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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 ‘Cruelty to animals’

A 7-year-old Boy is Savagely Mauled to Death by Pit Bulls in Front of a Helpless Crowd

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Pit bull (Photo labeled for reuse)

On Saturday, October 21, 2017, 7-year-old Javian Candolario was killed by two pit bulls belonging to neighbors in Lowell, Massachusetts, as about 15 people looked on helplessly. The details of how the attack began are in question but, according to a city councilor, Rodney Elliott, the child went to pat the dogs, who were behind a fence about 4.5’ tall that was described as dilapidated. Several witnesses say one of the dogs grabbed the boy and pulled him over the fence. The pit bull mauled the child aggressively in a horrific scene. Five police officers who arrived after the child had already died have said that they are undergoing counseling, due to the trauma caused by witnessing the scene.

The child’s mother and a sibling were among those who witnessed the fatal pit bull attack. Onlookers were shocked and screaming; but no one knew what to do, witnesses said.

Police fired shots at one of the dogs because it was showing aggression. The dog presumably jumped over the fence after being shot and was later killed in police gunfire about a mile away. The other pit bull was taken into custody by animal control.

In 2011, a pit bull ordinance sponsored by Elliott was enacted in the city, and it placed restrictions on pit bull ownership. One year later, however, the law was nullified because the state’s legislators enacted a new state preemption law, which prevents towns and cities from adopting breed-specific legislation. Javian was the 19th person in 2017 alone to be killed in the U.S. by a pit bill.

–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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A Child is Attacked by a Pit Bull; 4 have been Killed by the Breed since June 4

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Pit bull

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday in Whiteville, North Carolina, a 7-year-old girl entered a neighbor’s home and was attacked by their pit bull. She was transported to one hospital before being transferred to another for reconstructive surgery. The dog did not have a current rabies certificate. The dog is being held for 10 days of quarantine, to check for signs of rabies. Hospital officials together with the Columbus County Health Department are expected to recommend that the child begin the rabies immune globulin treatment.

Pit bulls are notoriously difficult to stop, once they begin an attack. Just a few days ago, on June 27, two people in the U.S. were killed by pit bulls. One was a 3-day-old in Fresno, California, and the other was a 53-year-old woman in New Haven, Connecticut. The details of the New Haven woman have sent shock waves to most people who hear details of her attack and injuries. The witnesses have been offered counseling because they witnessed an attack so brutal that the victim lost both of her eyes. She also had to get a leg amputated, as physicians tried to save her life. An arm amputation was being considered, as well, before she passed away.

The past month has actually been alarmingly dangerous, as pit bulls are concerned. There were also two people killed on June 4. Seven-year-old Hunter Bragg was killed at a relative’s home. Forty-three-year-old Earl Stephens, Jr., was also the victim of a fatal pit bull attack on that day, as he was visiting a friend.

See this continuing series to learn whether the past month was a fluke or whether it is indicative of an ongoing problem.

–Guest Contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby Girl and a 53-year-old Woman Die from Separate Pit Bull Attacks on Monday – Part 2

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

3.5 year old Brindle Pit Bull Terrier

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

The 4th day of June was the first of two deadly days in the same month in which two people in the U.S. were killed by pit bulls. As on June 27, the two victims were an adult and a child or infant. Another correlation was that the adults were both visiting a friend who owned pit bulls, and the friends’ dogs fatally attacked. Also, both children were killed by a relative’s pit bull(s).

Hunter Bragg, age 7, was at a relative’s home in Corinna, Maine. There were eight dogs living at the residence. One of the dogs was the pit bull that attacked and killed Hunter as he was outside playing with two other children. Investigators discovered that the dog responsible had previously belonged to the owner’s daughter and had killed one of her other dogs, a beagle.

Earl Stephens, Jr., age 43, of Stockton, California, was helping a friend repair a scooter in the friend’s front yard. Both men went inside the home together. Stephens then went back outside by himself to retrieve something from his car when one of the friend’s pit bulls brutally attacked him. Two other dogs also got involved with the mauling. Two people from inside the home heard the commotion and tried to rescue him, and both were injured in the process. Officers were called, and the pit bull that initiated the attack was still being aggressive. Officers shot and killed the dog. The injuries Stephens suffered were massive, and he died that day.

Word about these four pit bull fatalities needs to be made public. June 2016 should be a turning point when pit bull advocates begin to see the difficult and painful reality that the breed truly is too unpredictable to put friends, families, and themselves at risk.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby Girl and a 53-year-old Woman Die from Separate Pit Bull Attacks on Monday

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Daddy

Daddy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Fresno, California, on Monday, June 27, 2016, a three-day-old baby girl was killed by family dogs. Two Shar Pei-pit bull mixes attacked and killed the newborn after her mom left her alone on the couch and went outside. The mother said she believed the dogs were chained up outside. She said she left the door open because it was hot outside. The only other person at home was the mother’s brother, who owned the pit bull mixes. The dogs were surrendered to the Central California Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). An SPCA spokesperson said the dogs will be euthanized. The fatal dog attack is still under investigation. Investigators say charges have not been ruled out. However, early on, authorities said they believed it was an unfortunate accident.

It is always unsafe to allow infants and small children to be alone with any kind of dog.

Special care should always be taken where pit bulls are concerned. On June 27, two people in the U.S. actually died as a result of pit bull attacks. The infant mentioned above and a 53-year-old woman from New Haven, Connecticut. The two are the 13th and 14th victims killed by pit bulls this year.

The attack on the New Haven woman, like the incident with the newborn, seems to be as horrific as any dog attack could be, based on statements made by the witnesses, who were offered counseling. Two pit bulls belonging to a friend she was visiting attacked the woman so savagely, she lost both of her ears and her eyes in the attack. Her neck, throat, and facial injuries were severe. One of her legs was amputated, due to the severity of the injuries, and an arm was scheduled to be amputated, as well.

Pit bulls and pit bull mixes commit fatal attacks approximately every 14 days in the U.S., and that has been true at least since January of 2015. Our laws need to change in order to protect even pit bull lovers from the breed, considering that the owners are the fatal victims about half the time.

This is the second day in June 2016 in which two people died as a result of two separate pit bull attacks. Learn more in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A 13-year-old Boy in East Dallas is Viciously Attacked by a Dog

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

English: Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bullte...

English: Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bullterrier Deutsch: Bullterrier und Staffordshire Bullterrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At about the time a vigil was held in Dallas for Antoinette Brown, who was killed by a pack of dogs earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy was being attacked by a loose dog. Dallas police got a call at about 8:30 p.m. on Memorial Day saying a bull terrier was attacking a teenager at some apartments in East Dallas. A neighbor was trying to pull the boy to safety, but the dog was relentlessly biting the child’s legs. When officers arrived, the dog had just been restrained and pinned against an apartment door. The teen suffered serious injuries to his legs, and he was transported to Children’s Medical Center.

Police officers used a Taser on the bull terrier, and the dog died in the struggle. The microchip in the dog revealed that the dog belonged to a neighbor. The owner left the dog with a family member while she went out of town. The dog escaped the yard. Because the dog was loose, the man responsible for the bull terrier at the time of the attack was given a citation. Police said other charges are possible.

The teen and his mother spoke with reporters. The boy said it may be a month before he’s able to walk again, and the mom is thankful her son wasn’t killed in the vicious dog attack.

After Brown was so brutally attacked on May 2, the Dallas mayor acknowledged that matters related to dangerous dogs had not been given proper attention.

Learn more about dog attacks in Texas in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Woman Mauled by Pack of Dogs Dies from Injuries – Part 2

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

3.5 year old Brindle Pit Bull Terrier

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

Antoinette Brown, age 52, died on May 9, 2016, a week after being mauled by a pack of dogs in Dallas, Texas. People in the area where she was attacked heard her screams and called police. One neighbor said that anytime someone tried to approach the victim, to help, the dogs turned on them. The mayor admitted, after the incident, that the city has not given the issue of loose dogs the priority it demands. He has since suggested a policy overhaul as far as how the city handles reports of aggressive dogs. The chief of police stated that the owner of six dogs involved in the fatal attack could face charges, but none have been filed as yet.

Texas laws do not take into account the clear history of violence among the pit bull breed. There have been many pit bull owners killed in recent history in the U.S., none of whom suspected that they were in danger. Other people, such as children walking in their neighborhoods, have also been killed by pit bulls. In addition, other breeds have suddenly killed on occasion. And yet, with all of the available data showing that dogs previously thought to be gentle suddenly take a human life, Texas has a “so-called” one-bite rule. No matter what a dog does, such as kill a person, if there is no clear evidence that the owner had prior knowledge of a vicious tendency, there is no criminal punishment. In civil court, a Texas judge set a precedent, saying that a dog owner is not liable for injuries caused by their dog if there was no prior knowledge of vicious behavior.

Leash laws are in place in cities and municipalities throughout Texas, but there is little that would serve to inspire dangerous dog owners to be especially careful to protect the public from their potentially vicious dogs.

There is no doubt about it. Dog laws need to change in Texas.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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Dog Attack Lawyer Texas – May 15-21, 2016, is National Dog Bite Prevention Week – Part 3

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

English: Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu dogs

English: Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu dogs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year in May statistics are released about the number of postal workers attacked by dogs in the previous year in the U.S., followed by National Dog Bite Prevention Week. In 2016, the annual focus on avoiding dog bites is the week of May 15 thru 21. With summer soon-coming, when more children are playing outdoors in neighborhoods, it’s a great time for parents to review dog safety tips with their children. Postal carriers, children, and the elderly are the three groups most vulnerable to dog bites. Every year there are more than 4.5 million dog bites in the U.S. Many dog attacks result in serious injuries, including maiming, disfiguration, and amputation. Approximately 30 people are killed by dogs every year, which is about every 12 days.

The following is one more safety tip from Michael Baugh:

  • Dogs tend to bite people when they are stressed or frightened. Baugh advises dog owners to teach their pet to calm himself. An example is to teach a dog to settle himself on a mat, when he becomes agitated. This process is referred to as “shaping,” and it engages a dog’s brain in figuring out on his own how to relax after becoming agitated.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) represents more than 88,000 veterinarians working in a wide range of settings. AVMA acts as a collective voice for the membership. The following are tips for what to teach children so that they can avoid being bitten by a dog:

  • Avoid unknown dogs. Never pet a dog that’s unsupervised and loose.
  • Always ask a dog owner’s permission before petting their dog.
  • If an aggressive dog is encountered, avoid running, yelling, or hitting the dog because these actions typically escalate the situation.
  • Do not bother a dog in his crate or bed. The crate should not be in an isolated space but rather in a living area of the home.
  • When a dog walks away after playtime, it means the dog is finished playing and should be left alone.
  • Never try to ride a dog. Don’t pull a dog’s tail or take his toys, food, or treats.

Learn more safety tips on how to prevent a dog bite in Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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Attorney for West Texas Dog Bite – National Dog Bite Prevention Week 2016 is May 22 thru May 28 – Part 2

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

A Rural Letter Carrier from Fort Myers, Florida

A Rural Letter Carrier from Fort Myers, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dog bites are a health threat in the U.S. More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year. In addition, more than one-third of homeowners’ liability claims involve dog bites. For these reasons and more National Dog Bite Prevention Week, an annual event, is a great idea. This year, the focus on prevention of dog bites will be during the week of May 22 through May 28.

The following are more tips for mail carriers provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS), to help them avoid being bitten by a dog:

  • Never run from a dog
  • Never wear headphones
  • Use your mail satchel as a barrier between yourself and an aggressive dog
  • Back away slowly but do not turn your back to an aggressive dog
  • Always carry repellent
  • Always be alert and vigilant

Postal workers are also schooled on cues that a dog is aggressive or fearful. The following dog behaviors provide clues that it’s best to stay a safe distance away:

  • A tense body
  • Intense stare
  • The head is pulled back
  • The ears are tucked back
  • A stiff tail
  • Yawning
  • Whites of the eyes are showing
  • Flicking tongue
  • Backing away

One dog expert advises postal workers not to enter a yard when a threatening dog is also large enough to weigh 100 pounds or more. Although all dog bites hurt, large dogs can do the most damage and can even take a human life. In fact, statistics show that approximately every two weeks, someone in the U.S. is killed by a pit bull.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Attacks and Seriously Injures a Sleeping Toddler in a Stroller – Part 4

Wednesday, April 13th, 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 Nutley, New Jersey, neighborhood on Saturday night, a pit bull got loose from his owner and viciously attacked an 11-month-old toddler in her stroller. It was already dark outside, and the child’s parents didn’t see the attack coming. Suddenly the dog ran up and latched onto the toddler’s leg. The baby’s and mother’s screams reportedly brought almost the entire neighborhood outside. Neighbors quickly ran to their aid, though it wasn’t easy to get the pit bull to let go of the child. Neighbors wrapped a tourniquet around the leg. The child was quickly transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. She required more than 70 stitches on her leg. Reportedly, fixing her injuries will require extensive plastic surgery.

Stories about pit bull attacks are continuous. On Sunday at about 6:30 pm in Charlotte, North Carolina, 9-year-old Jonathan Robero was playing near a park when two pit bull mixes viciously attacked him. According to police, one of the dogs was 3 years old and the other 6 years old. The dogs did not have up-to-date vaccination records, and both are being held for 10 days observation, to look for signs of rabies. Robero suffered serious injuries and has undergone one surgery with another planned. Details about his injuries are not available, but his family released photos showing that he has heavy bandages covering both arms and both legs. He also has cuts on his face. Police said an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Read more about recent pit bull attacks in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this ongoing story.

–Guest Contributor

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