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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 ‘Austin’

A Chained Dog Gets Loose and Viciously Attacks a Boy

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

My Dog Abby, taken by me in my back yard.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Carroll County, Indiana, on Thursday, April 13, 2017, a dog neighbors say is always chained in its yard was loose and brutally attacked an 8-year-old boy. The dog attack victim’s 12-year-old neighbor Raven McMurtie saw what was happening in the field near her home, went outside, and let out a scream that frightened the dog away. McMurtie said she immediately began crying and praying for her friend, whose arm was hanging, as though broken, and he had blood all over.

According to McMurtie’s mother, who also witnessed the dog attack, the dog was shaking the boy, dropping him, and shaking him again. They ran to his aid and found that the injuries went to the bone in at least three places.

McMurtie credited the boy with being tough and brave, assuring her that he was fine. The boy was quickly transported to a nearby hospital with what police said were serious arm injuries.

During an investigation of the incident, the attacking dog behaved aggressively toward a police officer, who shot the dog in the chest. The animal was transported by Clinton County animal control to a vet in a nearby city. The dog will be quarantined for 10 days, to watch for signs of rabies.

Other neighbors spoke about the dog. They said the dog has never been seen running free. It is kept chained all the time, and several people have reported that the dog often didn’t have food or water.

Reports have been done that indicate dogs are more dangerous after being cruelly chained for long periods of time. According to the State of Texas HB 1411, it is against the law in Texas to chain or tether a dog except in strict circumstances.

–Guest Contributor

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A Three-Day-Old Infant is Killed by a Family Dog

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Hybryda owczarka niemieckiego z labradorem ret...

Hybryda owczarka niemieckiego z labradorem retrieverem. (Labrador- German Shepherd Mix) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A tragic dog bite fatality occurred on Sunday, February 7, 2016, that took the life of 3-day-old Aiden Grim-Morelli of Youngstown, Ohio. The newborn’s 21-year-old mother described what happened. She was sleeping on the couch, and the baby was in a laundry basket on the floor. Incidentally, the four dogs in the home sleep in laundry baskets, as well. The mother said the makeshift crib was being used because she had been promised a genuine baby crib and was waiting for it. The mom was awakened when the baby began crying. She saw that her son’s head was covered in blood. She wiped off the blood and could see that a dog had bitten the baby. She called 9-1-1, but Aiden died before paramedics arrived. The only injuries that were apparent were a few small puncture wounds on the skull. Forensic pathologist Dr. Joseph Ohr of the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office said that an infant’s skull is extremely fragile at three days old, and the dog’s jaw easily penetrated the skull, which caused brain injury and ultimately death.

Aiden is the fifth person to be killed by a dog in the U.S. this year. All of the other dog bite fatalities involved pit bulls. In this case, the dog was a shepherd mix.

When a parent has lost a child because of a tragic accident, it seems a further blow to heap on implications of blame. When it comes to dogs, many people have had to learn the difficult lesson that certain cautions should be taken, especially as regards children. Read tips on keeping children safe around dogs in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Dog Bites a Woman’s Fingertip Off in San Antonio, Texas – Part 2

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Stray dogs

Stray dogs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just west of downtown San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday morning, a 32-year-old woman was walking on El Paso Street when a dog suddenly lunged at her. The dog bit the tip of her finger off when she put her hands up, to protect herself. She received medical care at University Hospital. The dog’s owner was identified and given two citations, though more may be coming, depending on shot and microchip records. The dog is in the custody of San Antonio Animal Control Services.

Approximately one-third of all liability claims among homeowners involve dog bites or injuries related to the actions of dogs. According to recent reports, the average cost per dog bite claim is $32,072. Dog liability insurance is available for anyone who wants to ensure that they are covered, in the event of having a frightful encounter with a dog.

There have been many occasions when the neighbor to a dangerous dog owner knew they were in danger because the dog would often be seen running loose. Last year, one woman was killed by pit bulls she was extremely afraid of and had reported to authorities; she had been checking her mailbox at the time of the fatal attack.

There are many stories of people in Texas neighborhoods being terrorized by at large dogs, and animal control services do not always manage to round up the animals. In fact, in some regions, it is common for stray dogs to become a problem of epidemic proportions. Insurance against bites makes a lot of sense for people in these kinds of situations.

Learn more about the danger of dog bites in Part 1 and this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Woman, Age 68, is Mauled to Death by Pit Bull Mix Dogs – Part 9

Friday, September 4th, 2015

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

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

The backyards of America are not places where people’s blood should be spilled and their bodies ripped open in a fatal pit bull attack, but they are. Earlier this year, as two examples, the following victims were killed by pit bulls in backyards.

On June 28, 2015, in Lawton, Oklahoma, 3-year-old Jordan Collins-Tyson, under a babysitter’s care, was in his great-grandmother’s backyard, where a pit bull was chained. Authorities said that the babysitter was watching the 3-year-old through a window. She said that one minute, the boy was fine. The next time she looked, Jordan was on the ground. The pit bull had bitten the boy’s throat in a brutal attack, and the child died. When police arrived, the dog continued to be aggressive; they shot the pit bull to death at the scene. The child was transported directly to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Norerto Legarda of Pecos, Texas, age 83, was in his daughter’s backyard on July 2, 2015, when three pit bulls from an adjoining yard began attacking him. Legarda’s Labrador was also attacked. The fencing between the yards was well-maintained, and it was never determined exactly how the dogs escaped their owner’s property. When authorities went to the scene, the savage pit bull attack was still happening. To reach Legarda, police pepper sprayed and tasered the pit bulls. There was nothing they could do for the elderly man; he was pronounced dead at the scene. The Labrador survived the attack. The pit bulls’ owner gave permission, and the dogs were put down.

Learn more about the danger of pit bulls in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8 of this continuing series, which will include more specific examples of pit bull fatalities that have occurred recently here in the U.S.

–Guest Contributor

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A Woman is Shot as Police Try to Stop an Aggressive Bulldog

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Clyde, the english bulldog puppy

Clyde, the english bulldog puppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An English bulldog was shot and killed in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, yesterday after biting several people. Those at the scene described it as chaos. Two dogs escaped their yard after landscapers failed to close the backyard gate properly. One of the dogs was a Chihuahua and the other an English bulldog. The 16-month-old bulldog bit a girl and kept running. One of the owners, a 12-year-old boy, lay on the dog until police officers arrived and put a leash on the pet. Even with the leash on, the dog launched into another round of attacks. The dog bit an officer and then latched onto a neighbor’s thigh. The dog was shot with the Taser guns of several officers but would not let go. Finally, at least one police officer shot the dog. Unfortunately, one of the victims was also hit by a Taser and a bullet in the foot. All of the dog bite victims went to the hospital. The dog owner felt he couldn’t fault the officers for shooting the dog, because the dog bit people. Police officers profusely apologized for the accidental shooting and Tasering of the women at the scene.

When a dog goes on the attack, there is always the potential for complete chaos. Many people across the nation in recent months have been passionate about demanding that police officers stop shooting people’s pets. One of the reasons for the concern, other than loss of a beloved pet considered a member of the family, is that others can be injured when police shoot dogs. That concern became a reality this week.

Another common occurrence is for a dog considered by his family to be a basically mild-mannered pet to surprisingly bite someone.

In this ongoing series, learn about Texas laws and what type of protection the public has from dog attacks.

–Guest Contributor

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Texans are Attacked by Dogs at Large Throughout the State – Part 2

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Tessie

Tessie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is against the law for dogs to run at large within the city limits of virtually every city in Texas. And yet in southern Dallas, as just one example, abandoned and stray animals are a huge problem. A recent online survey revealed that stray animals may not be at the very top of people’s minds in southern Dallas, but it does rank seventh. Where to put money for services, however, puts animal services in second place, with street repair ranking first. Opinions differ greatly, however, because animal services also ranked fourth for services that residents want to see money shifted away from to other city needs. Animal welfare ranked third and dogs at large ranked fifth on a list of code compliance issues.

There has been a lot of stir about abandoned and dumped dogs as well as dumped dead dogs in southern Dallas. Many of the dogs at large that are rounded up in sweeping efforts by animal services end up being euthanized, which few people consider a positive solution. Dallas Animal Services (DAS) has concluded that sweeps are not effective solutions for loose dogs.

City leaders and neighborhood representatives are considering possible solutions to the problem of loose dogs. One potential plan proposed by DAS is an education and outreach initiative in which education, outreach, and enforcement actions would be enacted to hyper-target loose dogs. The current DAS budget is $9 million, and this initiative is a proposed additional $1 million.

Learn more about the dangers of dogs at large in Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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Dog Attack Injury Attorney: Sugar Land has Ordinances Prohibiting At-Large Dogs and More – Part 4

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

English: Bullmastiff and Poodle/Terrier mix pl...

English: Bullmastiff and Poodle/Terrier mix playing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Sugar Land, Texas, the law pertaining to dangerous dogs is more stringent than state requirements, found in the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 822. The following is Section 3-37 regarding dangerous dog ordinances in Sugar Land, continued from Part 3, which included Section 3-36:

  • If the custodianship or ownership of a dangerous dog is changed, the name and address of the new custodian or owner must be provided to animal services by the previous dog’s custodian or owner.
  • If the dangerous dog’s new custodian or owner lives in Sugar Land, animal services must notify the new custodian or owner of the following:
    • The dog has been deemed a dangerous dog;
    • Registration of the dog is required but is not transferable; and
    • The new custodian or owner has a responsibility to comply with all of the dangerous dog requirements under city ordinances.
  • The new custodian or owner has 13 days to register the dog, from the day of receipt of the dog or from the date of receipt of notice from animal services that the dog has been deemed dangerous, whichever occurs first.
  • If the new custodian or owner of a dangerous dog resides outside of the city, animal services is required to notify both the new owner and the appropriate animal control service which has authority in the area with regard to the fact that a dog previously determined to be dangerous has been transferred to that area.

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 for more about Sugar Land dog ordinances in this ongoing series, including more about dangerous dog and vicious dog ordinances.

–Guest Contributor

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Dog Bite Lawyer: Sugar Land has Ordinances Prohibiting At-Large Dogs and More – Part 2

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

English: Imperial Sugar headquarters in Sugar ...

English: Imperial Sugar headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas Español: La sede de Imperial Sugar en Sugar Land, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it is very warm or extremely cold outside, it is against the law in Sugar Land, Texas, to leave a dog or other animal inside of a parked vehicle, if it is likely that the animal’s health, welfare, or safety is jeopardized. A firefighter, police officer, or animal services officer may, by law, use reasonable force to rescue a dog from a car if that person believes that there is an emergency as regards preserving the dog’s safety, welfare, or health.

In Sugar Land, it is against the law for a dog to occupy the bed of a truck or trailer if the vehicle is traveling in excess of 35 miles per hour on a highway or public street. An exception is if the animal is in a secure enclosure, such as a pet kennel, or otherwise restrained in a way other than a neck restraint, to prevent the dog from falling or jumping out of the trailer or truck.

Animal services must investigate all dog bite or scratch incidents that break the skin. It is unlawful in Sugar Land for a person to kill or remove from the city limits any dog or other animal that has bitten a person or animal or that is under quarantine, except when it is necessary to protect a person’s or animal’s life.

All animals that bite or scratch a human or an animal in a manner that is unnatural or if that animal has a zoonotic disease such as rabies or is under suspicion of having a disease must be immediately confined by the owner. Animal services must be immediately notified regarding the place the animal is confined and the reason for the confinement. The animal must not be in contact with any person or animal.

Read Part 1 for more about Sugar Land dog ordinances in this ongoing series, including dangerous dog and vicious dog ordinances.

–Guest Contributor

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Texas Accident Attorney: Where are the Dangerous Dogs in Austin, Texas? – Part 3

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Boxer

Boxer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The official City of Austin, Texas, website includes information about the whereabouts of dangerous and vicious dogs in the city. There are also reminders, such as that the owners of registered dangerous dogs are required by law to keep their dog restrained at all times in an enclosure or under someone’s control. Any dog that is registered as dangerous or vicious should always wear a large dog tag stating that it is a dangerous animal. The website also points out that if a dog attacks again, after being declared vicious or dangerous, the pet will be euthanized.

One of the requirements regarding dangerous and vicious dogs is this one:

  • Owners must also carry $100,000 of liability insurance to cover any injuries inflicted by the dog.

The requirement carries the implication that by allowing the dog to continue to live within city limits, there is a clear possibility that someone may become injured and require medical care or could even be killed. If you live in Austin, it would be a good idea to access the city website and determine whether there is a dangerous or vicious dog in your vicinity. It would be better to take safety precautions when walking in a potentially dangerous part of town than to benefit from the insurance coverage of a dangerous dog owner.

Some of the many streets where registered dangerous or vicious dogs reside in Austin include:

  • The 2100-block of Horse Wagon Drive, where a dangerous white/brown boxer lives.
  • On the 8900 block of Pointer lane, there are at least three registered dangerous dogs, all in the same household. They are all pit bulls — one male and one female white and black pit bull and one brown and white female pit bull.
  • In the 11900 block of Rosethorn Drive, there is a brown male pit bull-boxer mix that has been deemed dangerous.

Learn more about dangerous dog and vicious dog requirements in Austin in Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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Injury Attorney: Where are the Dangerous Dogs in Austin, Texas? – Part 2

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

English: Rottweiler puppy

English: Rottweiler puppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The official City of Austin, Texas, website includes information about the whereabouts of dangerous and vicious dogs in the city. Steps are also provided for contacting Animal Control and requesting that a dog be deemed vicious or dangerous.

The following is information regarding vicious dogs, as found on the Vicious Dog Information Sheet provided by Austin/Travis County Animal Services Animal Protection Care and Control:

Information about any of the following acts should be reported to the City Health Authority:

If a dog owner or handler fails to take the required reasonable measures to protect people from accidental contact with a dog that is dangerous to other animals or to people, whether the danger is the result of training or the dog’s nature.

A dog may not be kept within the City of Austin by an owner or handler if the dog has:

  • Scratched or bitten a person in the city on at least three separate occasions;
  • Endangered a person’s life by biting or scratching them to the extent that a physician presents an affidavit stating as much to the health authority; or
  • Has at least once killed a cat, another dog, any other domestic pet, livestock, or fowl or seriously injured the other animal to the extent that the animal’s life was in serious danger or if the dog’s attack resulted in significant permanent impairment of the injured animal’s mobility or basic bodily functions. The injured animal must not have been in violation of provisions related to the physical control or confinement of animals in Austin.

Learn more about dangerous dog and vicious dog requirements in Austin in Part 1 and this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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