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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 ‘Animal shelter’

A Rescued Pit Bull Kills a Woman in her 90s Hours After Adoption

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fatal pit bull attack occurred in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the night of May 31, 2017. The family had adopted the dog just hours before the horrific incident. Police officers were contacted about the dog attack at about 7:30 p.m. Upon arrival, they discovered that the victim was suffering from life-threatening injuries. She was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where she underwent several surgeries. One of her arms had to be amputated. Sadly, she did not survive the surgeries; she died the following day.

The victim’s daughter said she was in the backyard with the newly adopted pit bull, and she removed the shock and canvas collars. She then realized she had been locked out of the house. When she called her mother, she had fallen and said she couldn’t get up. The daughter broke a window pane with a hammer to get into the home. She says the dog ran past her and began mauling her mother on her arms and then her abdomen and thighs. The daughter tried hitting the dog with the hammer and with a skillet, but the dog was not deterred from attacking. She later said the attack didn’t stop until the elderly woman in her 90s stopped screaming. At one point, the daughter was bitten on the arm.

The dog had previously been in a shelter and identified as a biter. He was rescued and ended up with this family. The new owner said that she had never seen anything like the gruesome attack.

This tragic incident is like so many others, when people are convinced that pit bulls can be perfectly safe for adoption only for disasters like this one to occur.

–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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A Toddler Suffers a Horrific Facial Attack by a Pit Bull Mix

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Daddy

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On March 15, 2017, in Clinton, Iowa,15-month-old Lucas Harrison was playing with a friend’s pit bull mix that had been adopted from a shelter just two hours before. The pit bull suddenly lunged at the toddler and bit off much of his face. In hundreds of similar pit bull attacks, the dog continues biting and attacking. Based on reports, this one devastating bite was the only one, but the damage done is horrific.

Lucas was transported by medical helicopter to the University of Iowa Childrens’ Hospital. At least three surgeons were involved in an initial 6-hour surgery to re-attach the face. As a result of the pit bull attack, a significant portion of the child’s gum, jaw bone, and permanent teeth were ripped out and most of the cartilage in his nose was destroyed. Doctors say the damage will affect him throughout his lifetime. He won’t have upper front teeth. Doctors hope that dental reconstruction can eventually be done to support false teeth when he is an adult. In the future, Lucas will need further facial surgeries.

The damage done to the toddler’s face is extensive, and the pain associated with his injuries is beyond imagination. The child is receiving care that involves keeping him sedated, to help shield him from the pain.

This tragic incident brings to light the dangers of transporting shelter dogs across state lines. This pit bull mix had been on death row in a Louisiana facility. The dog became a rescue transport, which is a type of operation in which volunteers rescue dogs from various shelters around the country and then move them to other shelters that will accept them.

The dog was advertised as a great dog with a great temperament and was ultimately adopted out on the day of the attack by the Clinton Humane Society.

Graphic images of Lucas are widely posted on the web, and they demonstrate the danger of pit bulls and pit bull mixes. When one of these dogs suddenly and without warning attack and seriously injure or kill someone, invariably, “no one saw it coming.”  This is in spite of the fact that a person in the U.S. is killed by a pit bull or pit bull mix approximately every two weeks, on average, over the past 5 years or so.

–Guest Contributor

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64-year-old David Fear Dies after a Vicious Dog Attack

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

A Belgian Malinois named Tica.

A Belgian Malinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, in Grover Beach, CA, 85-year-old Betty Long was brutally attacked by two dogs. David Fear, age 64, intervened to save her and suffered critical injuries, including arteries in each arm being severed. Long had broken bones from falling during the dog attack, and she also had serious dog bite injuries. Both were admitted to nearby hospitals. Long survived and made the statement that Fear repeatedly screamed for help, saying, “They’re eating me” during the horrific attack. He died from his injuries three days later on Friday, December 16. Both dogs in the attack belonged to a Grover Beach police officer, whose name has been withheld and who is now on paid administrative leave. The dogs were a Belgian Malinois and a German shepherd, with the former being the main aggressor. The malinois was surrendered to animal control and has been euthanized since the fatal dog attack.

The dog attack occurred outside of Long’s home, and Fear was her next-door neighbor. The dogs escaped from the owner’s yard. The dog owner had only lived in the area a short time before the tragic incident occurred.

Fear is the 29th person in the U.S. to die from a dog attack in 2016. Twenty-one of the fatal dog attacks were caused by pit bulls, which is a typical statistic. Although pit bulls make up only about 7% of the dog population, they commit the clear majority of fatalities every year.

Obviously, other dogs can be just as dangerous as pit bulls. Fatal attacks happen too often, but it’s difficult to know what to do about it, since dogs are widely known as and considered man’s best friend. When it comes to the pit bull breed, there does seem to be plenty of evidence to support a ban of the breed, as a way of saving lives, including the lives of the owners, which make up about half of the fatal victims each year.

–Guest Contributor

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How to Identify a Dog Used for Dog Fighting

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

American Staffordshire Terrier o imieniu Gamba.

American Staffordshire Terrier o imieniu Gamba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stories often make the news about abandoned dogs that appear to have been used as bait dogs in dogfighting rings. Some groups believe that these tales are often designed to create sympathy and increase donations to pet rescue organizations. There may be a certain level of scamming going on. Unfortunately, however, dogfighting is a very real illegal bloodsport in which animals are treated with horrible cruelty. Those involved often make a lot of money. In addition to keeping the activity clandestine in order to avoid an arrest, things are kept pretty well hidden for financial motivations, as well.

The humane society says dogs involved in dogfighting frequently suffer severe if not fatal injuries. The majority of dogs used in fighting are bred and trained specifically for dogfighting. Such an upbringing involves mistreatment and abuse from puppyhood on.

A dog that has been in fights will usually have deep puncture wounds, severe bruising, and broken bones. Hours or days after being in a dogfight, the dogs often die of shock, dehydration, exhaustion, infection, or blood loss. When a dog won’t fight, he usually becomes a bait dog used in training of fighters. The violence, animal abuse, and suffering involved in this bloodsport is disturbing.

In all 50 states, dogfighting is a felony offense. If someone brings a minor to a dogfight, it is also a felony offense, under federal law. The large profits people get from their involvement in dogfighting made the previous penalty of a misdemeanor ineffective and meaningless.

–Guest Contributor

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A 4-year-old Girl is Killed by a Newly Acquired Family Dog

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

A red Doberman Pinscher.

A red Doberman Pinscher. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On October 24, 2016, in Sherman Township, Michigan, a family adopted a dog described as a Doberman mix. In less than an hour, the dog lunged at the new owners’ daughter, 4-year-old Kiyana McNeal and went straight for her throat. Kiana’s mother attempted to rescue the child and was injured in the process.  The attack happened inside the family home. Kiyana had been holding a dog treat for the new pet. The dog sniffed the treat a couple of times, family members said, and then attacked the child.

The previous dog owner, who is from Illinois, was quickly contacted. He went back to the home and helped the mother administer CPR. First responders also went to the scene, where the child was pronounced dead. The mother was admitted to the hospital for injuries sustained in the attack and has since been released.

According to the Doberman’s previous owner, the dog had never before been known to display aggression.

Doberman Pinschers are often chosen as guard dogs, and some say that no one can enter property guarded by the breed. Dobermans are usually included in lists of the top ten most dangerous dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes Dobermans as intelligent, responsive to training, energetic, determined, alert, loyal, obedient, fearless, and watchful. They are not considered by dog experts to be vicious, however.

It is not uncommon for dog breeds of any kind to act out in an unpredictable manner when anxious. It is probably a good safety measure to keep children away from potentially dangerous dogs that are in an unfamiliar situation, just as insurance against the possibility of a tragedy like this fatal dog attack.

–Guest Contributor

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Two Pit Bulls Kill a Toddler in Topeka, Kansas

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsch: American Staffordshier Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On September 24, 2016, Piper Dunbar, became the 20th person in the U.S. to be killed by pit bulls this year. The 2-year-old girl was found dead under a tarp in her front yard. Her death was attributed to an attack by two pit bulls. The dogs belonged to a family friend who was temporarily staying at the residence. According to her father, the toddler fell asleep with him on the couch and went outside after he fell asleep. Initially, the child was reported to be missing. Piper’s father and the dogs’ owner were taken to the Law Enforcement Center in Topeka, Kansas, for questioning. Both of the pit bulls were euthanized by authorities.

In 2015, pit bulls were responsible for 82% of the fatal dog attacks in the U.S. In other words, 28 of the 34 dog bite-related deaths last year were caused by pit bulls. This is an alarming statistic, especially when you consider that, at most, pit bulls make up 7% of the total dog population.

Although the percentage has been higher than usual in the last couple of years, pit bulls have consistently been responsible for at least 60% of all annual dog attack fatalities. This pattern has been recognized in many communities, but getting the breed banned is extremely difficult. Advocates of the dogs are passionate and include most dog behavioral experts, many veterinarians, and other professionals.

Denver has been a model for cities determined to initiate a pit bull ban and keep it in place. Their efforts have been met with consistent opposition, but city officials have managed to continue protecting the public from this unpredictably dangerous breed.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Residents Fear they Can’t Avoid a Dog Attack

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antoinette Brown, age 52, was viciously attacked by a pack of loose dogs on May 2, 2016, in southern Dallas. Brown was bitten over 100 times and died from her injuries on May 9. People in the same neighborhood were in the news this week, making it clear that the problem of loose and stray dogs has not been solved. One neighbor recalls hearing the screams of a woman who was seriously injured by loose dogs in July in the same neighborhood where Brown was fatally injured. The dog attack victim was 39-year-old Tamika Batts. She was bitten dozens of times and was injured on her arms, face, and feet. She suffered serious injuries and received extensive hospital treatment.

City officials made promises about doing a better job of controlling the stray population and having dog owners keep their dogs restrained. More resources have been devoted to the cause. The problem is that strays were endangering people in southern Dallas before Brown was killed, when Batts was attacked, and they are still a problem today.

There is speculation about the reasons southern Dallas has more than its fair share of loose dogs. It is a low-income area, many stray dogs are dumped in the area, people abandon their dogs when evicted, and dogs aren’t spayed or neutered as frequently as in other parts of the city.

It has become a common practice for people in southern Dallas to go walking only when they also carry a bat, a large stick, a golf club, or some other means of protecting themselves. The fear of being attacked is very real. One neighbor shared that she has nightmares about being attacked by a pack of dogs. Until the city finds a way to resolve the situation, people are wise to carry weapons when walking.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Lawyer – Are Dog Attacks on the Increase Across Texas?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statistics about dog bites in Abilene, Texas, released last month show that dog attacks are on the rise. A story was published and the public was alerted to possible dangers of stray dogs. In Big Spring, Texas, the United States Postal Service (USPS) released information about an alarming increase in dog attacks on mail carriers in the city. Perhaps no city in Texas is facing more controversy than Dallas, however; concerns about stray dogs have been a major focus since the fatal attack on 52-year-old Antoinette Brown by a pack of dogs that occurred in May.

These are three separate cities in Texas that have been compelled to face the fact that dog bites are increasing. Statistics suggest that just about every shelter in every city in the Lone Star State is overcrowded and forced to euthanize more dogs than ever.

Abilene

The Abilene statistics show that the total number of dog bites to humans in 2015 was 215. By June of 2016, there had already been 261 bites to humans. In addition, altercations between dogs came to a total of 71 in 2015; as of June 2016, the number was already 86. The alarming increase in dog attacks has not been explained, but citizens have been provided with suggestions for avoiding a dog attack. For instance, they are urged to know their neighbors in areas where they walk. They are also encouraged to carry objects that can be used as a barrier when walking. Sightings of stray dogs should be reported to Animal Services.

Big Spring

During the four-year period of 2012 through 2015, only two dog bites of mail carriers were reported, according to USPS. In 2016 alone, as of July 16, there have already been four incidents in which mail carriers were bitten. Residents are urged to restrain their pets for the safety of the general public and Big Spring mail carriers.

Dallas

Numerous dog attacks have made the news in Dallas, in addition to the fatal mauling of Antoinette Brown. Recently, it was announced that Brown’s family is seeking a $5 million settlement with the city of Dallas, to avoid a legal battle. The mayor of the city announced that more needs to be done. But even after more resources were put into addressing the issue of stray dogs, reports of dog attacks in the city have continued. Tamika Batts, for instance, was brutally attacked by dogs in Dallas earlier this month.

At the very least, news of a growing number of dog attacks should put the public on alert to take safety precautions. Learn tips for avoiding a dog attack in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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