Earlier this year, two pit bulls mauled a 10-year-old boy while he was on a playdate. The boy received 30 stitches after suffering bite marks on his skull, face and arms.

Dog bites happen more often in Las Vegas than you’d think. Clark County says it receives hundreds of dog bite complaints each year. 

Who is responsible?

The dog owner holds all the responsibility. If the attack happened when the dog was restrained at its home and its rabies vaccinations are up to date, then the dog can be quarantined for 10 days after a bite at the owner’s house. If the bite happens off-property or rabies vaccinations are not up to date, then the dog will be quarantined at the county animal control office.

To determine if the dog is dangerous, animal control officers will consider:

  • If the dog was involved in two separate attacks
  • The dog was used in a crime
  • The dog injured or killed another animal

If the owner wants to keep a dog that’s been determined to be dangerous, a yearly permit is required.

Your job to report a dog bite

If you are the victim of a dog bite, it’s your responsibility to report the incident after you have first received medical attention.

Providing the name and phone number or address of the owner is important. If it’s not available, look for witnesses who might be able to identify the owner. In some states, the dog’s owner is liable for any damages even if the owner didn’t have any reason to believe the dog was dangerous.

In Nevada, however, the owner is liable if the victim can show that the owner’s negligence led to the dog bite. This halts claims that occur if, for example, a dog is kept in a backyard with “Beware of the dog” signs, yet the victim jumped the fence.

If you are the victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.