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.
Art in the Square Vicious Dog (Photo credit: Mark Turnauckas)
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced that two people have been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal pit bull attack that occurred on January 5.
The deadly dog attack occurred in southeast Houston at 2 a.m. on Glen Prairie near Lenora. The victim was Christina Bell, who was in her 40s. She was viciously attacked by at least two pit bulls and died at the scene. A second person, who heard screaming and went to her aid, was also injured by the dogs and received medical treatment at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. A third person was also injured but they were minor injuries that did not require a hospital visit.
Neighbors said that the attack involved three dogs, two of which were pit bulls picked up by their owner prior to the arrival of the police. The third dog was believed to be a stray and was taken into animal control custody.
Anderson told reporters that the laws regarding dangerous dogs have changed. In the past, there had to be proof that an owner was aware that a dog was dangerous. Currently, however, what has to be proven was that the owners did not secure their dog; and he says that has been accomplished in this case. Anderson also said that there is a history of violence of the dog owned by the people charged with a deadly dog attack. Their dog had killed another dog and attacked at least two other people before the night of Bell’s death.
Anderson outright stated that the people arrested are being made an example of, in an effort to keep people safe from the actions of irresponsible pet owners. Those charged could be sentenced to between 2 and 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
A man was severely injured in a pit bull attack at 3:30 this morning in southeast Houston at Paris Street and Ward Street. At least three pit bulls attacked and bit the man numerous times on the legs. He managed to stagger to a nearby house and ask someone to call 9-1-1. The man was transported to a nearby hospital with severe bites on his legs. Harris County Animal Control and the Houston police went to the scene. It took them about an hour to capture the three dogs plus a fourth dog that was suspected to have possibly been involved, as well. The dogs will be tested for rabies. There is no word yet whether the dogs’ owner will receive a citation. However, a man at the scene was taken into custody for questioning regarding the vicious dog attack.
When dangerous dogs like pit bulls are strays or are allowed by their owners to run loose, society is endangered. Even stray dogs that may look friendly may bite, regardless of breed or size. People in Texas are frequently attacked, seriously injured, and sometimes killed by stray dogs. Laws should change so that owners are more strongly motivated to keep their dogs restrained. In the meantime, everyone should be cautious and prepared for possible attack. The following are some survival tips, in the event you encounter a threatening dog:
The best thing to do if a dog approaches is to stand completely still, be quiet, and stay calm. Do not look the dog in the eyes, which is considered by canines as an act of aggression. Allow the dog to sniff while remaining quiet. The dog, most of the time, will become bored and leave. Simply back away slowly after the dog has walked away.
See this continuing story for information about what to do if a dog attacks you and how to treat dog bites.
A white pit bull was stuffed into a sewer and set on fire in northwest Harris County on the morning of Saturday, July 13. The disturbing incident occurred at the intersection of Burnell Oaks Lane and Ella Crossing in Houston, Texas. The Ponderosa Fire Department was called about a fire in the sewer system after homeowners nearby saw black smoke billowing from the sewer. When they arrived, firefighters discovered the dog that had been burned to death. Firefighters crawled into the sewer to extinguish the flames.
Scott Schoonover, an investigator with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, confirmed that it appears the dog was set on fire after being placed in the sewer.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) asks anyone with any information regarding this act of animal cruelty to call Crime Stoppers at 713‐222‐TIPS or the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office at 281‐537‐5900.
Neighbors told police that the night before the dog was burned, a man walked through the neighborhood offering to sell a white pit bull for $100, and he would show them a photo of the dog on a cell phone.
Authorities plan to charge whoever is responsible for the act with both animal cruelty and arson, but as yet they do not have a suspect.
A dark sedan was caught on a home surveillance video. It shows a man going between his car and the sewer several times before a large cloud of black smoke became visible from the sewer and the man quickly drove away.
This shocking act of cruelty is a felony in Texas and is being investigated by both the Houston SPCA and the fire marshal’s office.
A 6-year-old boy was at a family party in Spring, Texas, Saturday night when the family pet, a pit bull, attacked him. The dog’s owner was bitten and received minor injuries while trying to get the dog away from the boy. Another member of the family shot at the pit bull, but the bullet only grazed the dog and resulted in a minor injury.
The boy was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital for treatment of his injuries. A sergeant with Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said that he did not believe the boy’s injuries were life-threatening. There hasn’t been an update on the young boy’s condition.
The attack occurred on Tylergate in Spring, which is a suburb of Houston; and police received a report about the dog mauling at about 9:15 p.m.
The attack is being investigated by animal control. At this point, the dog has not been removed from the home.
It makes sense that a party setting could result in a dog bite. Most of the time, dogs bite because they are afraid, agitated, or in protection mode. When a dog’s normal setting is disrupted or when a dog is exposed to interaction he is unaccustomed to, such as with children, it is not unusual for a dog to bite.
There is a way for dog owners to minimize the chances that their dog will bite someone. When the dog is a very young puppy, he should be socialized. During those all-important first weeks, expose the puppy to all kinds of people, noises, and settings. The more experiences a puppy has, the more tolerant he will be of unfamiliar settings.
Whether a dog was properly socialized or not, however, it would always be safer to keep a dog restrained in a rambunctious setting, such as a party.
American Pit Bull Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Animal Shelters run by Harris County, in which Houston, Texas, is located, do not allow adoptions of pit bull-type dogs. Well-known non-profit organizations the Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also bar adoptions of pit bull-type breeds. These dogs are euthanized instead of adopted out. There are some who say that it’s almost never the dog’s fault, even when a canine attacks; they blame the owner. But statistics make a very strong argument that pit bulls truly are a threat to society.
According to an Austin, Texas, national dog-bite victim group, 71% of the 31 dog-bite fatalities recorded in the United States in 2011 involved pit bull-type dogs. A spokesperson for the group says pit bulls are “canine gladiators.” They are strong, tenacious, and able to ignore pain.
A report by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, provides strong statistics on various breeds in the category of “dangerous dogs.” It’s based on a compilation of press accounts out of the U.S. and Canada between 1982 and 2011. The report reveals breeds that are most often responsible for fatalities and serious injuries.
By a huge margin, the pit bull category outnumbers attacks by any other breed.
Another statistic which sets pit bulls apart is that the breed attacks adults as frequently as children. And when a pit bull or likewise a Rottweiler goes out of control momentarily, the victim isn’t just bitten – instead, someone is often seriously maimed or killed.
From 1982-2011, Pit bull terriors are linked to:
• 1,970 cases of bodily harm,
• 207 fatalities, and
• 1,093 maimings
In that same period, 18% of all dog attacks which resulted in fatalities occurred off of the owner’s property. Pit bulls were responsible for 81% of those deaths.
The director of veterinary health in Harris County, Dr. Dawn Blackmar, has said, “With our agency having a public health mission, we couldn’t do it (adopt out pit bull types) in good conscience.”
Are you suffering from an injury as a result of a dog bite? If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a dog bite injury or fatality which occurred in Texas, contact Texas dog bite attorney Dean Malone at (866) 670-9989.