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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 ‘American Veterinary Medical Association’

An Infant Becomes the Fourth in the U.S. to Die from a Pit Bull Attack Since April 6, 2017

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

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

An American Pit Bull Terrier muzzled. Español: Un Pit Bull Terrier Americano con bozal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six-month-old Kamiko Dao Tsuda-Saelee of Las Vegas, Nevada, was killed by the family pit bull on May 8, 2017. She was the fourth person in the U.S. to be killed by a pit bull since last month on April 6. The baby had been in her home in a baby walker near the pit bull when the dog attacked her. The baby’s mother had gone into another room. The dog was biting the baby’s head when the mom returned. Although she was able to quickly stop the attack, the damage was already too much. The infant was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to a nearby hospital. According to the coroner, the cause of death was multiple blunt force head injuries. The family had owned the dog for nine years, and he had no history of biting. Shortly after the fatal pit bull attack, Clark County Animal Control euthanized the dog.

On April 27, there was another fatal pit bull attack. Again, a family dog was responsible for the death. Thirty-two-year-old Lisa Green of Breinigsville, Pennsylvania was brutally mauled to death on a deck of her home as neighbors watched in horror and tried to save her. She had owned the dog for approximately 2 ½ years.

A couple of days prior to Green’s death, 60-year-old Maurice Brown was killed by a pit bull in Dayton, Ohio. The dog broke the chain that had restrained him, and he attacked Brown as he was walking in an alley. Brown was heard screaming for help. Officers were called to the scene, where they discovered the dog still actively attacking Brown. The pit bull was shot and killed by police. Brown was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Eighty-two-year-old Cecille Short was walking in a residential neighborhood with her dog when two pit bulls savagely attacked and killed her and her pet. Various members of the neighborhood had issued warnings about the dogs. The dogs’ owner, a 31-year-old man, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in Short’s death.

Seven people have been killed by pit bulls in the U.S. this year. The breed has been responsible for the clear majority of dog attack fatalities year after year. In 2015, pit bulls were responsible for 82% of the dog-related deaths, killing a total of 28 people. The breed is obviously different than any other and should be banned, for the safety of all members of society, including pit bull owners who overlook these deadly statistics.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Snaps Leash, Hops a Fence, and Viciously Attacks a Toddler in a Playground

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

English: Second dogs first smile. Happy Pit Bull.

English: Second dogs first smile. Happy Pit Bull. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pit bull mix broke his leash, jumped a playground fence, and savagely attacked a toddler April 4, 2017, in Chatham in the U.K. At least six other children were covered in blood, as the dog bit and shook the baby by her head. Some of the children who witnessed the disturbing attack tried to rescue the baby from the dog’s jaws. Another child was reportedly attacked by the same dog just a few hours before this happened. Apparently, the United States isn’t the only place where pit bulls attack and are then left with the owner to do further harm.

The victim was seriously injured in the pit bull attack. She was airlifted to a South London hospital, to receive care in the neurological unit there. At last report, she was in serious condition at the hospital. The dog died in area of the attack, having been shot by police officers.

A neighbor in the area said the same dog attacked her 3-year-old son a few hours before the playground attack occurred. She said the dog jumped on top of her son, which scratched his leg. She said someone immediately grabbed the dog, rescuing her son. The woman was distraught, saying her son was terrified and she recognized that it could have been worse, as it was for the little girl, who was seen bleeding heavily from bites on her head.

People in the region were already disturbed by an incident in a nearby community that occurred on Sunday involving five bulldogs. Up to 50 children watched that day as the five dogs terrorized shoppers and attacked two people. Three of the dogs were shot and killed by police officers in full view of the same witnesses.

Dogs may be fantastic pets, but there are too many incidents when they do harm to children and people of literally all ages. Stricter laws are needed that will hold dog owners fully responsible, when their dogs cause injuries or fatalities.

–Guest Contributor

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An 8-month-old Boy is Killed by the Family Pit Bull

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Pit bull

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pit bull that a family in Lusby, Maryland, raised from the time he was a puppy fatally attacked the family’s 8-month-old baby boy on Thursday, March 23, 2017. Police were called to the scene and arrived almost immediately, at approximately 1 p.m.  A family friend had been babysitting the child when the fatal pit bull attack occurred “out of the blue.” She called the police after an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the infant. The dog was still attacking the baby when police arrived. They shot the pit bull, to stop the horrific attack. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene. The family friend suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Officials said the entire community is in a state of shock. The devastated family had the dog for approximately 7 years. They said the pit bull had no history of aggression.

Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans addressed the community and said the baby had been around the pit bull all of his life.

Tom Hejl, Calvert County Commissioners’ President, has indicated since the attack that he supports breed-specific pit bull restrictions. He also expressed hope that legislators in Congress will give consideration to pit bull legislation.

The nature of the attack was quite shocking, since the pit bull didn’t just bite the infant. Without warning, he attacked and continued attacking until being shot and killed.

Since 2005, there have been four fatal pit bull attacks in Maryland. See this continuing series for information about failed actions taken in Maryland to restrict the breed. The title will be “A Family Pit Bull Kills an Infant in a Sudden Attack.”

–Guest Contributor

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Dogs that Nearly Killed a Young Man Last Year Still Not Surrendered

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

3.5 year old Brindle Pit Bull Terrier

3.5 year old Brindle Pit Bull Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 2, 2016, 22-year-old Mitchell Slayden rode his bicycle to an address where a friend of his formerly lived, and it almost cost him his life. In Graves County, Kentucky, Slayden entered the driveway where he believed his friend was. Two pit bulls being kept without restraint at the home viciously attacked him as he tried to leave the property. After being discovered with life-threatening injuries, Slayden was airlifted to a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital. He received extensive treatment  for lacerations to his head, face, arms, and legs. The dogs were quarantined for 10 days and later returned to the owner.

Slayden’s dad gave more graphic details of what happened that day. He said that he discovered his bloodied son in a ditch across from the home he had tried to visit. Slayden was literally covered in dog bites. He has undergone a series of reconstructive surgeries and skin grafts, including repair to his damaged scalp.

As a result of the near deadly pit bull attack on Slayden, the pit bull owner was not penalized in any way, according to an investigation by DogsBite.org. The dogs were released back to his custody, but the owner has allegedly not kept his commitment to keep his pit bulls out of Graves County.

This month a jury in Kentucky found the pit bull owner guilty of harboring a vicious animal. He was not sentenced to any jail time, although the County Attorney had requested a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail. Instead, the man was sentenced to pay a fine of $200. In addition, the dogs are expected to be released to the owner on a future date.

In Texas, same as Kentucky, there doesn’t seem to be enough incentive in the law for people to be careful about protecting the public from pit bulls. This breed has killed one person approximately every two weeks over the past 5 to 10 years. Pit bulls have won the hearts of families across the nation, but there is overwhelming evidence that they are too dangerous and should be banned. Otherwise, more horrific incidents like what Slayden suffered will continue to happen.

–Guest Contributor

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A 79-year-old Florida Man Dies Days after a Vicious Pit Bull Attack

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing at Fle...

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing at Fletcher Elementary School, Serra Mesa neighborhood, San Diego, California. Poncho was very people-friendly, cat-friendly, and dog-friendly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Palm Coast, Florida, on February 19, 2017, 79-year-old James E. Bennett was walking his Yorkshire terrier in his neighborhood complex when a pit bull mix brutally attacked them. Bennett tried to protect his dog, to no avail. His dog was killed and he was severely injured on his right arm. Bennett was hospitalized and later released. He died of a cardiac episode at his home a few days later, on February 24. Witnesses of the brutal scene on February 19 included owners of the attacking dog and a bystander, and details were provided and corroborated.

Helena Karnani, age 58, told the sheriff’s department that she had been walking her pets with her husband when the leash on their 2-year-old pit bull mix broke. The dog began running around and her husband was unable to catch up to him. The pit bull mix immediately charged Bennett and his small dog, once he saw them.

Bennett picked up his dog as the threatening dog approached, and the pit bull mix lunged while still running at them. The dog bit the Yorkie on her back and bit Bennett’s right arm at the same time. According to Karnani, Bennett began hitting the attacking dog with his left hand. The large dog relentlessly lunged until Bennett was knocked to the ground. Bennett lost his grip on the Yorkie. The pit bull quickly snatched up and viciously mauled the small dog.

The pit bull mix was finally brought under control. When police arrived, they found that the Yorkshire did not survive and Bennett was severely wounded. He was taken by ambulance to Florida Hospital Flagler. Bennett’s wife, Sandra, briefly lost consciousness during an anxiety attack at the scene and was taken to the hospital in a second ambulance.

The Karnanis’ voluntarily surrendered their pit bull mix to be euthanized by the humane society.

Bennett returned home after being hospitalized, and it was at home that he suffered an apparent heart attack and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are the only breeds known to attack in ways similar to what occurred in this tragic incident. Other dogs may bite or attack resulting in death, but no other dogs relentlessly attack and tear at people’s flesh in this and far worse ways. Pit bulls are like wolves in sheep’s clothing, killing one person in the U.S. approximately every two weeks over the past several years. In fact, an elderly man in California died on February 28, 2017, as a result of a pit bull attack that had occurred earlier in the month. It’s past time to ban the breed.

–Guest Contributor

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Family Pit Bulls Maul a 60-year-old Woman to Death

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Susan Shawl, age 60, of Conifer, Colorado was mauled to death by two family pit bulls Monday night, August 29, 2016. Shawl became the 19th victim of a fatal pit bull attack this year alone. Few details have been released about the tragedy. Police were called to the home, which is in a remote area of Conifer. First responders requested a medical helicopter. Shawl was on the verge of unconsciousness when they arrived. Shortly after requesting the helicopter, an officer announced that it appeared to be a code Frank, which is law enforcement terminology for a fatal incident. The dogs responsible for Shawl’s death belong to her and her son, Richard Shawl, age 36. He was also injured, but his injuries were not life-threatening. There are plans to euthanize the pit bulls.

The victims of fatal pit bull attacks are the owners or members of the family about half the time. The deaths that have occurred in 2016 tell a chilling story of a deadly breed. Many claim that media hype gives these dogs a bad rap. An honest look at actual fatalities makes it clear that there is no exaggeration needed.

Last year, pit bulls killed 28 (82%) of the 34 people who died in the U.S. from dog attacks. Consider that there are, according to worldwide kennel clubs, 332 dog breeds in the world and 187 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. With 187 breeds in the U.S. and a single breed being responsible for 82% of all dog fatalities, it’s clear that pit bulls are far more dangerous than other dogs.

Approximately 700 cities and municipalities have banned pit bulls or at least restricted them. That number should be growing monthly, as the death toll rises with each fatal pit bull attack.

–Guest Contributor

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A 52-year-old Man is Killed by Pit Bull Mixes; Dogs are Released Back to Owner

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing in bac...

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing in backyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a tragic story out of Honolulu Hawaii, two pit bull mixes killed Crisencio Aliado, age 52, on July 29, 2016. The victim was a homeless man, and his bloodied body was discovered on the bank of a stream. The two pit bull mix dogs were at the scene and were evidently responsible for Crisencio’s death. Police took the dogs into their custody at that time. It was found by the medical examiner that the victim died from multiple bite injuries. The fatal pit bull attack happened behind a local business belonging to the owner of the pit bull mixes. The dog owner said the dogs somehow escaped the warehouse, which is fenced in. A friend of Crisencio said the dog attack victim had been washing his clothing in a stream when the dogs attacked. He also said the deceased was as mild-mannered a person as you could meet. Authorities returned the pit bulls to their owners on August 11.

It can be terrifying to think that dogs found responsible for the death of a human are simply returned to the same person who failed to ensure the safety of the public on at least one tragic occasion. The United States is not the only place where this type of alarming situation occurs.

In news out of The United Kingdom this week, a 52-year-old man was fatally attacked by a dog that had recently been returned to its owner, though concerns had been raised that the dog was dangerous. There is some dispute over the type of dog it was that killed the man, though neighbors of the dog’s owner say it was a pit bull, a breed that has been banned in the UK.

It makes no sense to potentially expose the public to a dog known to have killed a person by releasing the dog back to the same individual who owned the dog when the fatal incident occurred. More than 30 fatal dog attacks have been occurring in the U.S. annually in recent years. Our laws need to change, in order to address this ominous threat.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Kills a 55-year-old Woman who was Alone in her Backyard – Part 5

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Pitbullmacho

Pitbullmacho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 55-year-old woman in Montreal, Canada, was killed in her backyard on Wednesday. A neighbor’s pit bull somehow entered her yard, where she was alone, and relentlessly attacked. Another of her neighbors, just after arriving home from work, witnessed the attack after the woman had already become unconscious and called the police. When they arrived at the horrific scene, they had to shoot the pit bull to get to the victim. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Overcoming opposition against breed-specific legislation (BSL) for the purpose of protecting humans from pit bulls is extremely difficult. The primary reason enacting a pit bull ban in a city or state can seem impossible is that many, many known experts in related animal fields stand by the belief that all breeds are equally likely to bite. The National Canine Research Council, for example, has a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page about BSL. On that page, no fewer than 20 prominent experts are listed as being against BSL.

In addition, a study is cited which concluded that no evidence exists in a 40-year controlled study of dog bites that one breed is more likely than any other to bite a human. Results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. There is no question but that a study done with recent facts regarding dog attack fatalities would clearly show that pit bulls emerge as a danger and that all other breeds combined don’t come close to being as hazardous.

Learn more in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Kills a 55-year-old Woman who was Alone in her Backyard – Part 4

Monday, June 13th, 2016

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 55-year-old woman in Montreal, Canada, was killed in her backyard on Wednesday. A neighbor’s pit bull somehow entered her yard, where she was alone, and relentlessly attacked. Another of her neighbors, just after arriving home from work, witnessed the attack after the woman had already become unconscious and called the police. When they arrived at the horrific scene, they had to shoot the pit bull to get to the victim. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

City council members voted in a pit bull ban in Madisonville, Texas, in February 2008. In spite of the fact that their decision was made based on clear evidence that pit bulls are a threat to human life, the ban was withdrawn six months later. What happened? A strong coalition of pit bull advocates put intense pressure on the city’s politicians, and they folded. The following is information from the City of Madisonville, Texas, Ordinance No. 650 that banned pit bulls but has now been withdrawn:

For the following points listed behind the word “whereas,” pit bulls were banned in Madisonville:

  • Other municipalities have found that the pit bull breed is so dangerous to other animals and to human beings that special legislation prohibiting or restricting their ownership has been enacted.
  • The mere possession of a pit bull poses a significant threat to the welfare, health, and safety of Madisonville citizens.
  • Current methods of control by owners of pit bulls in the city have proven to be insufficient to protect the public.
  • The Mayor and City Council believes it is necessary to prohibit pit bulls, subject to exceptions, within the City of Madisonville to protect the welfare, safety, and health of its citizens.
  • The Mayor and City Council of Madisonville have found that the keeping of other breeds of dogs that are dangerous or vicious is a public nuisance and a serious threat to the safety, welfare, and health of its citizens.

Learn more about the danger of pit bulls in Part 1 and more about the ordinance in Part 2 and Part 3 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Kills a 55-year-old Woman who was Alone in her Backyard

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Pit bull

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 55-year-old woman in Montreal, Canada, was killed in her backyard on Wednesday. A neighbor’s pit bull somehow entered her yard, where she was alone, and relentlessly attacked. Another of her neighbors looked into his backyard after work and noticed that something was unusual in the woman’s yard. He thought a dog was playing with a large toy. He took a closer look and realized it was a woman. Her eyes were closed, her clothes had been stripped from her, and the dog was continuing an attack on her. He ran into the house and called the police. When they arrived at the horrific scene, they had to shoot the pit bull to get to the victim. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Obviously, pit bulls aren’t just a problem in Texas or the U.S. Canada has also had its share of fatal pit bull attacks, and pit bulls are currently banned in Ontario. As a result of this deadly attack, officials in Montreal are stepping up their work on enacting stricter pet regulations.

Two pit bulls were killed in the U.S. just Saturday, June 4. Earl Stephens, Jr., age 43, was killed at a friend’s house in Stockton, California. His friend is a pit bull breeder. An adult dog was sitting on Stephens’ lap. When the dog owner instructed the dog to get down, the pit bull began viciously attacking Stephens. The dog’s owner and the victim’s wife both tried to stop the attack, but they were unable to. Two pit bull puppies also bit Stephens during the fatal pit bull attack.

Seven-year-old Hunter Bragg of Maine was also killed at a family friend’s house. Hunter was playing in the yard when their friend’s pit bull savagely attacked him.

Because of the strong coalition of pit bull advocates, it’s extremely difficult in the U.S. to enact a pit bull ban. Learn about an overturned ban in Texas in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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