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National Dog Bite Prevention Week Is in April

By Renee Nordstrand on April 8, 2023

Black dog bites toy that a human hand is holding. They are playing together. We see the dogs teeth.

There are over 85 million dogs kept as pets in this country. Dogs provide their owners with love and companionship, and they’re a wonderful addition to many households.

It’s important to remember that dogs are animals that may react violently in certain situations. But there are several things we can do to help prevent dogs from biting people. That’s why April 9 through April 15 has been declared National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

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How to Know if a Dog Is Dangerous to Your Child

By Renee Nordstrand on August 11, 2021

A brown and white bulldog sitting on the porch of a house

Many of our friends and neighbors across the country took the time to adopt dogs this past year, and we applaud their commitment to taking care of our furry friends. Unfortunately, most new dog owners discovered the difficulties of training and socializing a pet during lockdown. Dogs, especially ones that were rehomed or rescues, may have a hard time behaving around strangers, loud noises, and in new areas. Poor training naturally leads to more aggressive dogs, and they can be dangerous to children who do not know how to keep themselves safe.

No one wants to demonize man’s best friends, but it is important for parents to teach their children about aggressive dogs to avoid a painful and traumatic bite. At NordstrandBlack PC, we want dog owners and their neighbors to have all the information they need to keep themselves safe, which is why we are here to explain how to spot an aggressive dog and how to teach your kids to be safe.

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I Was Bitten by a Dog! Who Is Responsible?

By Renee Nordstrand on September 30, 2017

two angry dogs fighting

In California the owner of a dog is liable for damages if that dog bites someone.

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Dogs on a Bus: Is It Legal Even If It is a Pit Bull?

By Renee Nordstrand on February 18, 2013

brown pit bull chained up

The dog bite attorneys in Santa Barbara at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand recently ran into an interesting story involving a man who brought his pit bull onto a San Luis Obispo city bus.

According to, several passengers on the bus admitted to being on edge when the public transport patron walked to the back of the bus with dog in tow and sat down. One man who talked to KSBY said, “Everybody was nervous and nobody came [to the back of the bus] and sat next to that dog.” He went on to claim that the man with the pit bull stayed on the bus for 10 stops before he got off.

Although the passengers on that bus probably weren’t aware that pit bulls were responsible for 61 percent of all fatal dog attacks in 2012, the breed’s reputation certainly precedes it, and being nervous around them in a crowded public setting seems justified.

But, was it illegal?

When KSBY posed that question to the transit manager of the City of San Luis Obispo, he said that their hands are somewhat tied by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. The driver of a bus can only ask a patron if his or her dog is a pet or if it is a service animal. If the patron answers that it is a service animal, then the driver has to make a judgment call.

Reportedly, the driver of the bus did ask the patron with the pit bull that question, and the patron told him it was a service dog. Since people with service animals are not required to carry proof, many bus drivers are nervous to even question patrons with dogs for fear of a possible ADA lawsuit.

While nothing happened while the dog was on that bus, attorney Reneé J. Nordstrand has handled enough dog bite cases to know that even seemingly friendly dogs have the potential to be dangerous and destructive. If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury, seek medical help and then contact us online or call us at (805) 962-2022 for Santa Barbara or at (818) 981-3530 for Encino. Find out what your legal options might be through a free consultation with our team.

The Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand Obtains $65,000 Settlement in Santa Barbara Dog Bite Case

By Renee Nordstrand on November 6, 2012

In 2007, a 60-year-old client was viciously attacked by a neighbor’s 50-pound pit bull as she went into their back yard to ask them about borrowing a lawnmower and a weed whacker.

The neighbor’s hadn’t always had the dog, but had taken it in after their daughter and her family briefly moved back in with them. After their daughter’s family moved into an apartment that did not allow dogs, the animal stayed with them. By all accounts they fed, walked, and played with the dog while it was at their house.

On the day of the Santa Barbara dog attack, the neighbor had told our client that she could come over to the house and borrow the lawnmower. The woman went to the front door and the 12-year-old granddaughter answered. She told our client that her grandparents were in the back yard and that it was okay to go back and talk to them.

When the client went around the side and into the backyard, she was viciously attacked by the dog and suffered bites to her face, hands, knee and foot. The attack resulted in 37 stitches to her face and required the need for dental work. She healed well and had no scarring.

The neighbor said that the dog was not theirs and therefore refused to accept liability for the attack. Exhaustive investigation allowed us to establish that the neighbor was indeed liable for the dog attack, and we were able to garner a settlement of $65,000 for our client for her injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

As you can see, the dog bite victim lawyers in Santa Barbara at the Law Offices of Renee J. Nordstrand have an established track record of helping clients who have been injured in dog attacks. Rely on us to give you the solid and experienced legal representation you deserve. If you believe you have a case, call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022. Your case review, as always, is free.

62-Year-Old Woman Attacked by Neighbor’s Dog in North Hollywood

By Renee Nordstrand on October 29, 2012

red & white beware of dog sign

On May 20, 2011, a 62-year-old woman was viciously attacked by a pit bull-mastiff mix in the normally quiet North Hollywood apartment complex where she had lived for 13 years.

Unfortunately, it was as if she and other tenants knew it was an attack waiting to happen. Two years before this vicious dog mauling, new tenants had moved into the complex with the dog in tow. Other tenants, as well as the victim, complained to management about the presence of the aggressive animal and wanted them to do something about it.

Apparently, the tenants’ displeasure at the prospect of an aggressive, 70-80 pound pit bull mix living in a small apartment fell on deaf ears and the landlord and property management company took no action to address their complaints. The dog owners, as well as their unwelcome dog, remained on the property.

Fast-forward two years, and as the woman was walking by the unit where the dog lived, it bolted out and attacked her. The dog owners made a hasty retreat and moved out of the building immediately after the attack.

The woman sued the landlord and the property management company for allowing the vicious dog to remain on the property and is seeking damages for emotional distress, Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and scarring and disfigurement to her left knee and calf.

The Law Offices of Renée J. Nordstrand is handling this case, and we would like to hear from you if you’ve been the victim of a dog attack. We fight aggressively to get our clients compensation for damages associated with dog bite injuries.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers, call us at (818) 981-3530.

Who is Legally Responsible for a CA Animal Bite Injury?

By Renee Nordstrand on August 8, 2012

brown pit bull chained up

Many people are bitten by animals every day. These injuries, when serious, can result in pain, nerve damage, infection, scarring, and physical and emotional suffering.

The most common types of animals that bite are dogs. California has enacted “dog bite” laws that hold the owner responsible if their pet injures someone. Depending on where the attack occurred, a tenant, homeowner or management company may also be responsible for compensating injured victims of animal bites. However, proving fault is often a big part of a complicated legal process.

According to California Civil Code Section 3342, a dog owner is liable for damages suffered by an individual who is bitten by the dog:

  • in a public place;
  • lawfully in a private place, including the property of the dog owner; or
  • apart from any previous events of the dog acting aggressively or the owner’s knowledge of such aggression.

It’s important for individuals injured in a dog bite attack to be fully aware of their legal rights and options for holding negligent parities legally responsible.

The Santa Barbara dog bite attorneys at the Law Office of Renee Nordstrand have successfully represented many clients injured due to animal attacks and other personal injuries. Our practice is focused in Santa Barbara and the San Fernando Valley. Call us today at (805) 962-2022 for a free consultation.

Dog Attack in Laguna Niguel

By Renee Nordstrand on December 18, 2009

An unidentified Orange County woman was attacked by a 7-year-old Shiba Inu dog on Wednesday afternoon, the Orange County Register reports.  It is unclear as to whether the woman was in her own yard or a neighbor’s yard when the attack occurred on Via San Sebastian in Laguna Niguel.

Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed the dog after arriving at the scene, while the woman was hospitalized with extensive injuries that will require several surgeries.

As California is a “strict liability state”, the dog’s owner is liable for the injuries inflicted by the Shiba Inu, even if the owner was not negligent in the circumstances of the attack.   California law states (CCP 342 (a)) :

The owner of a dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, including the property owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog, or the owner’s knowledge of such visciousness…

If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite attack, please contact experienced dog bite attorneys to discuss your legal options.  At your free initial consultation, our attorneys will answer your questions with care and concern, while ensuring that you receive the best possible representation throughout the duration of your case.

Victim of Dog Attack to Sue Laguna Hills and Orange County Animal Care Services

By Renee Nordstrand on October 16, 2009

The Orange County Register reports that a 62-year-old Laguna Hills ophthalmologist, who was attacked by three bull mastiffs in Laguna Hills last December, is suing the city of Laguna Hills as well as Orange County’s Animal Care Services for negligence, claiming city and county officials knew that the dogs were dangerous due to complaints previously filed about the trio of vicious dogs.

The victim claims that she was walking around her mother’s neighborhood when the three dogs, each weighing between 95 and 130 pounds, attacked her for approximately ten minutes while neighbors attempted to halt the attack by kicking the dogs and hitting them over the head with a shovel. The dogs, which were euthanized later that day, caused severe physical injuries which prevented the woman from working and led to great emotional distress, the lawsuit contends.

City and county attorneys argue they are not liable for the attack due to state law, despite the several previous complaints regarding the dogs’ violent propensities.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and one in five dog bites results in injuries that require medical attention. A startling 31,000 Americans underwent reconstructive surgery due to dog bites in 2006 alone.  Dog bite attacks are often serious and require intensive medical treatment.  They can leave both physical and emotional scars that are difficult to surmount.  Experienced dog bite attorneys will fight aggressively to get victims compensation for the damages – both economic and non-economic – associated with a dog bite injury.