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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 ‘Christmas’

A Toddler in Oklahoma and a Woman in Louisiana are Killed by Pit Bulls in early January 2018

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

In 2017, a total of 29 people in the U.S. died as a result of pit bull attacks. Sadly, the horrific trend continues. The first two pit bull fatalities in 2018 occurred before mid-January. The victims of the fatal pit bull attacks were 53-year-old Laura Ray of West Monroe, Louisiana, and 3-year-old Rylee Dodge of Duncan, Oklahoma.

Ray was working at a pet boarding facility when a pit bull mauled her to death on January 9. At approximately 11 p.m., deputies with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office were called to the pet boarding establishment on Smith Street in West Monroe. Scotty Robinson, Ouachita Parish Police Jury President, said the awful scene was horrific. The deputies who responded to the call found that Ray had been critically injured, and she did not survive the savage pit bull attack. The previous owner of the pit bull had signed a document saying the dog did not have a history of aggression. Ouachita Parish Animal Control took custody of the pit bull, and the dog was euthanized. Ray was the mother of five children.

Rylee’s father had acquired the pit bull that killed her just five days before the deadly attack on January 14. The dog was kept in the fenced yard. The 3-year-old’s father left her with her grandmother and got a call approximately 20 minutes later. The man quickly returned home and discovered his mother laying on the pit bull and his daughter lifeless. The grandmother said Rylee had opened the front door to play with the pit bull. The dog attacked Rylee as soon as she opened the door. According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, the child’s cause of death was multiple blunt force and sharp injuries to her neck and head. Although the manner of death was ruled an accident, sources say criminal charges are pending.

Tragically, year after year, pit bulls are responsible for more fatal dog attacks than all other breeds put together and little to nothing is done, as far as new legislation to provide protection from this clear threat.

–Guest Contributor

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Lawyer for Dog Bites – Most Dangerous Dog Breed: Pit Bulls – Part 5

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

English: Brindled American Pit Bull Terrier ch...

English: Brindled American Pit Bull Terrier chilling on the floor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Research has been done on dog attacks and dog bites, and information has been used to determine what the most dangerous dogs are in the U.S. As with just about any report with figures, there are many different variables that determine which dogs rank at the top of the danger list. There is one breed that always makes lists of dangerous dogs because they cause the most harm, including the most fatalities, and that breed is the pit bull.

On January 19, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, a family was attacked by five pit bulls. Police were called to the bloody scene. When they arrived at the apartment building, they heard witnesses screaming that the dogs were killing a woman. On the third floor, where the attack was taking place, police encountered a violent scene. A victim on the floor was being bitten by dogs on her legs, arms, and upper body. Firing a gun didn’t stop the dogs. One of the pit bulls charged an officer, who fired at the dog lunging toward him and then at the other animals. All five dogs were killed, and the victim was unresponsive and unconscious. Further investigation showed that all five occupants of the apartment had been injured by the pit bulls and the one must critically injured was the woman who had tried to escape to the hallway. Her injuries were described as life-threatening. She was transported by medical helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center. The five pit bulls had been staying in the apartment where the attack occurred, but police have had difficulty determining who the owners were.

Read more about pit bulls, the most dangerous dog breed, in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

 

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A Dog Bites a Woman’s Fingertip Off in San Antonio, Texas – Part 3

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Mailboxes, Nelson, New Hampshire

Mailboxes, Nelson, New Hampshire (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.

Although laws don’t go far enough to protect citizens from dangerous dogs owned by irresponsible people, there are times when dog owners face felony charges as a result of a serious or fatal dog attack. Last week a man from Austin, Texas, was charged with a felony for a December 26, 2013, dog attack. According to police, the man’s two dogs attacked the victim as he was at a community mailbox. The dogs allegedly attacked from behind, tearing and biting at his legs and arms. He was helpless to escape, but a Good Samaritan rescued him. The man receiving emergency care at a hospital and now walks with a cane, having complained of numbness and weakness in his legs since the incident. It is further alleged that the owner left the gate open, which allowed the dogs to run loose. One of the dogs had previously been declared a “Dangerous Dog,” but the owner failed to comply with legal requirements regarding the ownership of a dangerous dog. The charge against the dog owner was for not carrying the required liability coverage on the dog that was deemed dangerous and for failing to properly restrain him.

Learn more about the danger of dog bites in Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Toddler is Killed by a Family Dog, a Pit Bull Mix, in Miami-Dade – Part 2

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

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

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

On Sunday, December 20, 2015, 1-year-old Nyjah Espinosa was killed by her father’s dog while visiting him in Miami-Dade for the holidays. The toddler would have been 2 on Christmas day. According to police, the dog, a pit bull mix, attacked the child in the hallway of the home and she did not survive the injuries. Police are still investigating the case. Animal services described the dog as an American bulldog mix, but a picture of the dog was made available. It is clearly a pit bull mix, according to DogsBite.org; the owners of the website have sent the dog’s picture to an expert for an opinion about what breed the dog is.

According to DogsBite.org, the following is a legal definition of a pit bull:

A class of dogs that includes the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bull dog and any other mixed breed or pure bred dog that is a combination of these breeds. The weight and shape among pit bulls can vary greatly, with weight being between 35 to 100 pounds. It has been common throughout history for pit bulls to be mislabeled.

In England over a thousand years ago, a blood sport called “bull baiting” led to the breeding of pit bulls. Bull baiting was a national pastime around 1500 A.D. Eventually the sport was banned, as a result of public outrage. But the breed had been developed to bite and hold on, and tremendous jaw strength is a major characteristic of pit bulls. Currently, in the illegal blood sport of dog fighting, pit bulls are used almost exclusively because they are so much more deadly as fighters than other breeds.

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

–Guest Contributor

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DFW Attorney – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Dog Bites 2 People, Providing a Holiday Safety Reminder – Part 3

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

English: My mixed-breed dog

English: My mixed-breed dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In world news last week, it was widely reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dog bit two visitors. He adopted the large 10-year-old mixed breed in the summer and expressed no regrets. No one was seriously injured when the dog bit two people at a Hanukkah celebration last Wednesday.

Especially during the holidays, when any dog can become agitated enough to bite, being cautious with regards to dogs is really an excellent safety step. The following is more good advice for parents to give their children, to avoid being bitten by a dog:

  • Never look a dog directly in the eyes because they consider it an act of aggression, and the dog may feel threatened, which could lead to an attack.
  • If approached by a strange dog, do not run away. Dogs have a strong instinct to give chase and attack if someone runs from them. Instead, stand still, like a tree. Keep arms close to the body and very still, so that the dog doesn’t see a moving object that makes him want to bite it.
  • If a dog knocks you to the ground, curl into a ball and place your hands over the back of your neck.
  • Do not annoy a dog by doing such things as jumping on them, touching their face, or yelling at them because these activities often lead to dog bites.
  • Become familiar with dog body language and teach it to your children. There will be more on that subject later in this series.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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Texas Lawyer – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Dog Bites 2 People, Providing a Holiday Safety Reminder – Part 4

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

English: A dog with a rawhide chew toy.

English: A dog with a rawhide chew toy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In world news last week, it was widely reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dog bit two visitors. He adopted the large 10-year-old mixed breed in the summer and expressed no regrets. No one was seriously injured when the dog bit two people at a Hanukkah celebration last Wednesday.

The following are more tips for how to avoid dog bites during the holidays – some are for dog owners and some are for visitors of friends and family who own dogs:

  • If you are visiting a family member or friend who has a dog, contact them before dropping by. This could help avoid a situation in which the dog is on the defensive when you arrive.
  • If you have a dog and you are having a holiday gathering, consider which option is safest for both the dog and the guests. Should you put the dog in a crate? If so, be sure to include water and a favorite dog bone or chew toy. It is best to leave the dog in the crate until the party is over or at least until things are less hectic. The most stressful times for dogs are when guests are arriving, when dinner is being prepared and served, and when guests are in the process of leaving.
  • If your dog is allowed to roam freely, do not assume that all will be fine, no matter how docile your dog is. Have some take responsibility for watching the dog, looking for signs of distress. Common signs of distress are licking his chops, yawning, and the whites of the eyes showing. Also, be sure the dog is never be left alone with small children, whether indoors or outside.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this continuing series.

–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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Two Children are Mauled by the Family Pit Bull

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

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

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

A 13-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy were attacked in their home this week by the family pit bull. Another 8-year-old boy was walking past the home when he heard screaming and the words “hurt” and “animal.” He called 9-1-1 and has been called a hero, having possibly saved the children’s lives by getting help to them. Police and paramedics went to the home and rescued the children from the dog. The siblings were rushed to nearby hospitals, and then the boy was taken by medical helicopter to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. This attack occurred in Arizona and some believe could happen to anyone who owns a pit bull. There is enough evidence to prove that pit bulls are at least dangerous enough that children should not be left alone with them. The family in this case is convinced of the danger; they have requested that the dog immediately be euthanized.

Many thousands of pit bull owners will take a stand on behalf of the breed. Pictures are taken of infants and children snuggling up to pit bulls. Then when you hear stories about pit bulls suddenly turning on their owners and sometimes killing them, you know those people probably had the same opinion until their pets attacked. Is it really worth the risk?

Experts say that owning a pit bull carries significant responsibilities and should not be taken lightly. Many renters don’t allow pit bulls on their properties, and insurance rates for pit bulls are rising. The body of evidence suggesting that pit bulls are a clear danger is growing, but the argument that the owners are the ones solely to blame is as passionately made as ever.

–Guest Contributor

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In 2014, 42 Die from Dog Attacks in the U.S.–7 Fatal Dog Attacks in Texas – Part 4

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Capt. Lawrence Minnis sits with his two adopte...

Capt. Lawrence Minnis sits with his two adopted pit bulls at the Washington Humane Society’s Behavior and Learning Center, Nov. 12, 2009. Minnis met the dogs through the humane society’s Dog Tags program, in which Soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center sign up to help teach animals housed at the shelter learn how to behave. See more at www.army.mil Homeless dogs help healing troops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Information about the seven dog attack fatalities that occurred in Texas last year continues below:

Eighty-three-year-old Petra Aguirre was feeding her cats in her own backyard in San Antonio, Texas, in March when a neighbor’s two pit bull mixes crawled under the fence and viciously mauled her. Two family members were inside the home but did not hear what was going on. According to Aguirre’s nephew, she was bitten on her scalp, ear, neck, legs, and arms. Aguirre died on April 11 from injuries sustained in the pit bull attack. The previous year, the dogs had bitten a teenager. The pit bull owner was charged with a felony for the dog attack leading to death.

Rita Woodard, age 64, was fostering dogs – mostly pit bulls – when four pit bull mixes viciously attacked her in her backyard in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was discovered dead by a neighbor who said the back door was wide open and blood was everywhere. Woodard suffered multiple dog bites which contributed to her death, according to the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s office. When the fatal attack occurred, she was housing at least 17 dogs in her home. The four dogs suspected in her death were euthanized. According to For the Love of Strays, Woodard fostered at least 50 animals from 2010 to 2014.

Three people in the U.S. have died from dog attacks this year already. Pit bulls were the aggressors in all three attacks. The goal of DogsBite.org to have pit bulls banned seems to be right on target with doing what is needed to protect the public from an obviously deadly breed.

Read Part 1 for statistics about 2014 dog bite fatalities and Part 2 and Part 3 of this four-part series for more information about dog attack fatalities that occurred in Texas last year.

–Guest Contributor

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In 2014, 42 Die from Dog Attacks in the U.S.–7 Fatal Dog Attacks in Texas – Part 3

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Português do Brasil: Bull-mastif brasileiro.

Português do Brasil: Bull-mastif brasileiro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Information about the seven dog attack fatalities that occurred in Texas last year continues below:

On February 17, 2014, 2-year-old Je’vaeh Mayes was killed in Temple, Texas, by a chained pit bull that belonged to a friend of the family and that they were caring for. The toddler reportedly entered the backyard without anyone’s knowledge, and at some point, the dog attacked her. Authorities found no evidence of the dog having shown aggression on a previous occasion, but the pit bull and her puppies were confiscated by authorities.

On March 1, 2014, 2-year-old Raymane Robinson, Jr. was walking home from a playground with an 18-year-old man and an 8 year-old girl when a bullmastiff began attacking the little girl. Good Samaritans helped rescue the little girl from the dog, but then the dog latched onto Robinson and dragged him down the street. A nearby neighbor fired a gun, which sent the dog running back to his owner’s garage. The children were both transported to Darnall Army Medical Center in Killeen, Texas, where Robinson later died from wounds suffered in the dog attack.

On March 31, 2014, 85-year-old Dorothy Hamilton was killed when two pit bulls she was watching for her son broke through a bedroom door and attacked her. Hamilton’s son later found her dead. Eight pit bulls total were removed from the home by police, and all eight were euthanized.

Read Part 1 for statistics about 2014 dog bite fatalities and Part 2 and this ongoing series for more information about dog attack fatalities that occurred in Texas last year.

–Guest Contributor

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