US City, State & Federal Dog Laws

California Food and Agricultural Code
Division 14. Regulation and Licensing of Dogs

Chapter 8. Civil Liability - Sections 31501-31508

31501.  The owner of any livestock or poultry which is injured or
killed by any dog may recover as liquidated damages from the owner of
the dog twice the actual value of the animals killed or twice the
value of the damages sustained by reason of the injuries, as the case
may be.

31502.  If two or more dogs kept by two or more owners or keepers
injure or kill any livestock or poultry at the same time, the owners
or keepers of the dogs are jointly and severally liable for the

31503.  If any person sustains any loss or damage to any livestock
or poultry which is caused by a dog, or if any livestock of any
person is necessarily destroyed because of having been bitten by a
dog, the person may file a complaint in the superior court of the
county within which the damage occurred.  A proceeding under this
section is a limited civil case.

31504.  The complaint shall satisfy all of the following
   (a) Be in writing.
   (b) Signed by the person that makes it.
   (c) State when, where, what, and how much damage was done.
   (d) State, if known, the name of the person that owns the dog or
was in charge of it when the loss or damage was sustained.

31505.  If the person that owns the dog or was in charge of it when
the damage or loss was sustained appears from the complaint, the
judge shall forthwith issue a summons against such person commanding
him to appear before the judge and show cause why the dog should not
be killed.

31506.  The summons shall be made returnable not less than two nor
more than six days from the date of issue and shall be served at
least two days before the time of appearance ordered.

31507.  The service of the summons may be made by any person over
the age of 18 years or by registered mail to the last known address
of the owner or person in charge.  Any expense connected with the
summons shall be borne by the owner of the livestock or poultry which
was injured or the party that makes the complaint.

31508.  Upon the return day fixed in the summons, the judge shall
proceed to determine whether the loss or damage to the livestock was
caused by the dog.  If he finds that it was caused by the dog, he
shall notify the person that owns the dog or was in charge of it when
the loss or damage was sustained to kill the dog.  Failure of such
person to kill the dog as directed renders the owner subject to the
penalties which are prescribed in this division.