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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 ‘Dog attack’

In September 2017 Alone, 3 People in the U.S. are Fatally Attacked by Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

American pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A 1-month-old, a 61-year-old, and a 62-year-old were all attacked and killed by pit bulls in September 2017. The total for the year is 18. Every year, pit bulls are the breed responsible for the majority of deadly dog attacks that occur in the U.S. In spite of mounting evidence that this breed is different from all other canines, pit bull advocates continue to claim that all blame lies with owners while fighting against any proposed pit bull bans that may receive legislative attention.

On September 9, 62-year-old Connie Storey of Philadelphia, Mississippi, was in her yard when her son’s male pit bull viciously mauled her. Her son found her outside at about 1:30 a.m., and he called emergency services. According to Tommy Waddell, Neshoba County Sheriff, Storey managed to explain that she was feeding the dog when the attack occurred. An ambulance transported her for further transport via emergency helicopter. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital. On September 20, she died of injuries sustained in the pit bull attack. A family member made a public statement that the family does not place blame on the breed. No criminal charges have been filed in this case.

One-month-old Barrett Hagans was staying at his father’s home for the first time in Pike Township, Ohio. While he slept in his bassinet, a male family pit bull brutally mauled him. When the father woke the next morning on September 20, 2017, he discovered that the newborn had been mauled and suffered extensive head trauma. At about 6:10 a.m., deputies were dispatched to their home. The infant was pronounced dead at the scene. Two pit bulls were removed from the residence by the Knox County Dog Warden’s Office, and both were euthanized. No criminal charges were filed against the father in connection with the fatal pit bill attack.

Kathy Nichelson, age 61, of Cherry Log, Georgia, when to someone’s home to visit them and was attacked by the homeowner’s pit bull as she was getting out of her vehicle. A person who was passing by tried to help her, when he saw that she had been severely injured and was on the ground. Suddenly, the dog made a reappearance and bit the man on the face. He managed to escape by climbing over a vehicle to get back to his van. He called 9-1-1, and deputies stood watch at the scene, as emergency responders rendered medical aid. The pit bull suddenly charged out from under the porch, and a deputy shot and killed the dog. Nichelson was pronounced dead at the scene. The pit bull owner was arrested and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

–Guest Contributor

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An Infant is Killed by the Family Dog in Houston, Texas, the Third Dog-Related Death in the State in 2017

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

At about 3:10 pm on August 19, 2017, officers with the Houston Police Department (HPD) responded to a home on Nelwyn Street in north Houston, Texas, regarding the mauling of an infant by a family dog. They found that 2-month-old Michael Obergas had been mauled primarily in the torso area. He was transported by ambulance to the Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital and pronounced dead upon his arrival. An investigation was done by the homicide division of HPD, and it was determined that no charges will be filed against the baby’s parents. Obergas is the third person in Texas to be killed in a dog attack in 2017.

Police could not determine whether the male giant schnauzer or the Labrador was responsible for the fatal dog attack. For that reason, both of the family dogs were euthanized.

Parents told police that the parents stepped out of the room the baby was in. While they were away, one of the dogs managed to open the door and attacked the infant.

On January 17 of this year, 2-month-old Skylar Julius was killed by the family dog, a male German shepherd, in San Marcos, Texas. The family had owned the 8-year-old pet since it was a puppy, and it did not have a history of being aggressive. Possible criminal charges are pending in the case, presumably against the father, who would not consent to being tested for drugs or alcohol. He had been responsible for the baby at the time of the fatal dog attack.

On July 21, 2017, 4-year-old Jacob Brooks was killed by a pack of family dogs in El Paso, Texas. Four dogs were seized at the scene of the attack. They were described as a pit bull and three shepherd-mixes. Possible criminal charges are pending presumably against the mother.

–Guest Contributor

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An 18-month-old is Killed by the Family Dog, a Rottweiler

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Dog A fatal dog attack occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 9, 2017. According to investigators, 18-month-old Marcos Raya Jr. was in his home, and his grandmother was babysitting him. The woman was doing household work when she opened the home’s back door. When she did, the family’s pet, a Rottweiler, rushed into the house, grabbed the baby, and dragged him outside, brutally attacking him. The grandmother attempted to pull the dog off of the boy, but she was unable to. She called 9-1-1, and Phoenix police officers and fire officials went to the scene. They found that the Rottweiler was still actively engaging in the vicious attack on the baby. The attack stopped only after one of the police officers shot and injured the dog. The boy was quickly transported to a pediatric trauma hospital, and he was described as being in extremely critical condition. The baby died at the hospital.

Captain Rob McDade, a spokesperson for the Phoenix fire department, said the child was unable to recover because of the amount of dog bites he had. Fire officials also said the baby’s father was the dog’s owner, and for three years the Rottweiler had been the family pet.

Marcos Raya Jr was the 14th person in the U.S. to die from a dog attack in 2017, according to DogsBite.org, a website that is devoted to tracking dog attack fatalities. Nine of the 2017 victims were killed by pit bulls or pit bull mixes, which is a common statistic. The majority of people killed by dogs are killed by pit bulls year after year. Rottweilers are the second deadliest, though this year, the 18-month-old is the only fatal victim of a Rottweiler attack.

–Guest Contributor

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An 83-year-old Man is Killed by Four Dogs Belonging to a Neighbor

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Les deux heureux parents de trois merveilleux ...

Les deux heureux parents de trois merveilleux petits rottweilers: Kiara, Charly et Coda ( à voir sur le blog: famillyrotts.skyrock.com) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a horrific scene in Jacksonville, Florida, an 83-year-old man was discovered dead in the backyard of a pet owner with four dogs. The owner’s dogs are a Rottweiler and three mixed-breed Rottweilers. On August 19, 2016, the victim was taking out his trash at the Franklin Arms Apartments, where he lived. There was a hole in the dog owner’s fence, and the dogs escaped. They dragged the elderly victim into their yard and he was discovered dead and dismembered. The dogs are in the custody of authorities. No charges have been filed.

Rottweilers are the second most dangerous type of dog breed. Although pit bulls have consistently been the breed responsible for more than 60% of annual deaths in the U.S. for decades, with that percentage spiking significantly since last year, Rottweilers are dangerous, too. According to DogsBite.org, a site that closely tracks dog bite fatalities in the U.S., the combined breed of pit bulls and Rottweilers have been responsible for 76% of all fatal attacks in the 11-year span of 2005 through 2015. More statistics follow:

  • In 2015, pit bulls committed 28 deaths and Rottweilers killed 3 people. American bulldogs are considered close cousins of pit bulls, and they killed 2 people. Together, the three breeds contributed to 97% or 33 of the 34 dog attack fatalities last year. Only 9% of these 34 fatalities resulted in criminal charges on a meaningful level. This was the lowest level of criminal charges linked to dog fatalities in 11 years.
  • Texas had more deaths caused by dogs in 2015, with 5 people killed.
  • Texas had more deadly dog attacks in 2014, as well, with 7 deaths. Felony charges were filed in connection with 43% of those fatalities.

Annual statistics related to dog fatalities continue to indicate what a danger certain breeds can be. Packs of dogs have also proven to be deadly on several occasions. Laws need to change so that dog owners know there will be consequences if anyone is hurt by their pets. It seems ludicrous that a person can be killed by pets while minding their own business and no one faces criminal charges.

–Guest Contributor

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A 9-year-old Boy is Killed by a Pit Bull while Visiting a Friend

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Daddy

Daddy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On August 17, 2016, 9-year-old Derion Stevenson was fatally attacked by a pit bull in Las Vegas, Nevada. The child was visiting a friend and was in the yard when the friend’s pit bull exited the house and immediately launched an attack on his face and neck. The boy suffered life-threatening injuries and was quickly transported to a local hospital, where he died.

The dog responsible for the child’s death was involved in a dog fight in July, according to authorities. A neighbor said the pit bull attacked her Labrador on July 11, and her dog was seriously injured. Authorities said the injuries were not substantial enough to warrant a declaration that the dog was vicious or dangerous. Since Derion’s death, the pit bull has been euthanized.

So far this year, pit bulls have killed 18 people in the U.S.. Many instances were similar to this tragedy in that people have been killed when visiting a friend. Michelle Wilcox, age 30, was savagely killed by her boyfriend’s pit bull. Susie Kirby died at 3 days old when she was attacked by an uncle’s pit bull mixes. Earl Stephens Jr., age 43, was killed by a friend’s pit bull. These are a just a few. Many more have been killed by the family pit bull or pit bulls belonging to family members.

Nevada authorities said that of 196 dogs involved in dog-on-dog attacks this year in Clark County, only 5 (2.5%) were designated as dangerous. None was declared vicious. With 191 dog owners facing no substantial consequences for instances when their pets attacked another dog, the public  has reason to be concerned that dog owner’s rights are favored over victims.

Between the danger of pit bulls as a breed and the general lack of action when certain types of attacks occur, which is true of many Texas jurisdictions, dogs are often a genuine threat.

–Guest Contributor

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A 30-year-old Woman is Mauled to Death by her Boyfriend’s Pit Bull – Part 1

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Español: Pit Bull Terrier Americano Hembra.

Español: Pit Bull Terrier Americano Hembra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday night, August 1, 30-year-old Michelle Wilcox was brutally mauled to death by her boyfriend’s pit bull. The fatal dog attack occurred on Jenkins Lane in Screven County, Georgia. Wilcox went to the house after she got off work. Later, her boyfriend arrived home and discovered the horrific scene. The victim was already deceased, and police were called to the scene at about 6 p.m. Authorities said the pit bull’s owner immediately put down the dog responsible for his girlfriend’s death.

Mike Kile, Sheriff of Screven County, made a statement about the tragic fatality. He said no one will ever know what happened. The dog was raised in the home from the time he was a puppy.

Investigators found no evidence that the pit bull that attacked had a history of aggression or viciousness. Other dogs were also in the home, and none of them were known to be dangerous, either.

Apparently, the law enforcement officials involved in the case are unfamiliar with recent pit bull statistics. Within the past few years, there has been an alarming escalation of the number of deaths caused by the breed. In 2015, 28 people were killed by pit bulls or pit bull mixes. So far this year, pit bulls have killed 16 people in the U.S. The victims of fatal pit bull attacks are frequently the owners of the dogs that kill them.

One recent and tragic death involved a family pit bull attacking the throat of a 71-year-old, who died as a result of her jugular vein being severed. The dog belonged to the woman’s daughter. The attack wasn’t a first. In the years prior to her death, the woman was brutally attacked in the face by another pit bull belonging to the same family member.

It seems that people in the U.S. are refusing to acknowledge the danger of pit bulls, and it continues to cost lives. Learn more in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Dog Bite Lawyer – In 2015, State Farm Paid a Record $118 Million in Dog-Related Claims

Friday, May 27th, 2016

A small United States Postal Service truck see...

A small United States Postal Service truck seen in Carson City, Nevada. The USPS often uses these smaller vehicles in suburban areas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About $118 million was paid by State Farm in dog-related injury claims in the U.S. last year. Texas ranked the third highest in claims last year, with 165 claims totaling $4.9 million. First was California with 383 claims costing $18.3 million. Second was Illinois with 338 claims totaling $11.2 million. Sources say the cost of insurance may rise for everyone because of dog bite claims alone.

The following is some information provided in connection with this story:

  • State Farm is not one of the insurance companies that asks breed-specific questions. When providing homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, the breed of dog is not asked. The reasoning is that any dog could bite, in certain circumstances, regardless of breed.
  • More than half of all dog bite victims are children. Other groups high on the list of frequent victims of dog bites are the elderly and delivery personnel, such as mail carriers. In 2015, more than 6,500 postal carriers with the United States Postal Service (USPS) reported dog attacks. Compared to 2014, there was a 14% increase in reports of dog attacks on postal workers. The increase is largely due to a huge increase in package delivery linked to Internet sales.
  • Being a responsible dog owner includes carrying insurance covering dog bite incidents. It’s important to talk to your insurance carrier to find out what is covered related to dogs, such as whether there are qualifying circumstances and whether all breeds are covered.

With more than 4.5 million dog bites reported in the U.S. annually, dog attacks are serious threats to public safety.

–Guest Contributor

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A Toddler Fights for His Life Following an Attack by a Pack of Dogs

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

A Rottweiler in Sesimbra, Portugal.

A Rottweiler in Sesimbra, Portugal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 2-year-old boy is seriously injured after being attacked by three family dogs on Monday. Authorities say the incident happened at about 11:30 a.m. in Aberdeen, North Carolina. The child was outside with his aunt at first. The aunt then went back into the house, for the purpose of checking on another child. While she was inside the house, the toddler wandered over to where one of the three dogs belonging to the aunt was tethered by a chain. The dogs viciously attacked him. Deputies said all three dogs had blood on them. The 2-year-old suffered severe injuries to his neck and head, and he was transported by helicopter to UNC Hospital. At last report, he was in very serious condition. Animal control picked up all three dogs.

This tragic accident can serve as an important reminder that it’s dangerous to have small children with dogs unless there is supervision. With summer just starting, it’s an excellent time for parents to teach their children how to avoid a dog attack. When children are out to play more frequently, the potential of encountering a stray or loose dog is increased.

Responsibility lies first with dog owners. It’s against the law in probably every city in Texas to let dogs run loose. In areas outside city limits, there often isn’t the same protection provided by such a law. When owners disregard the law, however, no one can be truly safe. Large dogs pose the greater danger because they can do more harm. If children encounter dogs while running, shouting, and playing, it’s reasonable to assume that the dogs could end up becoming agitated or biting because of the prey instinct to give chase to someone running or riding their bicycle away from them.

Learn more about children avoiding a dog attack in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

 

 

 

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Dog Bite Lawyer for Fort Worth – May 15-21, 2016, is National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

English: A Chihuahua protecting its bone. Phot...

English: A Chihuahua protecting its bone. Photographer’s blog post about this image. (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.

Some animal experts believe most dog bites are preventable. The following are dog bite prevention tips from dog trainer Michael Baugh:

  • Puppies should be socialized from the time they are young to understand that humans are not a threat. Baugh highly recommends socialization classes. Proper socialization helps to prevent incidents of a dog biting a person or another animal when off-leash, whether at home or away from home. However, if a dog seems frightened or overwhelmed, it is best to guide him away from people, to avoid a bite incident.
  • Dogs should be well-trained in simple commands such as “sit,” and “down,” and coming when called.
  • Baugh encourages dog owners to train their dogs to gently touch an outstretched human hand. This type of training can prevent dog bites. Giving a dog a specific task such as gently touching a hand with his nose helps dogs feel safe around humans. Whenever a dog touches a hand, as instructed, he should be rewarded with a treat.

Learn more safety tips on how to prevent a dog bite in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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Animal Attack Lawyer – Texas Ranks a Distant Third in Dog Bite Claims – Part 2

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Daddy

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

State Farm has released its annual report on dog-related claims. In 2015, Texas had 165 claims. California ranked first with 383 claims totaling $18.3 million. Illinois ranked second with 338 claims at $11.2 million. The total State Farm paid in 3,100 dog-related injury claims across the U.S. was the highest ever, at $118 million. There were four more State Farm claims in Texas related to dogs last year, but the payout this year was much greater, jumping from $2.8 million to $4.9 million.

Injuries inflicted by dogs can be fatal. Research by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides injury-related dog bite statistics. About 43.2% of the time, hospitalization related to a dog bite involves subcutaneous tissue and skin infections. About 22.1% of the time, open wounds of extremities required hospitalization. Approximately 10.5% of the time, a hospital stay was required due to open wounds of the trunk, neck, and head. Other top diagnoses included upper limb fractures, infective osteomyelitis and arthritis, crushing injury or internal injury, septicemia, and lower limb fractures.

Victims of dog attacks almost always suffer psychological injury to some extent, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This means that fear of another dog attack is common and, in some victims, never goes away. The horror of a dog attack can be relived as a result of walking through a park or visiting the home of a dog owner.

Dogsbite.org provides an example of psychological damage. A pit bull belonging to a neighbor charged into a woman’s garage as she was cleaning her car out. The dog went straight for her 7-month-old child, and she quickly placed the baby in a garbage can, to protect him. The mother also used her arm as a shield. The pit bull relentlessly attacked. By the time help arrived, her arm had been shredded. As a result of the horrific incident, she moved and was still afraid to go outside four months later. She was also dealing with mounting medical bills. This is one of countless incidents in which the dog owner’s insurance would hopefully help a victim deal with expenses related to an attack.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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