medical or hospital treatment." Of course, every dog bite victim, regardless of the severity of the injuries should seek medical attention. Learn about the types of possible infections caused by dog bites. Not only is medical attention important for the victim's health, but medical records are also a critical piece of evidence in dog bite lawsuits.