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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘Abilene Texas’

A Skunk is Confirmed to be Infected with Rabies in Abilene, Texas

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Bali - Dog bein vaccinated with owner

Dog being vaccinated for rabies (Photo credit: WSPAInternational)

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed last week that a skunk tested positive for rabies in Abilene, Texas. A dog has been quarantined because it came into contact with the rabid skunk. Residents in the area where the skunk was found are being notified by the City of Abilene. Rabies is a deadly, highly contagious virus; and it’s important to take steps to protect pets, particularly since infected animals can spread the disease to humans.

The rabies virus is a disease which affects the central nervous system. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal or through the saliva. The saliva of a rabid animal introduced through a break in the skin or through the eyes, nose, or mouth can spread the disease. If the saliva of a rabid animal contacts unbroken skin, post-exposure vaccinations are not usually required. However, anyone who has been bitten by or in contact with an animal that is even suspected of being rabid should see a physician immediately.

The following are tips to help prevent contracting the rabies virus:

  • Give all dogs and cats over the age of four months a rabies vaccination and then renew the vaccinations every year or every three years, depending on the type of vaccination given.
  • When there are suspected or confirmed cases of rabies among wild animals in the area, keep all pets confined in an enclosure which protects them from contact with wild animals.
  • Keep animals on a leash when out of the secure enclosure at home.
  • If a wild animal exhibits unusual behavior, such as being unafraid of humans, immediately report the location of the animal to animal control.

–Guest Contributor


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Abilene Dog Bite Lawyer: A Dog in Abilene, Texas, is Exposed to Rabies from a Skunk

Thursday, September 13th, 2012


(Photo credit: michaelhenley)

Abilene Animal Services Division released a statement on Wednesday that in south Abilene a skunk tested positive for rabies. As far as animal services is aware, there has been no human contact with the rabid skunk. However, a dog is known to have been in contact with the animal and is in a 45-day quarantine. According to the statement, the quarantine is required by state law and is a precautionary measure.

Abilene Animal Services Manager, Aaron Vannoy, has not yet been available to discuss the situation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information about the deadly rabies virus at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

The following tips are offered for anyone who is concerned about contracting the rabies virus either directly from a wild animal or through their pets:

• All dogs and cats that are four months old or older must be vaccinated for rabies.
• Keep pets confined on a leash or in a secure enclosure at all times.
• If any wild animals are seen exhibiting strange behavior, report it to the CDC and/or Abilene Animal Services.
• Do not get near wildlife or interact with them.

The rabies virus is spread through the infected animal’s saliva, whether the animal is dead or alive. The way people contract the virus is usually by being bitten by a rabid animal. But just by coming into contact with the saliva can spread the infection, if the saliva gets into an opening in the skin or into the mouth, nose, or eyes.

It is not possible to become infected with rabies merely by touching the urine, feces, blood, or urine of a rabid animal or by petting the animal.

–Guest Contributor


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Why People in Texas Defend Having a Pit Bull as a Family Pet – Part 1

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Un pitbull terrier americano de mascota, llama...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people believe that pit bulls can be trusted as family dogs that will do no harm, in spite of the fact that pit bulls often bite and sometimes kill people. In fact, two pit bulls were shot in Abilene, Texas, recently due to acts of aggression. Pit bulls are indisputably the breed most often used in illegal dog fighting operations. And yet veterinarians and dog experts all agree that the problem is not with the breed; the problem is with the owners. Responsible pet owners who believe that pit bulls shouldn’t be singled out for discrimination agree.

Pit bulls didn’t always inspire fear, and they weren’t always thought of as dangerous dogs. The breed was once America’s favorite. Advocates say that they are simply a misunderstood breed, and many factors determine the disposition of a pit bull.

This breed that seems to be equally loved and feared is full of energy. A happy, calm pit bull is one that is well-exercised. Anyone who chooses to have a pit bull should definitely have a lifestyle which allows for at least two hours a day with their dog; and the more activity, the better.

Pit bulls are known for developing strong bonds with their owners, and many believe that they are great with children. Most understand that leaving a pit bull or any dog along with a small child, however, is very dangerous and shouldn’t be done.

With all the great things people say about pit bulls, the reality is that it takes training and certain disciplines for the breed to be the adored, loving pet as opposed to the dangerous dog.

Tips for how to care for and train a pit bull properly and what promotes aggressive behavior will be in the next part of this series.

–Guest Contributor

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Dog Bites in Abilene, Texas, Are Reportedly on the Decline, in Spite of Recent Dog Attacks

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Big Dogs

(Photo credit: Tobyotter)

Animal services manager for Abilene, Texas, Aaron Vannoy, has provided information to show that animal attacks in Abilene are down, despite recent pit bull attacks which made the news. He offers statistics and information about dog bites which may help to put the people in the community at ease.

Two aggressive pit bull attacks occurred in August which resulted in the dogs being shot, and the news has raised concerned about public safety. On August 21, a pit bull had approached several people in a neighborhood threateningly; and the dog tore someone’s pants. When Abilene police officers went to the scene, the dog charged an officer and was shot and killed. And on August 28, a man shot and wounded a neighbor’s dog because it was aggressively approaching him and his fiancé.

Another high profile dog bite incident occurred in March. An 11-year-old girl in Brownwood, Texas, was attacked by a pit bull while she was riding her bicycle. She received several stitches on an arm and leg at the Brownwood Regional Medical Center.

According to Vannoy, all three dog owners in the above-named incidents were ticketed.

An animal can be described as being on the attack, says Vannoy, if it is “lunging, showing its teeth or chasing something.” Using that definition, animal attacks in Abilene have been steadily on the decline since 2009.

The years and number of dog and cat bites follow:
In 2009: 341
In 2010: 326
In 2011: 285
And from January to August 30, 2012: 179

There are no known cases of dog bite fatalities or humans with rabies in Abilene, according to Vannoy. He further states that if this year follows previous patterns, there will be few animal bites between now and 2013.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that pit bulls are the dog breed which most frequently fatally attacks people. Rottweilers and German shepherds are the next two most deadly dogs.

Vannoy says that only about 15 percent of dog attacks are caused by what he calls “true aggression,” which is when a dog leaves his usual territory on the attack or charges a person who simply happened to walk into his territory.

He treats pit bulls, Vannoy says, like any other dog. “We can’t let our guard down with any animal,” he said.

An animal that bites a person is quarantined for 10 days; and if the owner doesn’t reclaim the animal, it’s almost always euthanized. But about 1 percent of these animals are transferred to a rescue facility.

–Guest Contributor

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Two Aggressive Pit Bulls are Shot in Abilene, Texas, Within Two Weeks’ Time

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

And Daisy makes three.

(Photo credit: This Year's Love)

Abilene, Texas, Animal Services is educating the public with safety tips in the wake of two shootings of aggressive pit bulls within the past two weeks. In both incidents the dogs were threatening people in Abilene neighborhoods.

Last week a police officer shot and killed a pit bull that had been attacking people and lunged at him, as well. This week a pit bull was witnessed threatening a small girl on South 13th and Jeanette at about 6:00 p.m., and the dog was shot with a shotgun by a concerned neighbor. The girl was unharmed.

The apparent problem is that dog owners are failing to keep their pets properly restrained. This month alone 38 citations have been issued to dog owners because they failed to restrain their pets. According to Aaron Vannoy, Animal Services Manager, the number one reason people call Abilene Animal Control is to report stray dogs.

Vannoy stated that people who feel threatened by an animal have every right to protect themselves but that shooting an animal should always be the method of last resort. He said, “Allow public safety folks, the animal control, the police department, to take care of and take control of that situation. We encourage that person to stay in their vehicle or stay in their home, collect their children, go in the home and call 911.”

Failure to restrain a pet is a class “C” misdemeanor. The Municipal Court sets the fines, but they can be as much as $500.

The dog owner of the second pit bull shot was given a second citation because the dog had not been vaccinated.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Which Terrorized an Abilene, Texas, Neighborhood is Shot and Killed

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

English: An American Pit Bull Terrier. Español...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An aggressive pit bull that was terrorizing an Abilene, Texas, neighborhood was shot by a police officer yesterday. Several people in the area told police that the dog was charging folks as they stepped outside or onto their lawns. Abilene Animal Control was called several times about the dangerous behavior exhibited by the pit bull. When an officer arrived on the scene, the dog charged him. The officer, fearing for his safety, shot the dog three times; the dog eventually died.

No one was bitten by the dog, but several neighbors spoke up about what had been happening. They all agreed that the police officer had no choice but to shoot the pit bull.

Resident Jessica Massey said, “I came back outside to see what he was barking at and he came around the corner, growling and snarling and barking at me.” Massey witnessed the shooting and expressed that she understood that the dog needed to be killed.

Steve Lewis owns two pit bulls and was down the block when he heard the gun shots. He said, “As soon as we were stepping into our yard, the dog charged us.” He also said, “It’s unfortunate but in this situation it had to be done. Someone was going to get hurt, seriously.”

Abilene police officers were attempting to contact the dog’s owner. And Abilene Animal Control is trying to determine whether the dog had current rabies vaccinations.

–By Guest Contributor

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A Dog is Stolen from a Denton, Texas, Animal Shelter and Another from an Abilene, Texas, Shelter – Part 2 of 2

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Olde English Bulldog

Olde English Bulldog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following an Abilene Animal Shelter break-in, it became apparent that one particular dog was the target of the trespass. An English bulldog which had been taken into protective custody was all that was discovered to be missing.

The break-in occurred on Wednesday of last week. Someone cut the fence and two gates in order to gain access to the kennel. The animal that was taken had been rescued from a home in Abilene, Texas, after an Abilene police officer saw that the dog was living in cruel conditions. The animal was tied up and had gotten tangled. And in the scorching summer heat, the dog was not able to access water or food.

While investigating the case, the police found that the home where the English bulldog had been living had been vacated. Animal shelter personnel stated that the dog had been in the shelter since July but that a photo of the dog had not been posted on the website. They said that they feel sure that few people even knew the dog was there, which is another reason the dog’s former owners are the presumed suspects in the break-in.

Although nothing was taken other than the dog, property damage to the gates and fence adds up to somewhere between $200 and $300.

Be sure to read Part 1 of this two-part series for the other recent story of a break-in at an animal shelter.

–By Guest Contributor


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Children at a Special Event in Abilene, Texas, Learn How to Avoid Dog Bites

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Staff Sgt. Brya...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are the age group most likely to be bitten by a dog. Providing education about how to avoid dog bites is a great preventative measure, one which the Abilene, Texas, Police Department (ADP) participated in this week in an event called “Safety City.” Among several other things, the children learned about dog safety which could help them to avoid being bitten.

ADP brought three dogs and their handlers to demonstrate the dogs’ skill at apprehending criminal suspects. Sixth-grader Ethan Stewart-Duke attended the event and said, “My favorite part was when the canine had to run toward (the bad guy) and bite his arm.” In the demonstration, the “bad guy” was a dog handler with padding on his arm who explained that the dog is trained to chase, grab, and hold onto a suspect until the police officer arrives.

The incredible training and discipline of the police dogs was demonstrated. They would run toward the “bad guy” and then stop by voice command while in mid-chase. The dogs obeyed every command to return to the handlers.

Children at the event were allowed to pet the police dogs, but they were also warned that they should never approach a strange dog without asking permission. It’s also unsafe to bother a working dog unless permission has been given to do so.

–By Guest Contributor

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Tips for Keeping Texas Dogs Cool in Summertime and Avoiding Unintentional Cruelty

Thursday, August 9th, 2012


Photo by David Wagner

Many people are greatly disturbed about news out of South Texas regarding two police dogs accidentally left in a vehicle late last month.  The dogs died due to extreme heat exposure.  Surely no one is more upset than the officer responsible for the mishap which is categorized as animal cruelty.  The sad truth is that many beloved pets die due to heat exposure in Texas every summer.  Temperatures inside a locked vehicle quickly soar to deadly extremes.  And it’s been so hot this summer that, compared to a typical July across the lower 48 states, last month was the hottest July in recorded history, meaning in the last 118 years.

Pet owners in Dallas, Texas, as well as Abilene, Round Rock, Nacogdoches, Denton, and everywhere else should be very alert to their pets’ needs during summertime and particularly in August, when temperatures are often in the triple digits.  And dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat because they don’t sweat like humans do, as a way of cooling themselves.  Dogs primarily cool off by panting, but even that isn’t enough in extreme heat and humidity.

The following are tips for protecting dogs and other pets from Texas heat when they aren’t safely inside air conditioned shelter:

  • Provide cool water for your dog at all times.  Watering systems are available which can provide continuous fresh water.
  • Feed your dog homemade treats that are chilled.
  • Provide a cool, shady spot for your dog to relax in the heat; keep in mind that dogs can get sunburned and need protection from overexposure to the sun.
  • Provide a ceiling fan on the porch or some other type of fan for your dog, if possible.
  • Dogs that are fond of playing in the water would make good use of a large tub or a children’s pool full of water.  Keep the pool in a shady spot and dump the water when it’s not in use, to avoid attracting mosquitoes.
  • Provide your dog with a cooling dog bed.  These beds are sometimes constructed with gel-like material and sometimes with water.

–By Guest Contributor


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Stray Dogs Expose Texans to Dog Bites – Part 1

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Stray dog

Stray dog (Photo credit: wisefly)

A 2-year-old in East Texas was badly injured in recent weeks when a dog attacked her in her yard. The child’s mother had been doing yard work when she responded to the child’s screams.  A dog had bitten the toddler on the head, and her skull was exposed.  The child is doing well now; but she received over 80 stitches in treatment of her injuries, which could easily have been far more devastating.  And the mother sent a message to the community for dog owners to be responsible, keep their dogs contained, and don’t dump them because strays that run loose can become attackers.

Controlling the number of stray dogs in a Texas community is almost always the responsibility of a municipal animal control department, whether in Dallas or a small town in East Texas.

But the number of strays can get out of control, as has been the case in Abilene, Texas, according to several reports.  One of the problems is when people find that they can no longer care for or keep their pets, they dump the animals in a remote location rather than surrendering them to animal control.  This activity is illegal and creates numerous hazards for the community.

The biggest issue of concern is that people, especially children, can be attacked by dogs that run loose.  Informing the community how to avoid dog bites goes a long way in preventing injuries.  See the next installment in this series for more information.

–By Guest Contributor

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