2023.09.07 | Bicyclist Bitten by Dog While on Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

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Unfortunately, another dog attack occurred on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve last month. A dog bit the calf of a bicyclist when the owner lost control of its leash. The owner declined to identify herself or reveal the vaccination status of her dog before she left the scene. A passerby spent some time with the bleeding bicyclist and later reported the incident to Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (FFRP).

California’s Civil Code holds dog owners liable for damages suffered from dog bites “while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.” Further, California law requires that an animal that has bitten a person be quarantined between 10 and 180 days, depending on the circumstances. The animal may be quarantined at home, at veterinary office, or by the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services.

It is easy to imagine that all parties involved were shaken up by the incident but failing to reveal if the dog had an up-to-date rabies vaccine seems especially cold. Because of this owner’s silence on the issue, the injured bicyclist had to consider getting rabies shots on top of dealing with a bleeding wound.

FFRP welcomes dogs on the Ranch by supplying nearly 100,000 Mutt Mitts free for Ranch visitors each year. These supplies are paid for with donations to FFRP and kept stocked by volunteers. FFRP also supported Cambria Community Services District in passing a no-exception leash ordinance to help make all visitors to the Ranch safe and reduce the legal risks to dog owners.

In the interest of public safety, please report dog confrontations to FFRP at 805-927-2856 or ranch (at) ffrpcambria.org. We are tracking reports to gauge the severity of the issue and to learn if there are any especially problematic individuals or locations. This was the third incident reported to FFRP in 2023.

Article first published in https://cambriaca.org/