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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 ‘Michigan’

A 3-Week-Old Baby is Killed by the Family Husky-German Shepherd Mix

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Deutsch: Husky

Deutsch: Husky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 29, 2017, in Bangor Maine, a three-week-old baby was attacked by the family dog, a husky-German shepherd mix. The baby was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died on August 6. Detective Sgt. Brent Beaulieu of Bangor said that at about 5:30 a.m., the attack occurred. The infant had been in a bassinet and his parents were in the room, along with the family dog. When the parents woke up, they discovered that the dog was attacking their son. They were visiting with relatives at the time. According to the parents, the dog had never been aggressive before. The dog was euthanized. The identity of the parents and the infant have not been revealed. No details were provided about the injuries the baby suffered.

According to DogsBite.org, there have been seven deaths similar to this one in the U.S. since 2005, where a husky dog attacks an infant in a crib or infant seat. There has been a total of 13 fatal Husky dog maulings since 2005, as well. The following are some examples of what happened in the cases of these other fatalities:

  • In 2012, a 2-day-old baby boy was laying in a baby carrier on the floor of the home, and the mother left the room briefly. While she was gone, the husky bit the baby on the head, killing him.
  • In 2010, an 11-day-old baby boy was in a car seat in his parents’ bedroom when the family’s husky fatally bit the baby on the head.
  • In 2009, a 3-week-old baby was pulled from her bed by the family husky. The dog dragged and mauled the child. The infant had been laying on the bed with her twin sister when the mother stepped away briefly. The other baby was unharmed.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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An 82-year-old Woman is Brutally Killed by Two Pit Bills

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

English: A 12 year old American Staffordshire ...

English: A 12 year old  American Staffordshire Terrier aka pit bull (FCI registered). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cecille Short, age 82, was walking her dog in an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, neighborhood when she was savagely attacked and killed by two large pit bulls. Her pet didn’t survive, either. The horrific incident occurred on April 6, 2017. When police arrived, they could not render aid because the dogs were still at the scene, behaving aggressively. Officers shot one of the dogs. The other pit bull was injured after being struck by a police vehicle, and then it was taken into custody by animal welfare. Sources said the pit bulls’ owner was out of town when the attack occurred.

The neighbors had been aware of the danger of the two pit bulls for a long time. A letter was circulated around the neighborhood last year by one resident. He was warning everyone about what he referred to as “two vicious animals,” in reference to the pit bulls responsible for the death of Short.

News reporters took pictures of the scene and surrounding area, including the hole where the pit bulls were able to escape their yard.

In August 2016, a similar pit bull fatality occurred in the same city. In that tragic attack, a pack of pit bulls escaped their yard through a hole in the fence. They savagely attacked a 60-year-old man, who died from his injuries two weeks later. The owner of the pit bulls in that case was later charged with second-degree manslaughter.

It is absolutely tragic that people cannot safely walk in their own neighborhoods because of reckless dog owners and dangerous pit bulls. The breed is responsible for a majority of dog bite fatalities, year after year.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Relentlessly Attacks a 4-year-old, Causing Serious Injuries

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Español: Pit Bull Terrier Americano Hembra.

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

On Monday, January 23, 2017, a 4-year-old boy was playing in a front yard in a Wichita, Kansas, neighborhood when a pit bull approached him and then began viciously attacking him. An adult heard screams and went to the child’s rescue. After the neighbor pulled the dog away, the pit bull broke free and launched a second attack on the preschooler. Officials say the child had injuries all over his body. He has more than 50 lacerations, and two of them are serious. If early expectations about the child’s condition were correct, he will return home by today or tomorrow. The dog is still at large, and city officials aren’t sure whether it’s a stray or owned by a neighbor, though they more strongly suspect the pit bull is a stray.

Just a few days ago, on January 17, two small children were viciously attacked by two or three pit bulls while walking with a group of other children on the way to school. For the 6-year-old boy, it was a fatal pit bull attack. The other victim, a 5-year-old girl, suffered horrific injuries. A would-be rescuer who arrived at the scene didn’t think she had survived because her face was entirely dismembered. Although she was critically wounded, she survived and will need to undergo multiple plastic surgeries.

Typically, owners of dogs that seriously injure or kill get off with little more than what amounts to a slap on the wrist. There was what seems a more fitting outcome as a result of last week’s pit bull attack in Atlanta. The owner of the two pit bulls known to have attacked the children has been charged with felony involuntary manslaughter.

If consequences for the actions of dogs more seriously affected their owners, it is doubtful so many people would be injured or killed by dogs in the U.S. Pit bulls in particular are strong, dangerous, relentless, and unpredictable and are known for unprovoked attacks. The breed is too dangerous, since owners aren’t appropriately held accountable for their actions.

–Guest Contributor

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A 6-day-old Baby in College Station, TX, is Killed by the Family Dog

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

English: Texas A&M campus, College Station, TX

English: Texas A&M campus, College Station, TX (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was almost no news about a fatal dog attack that occurred on September 1, 2016, in College Station, Texas. A newborn baby girl, just 6 days old, suffered lacerations and punctures in the skull from an attack by the family dog. This information was gathered from one brief news report and investigation done by DogsBite.org.

Many families in Texas and across the U.S. have been grief stricken after their beloved pets have made fatal attacks on children. Dogs are man’s best friend, but children should always be protected. Even the calmest of dogs can become anxious and exhibit uncharacteristic behavior that ends in injury to a child, if not death.

A 3-day-old boy in Youngstown, Ohio, was killed on February 7, 2016, after suffering injuries similar to Baby Jane Doe in College Station. The newborn had been sleeping in a laundry basket on the floor next to the couch, where his mother was napping. The mother woke up to hear the baby screaming. The infant was covered in blood, and the mother called 9-1-1. Police went to the scene and found that the baby had died from a head injury.

The situation that had endangered the baby was that the dogs in the home had laundry baskets for beds. One of the dogs picked up the baby to move him from the basket. The dog’s teeth pierced the skull, which caused fatal brain injuries.

Keeping small children and babies safe from the potential danger of dogs begins with making sure dogs are never alone or unsupervised with a little one.

–Guest Contributor

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A Dog Attacks a Child and a Police Officer in South Austin

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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

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

An 11-year-old girl was viciously attacked by a pit bull type dog outside of her home on Powell Circle in South Austin this week. The victim’s brother flagged down a passerby, asking them to call 9-1-1. Police officers arrived on the scene and began trying to assist the injured girl, but the dog was no longer there. Then suddenly the dog returned and again began biting the girl. One of the police officers was bitten as he tried to stop the attack. The officer then shot and killed the dog, and the assisting officer on the scene was struck by bullet fragments. Both officers were taken to the hospital but have since been released. The girl, however, is still hospitalized. According to a family member, she suffered serious dog bites on her legs and shoulder.

The officer who fired his weapon and inadvertently injured the other officer is on administrative leave, which is protocol when someone is injured.

Cmdr. Eli Reyes with the Austin Police Department made a statement about the incident. He said that the deadly force used against the dog was the appropriate response because the ultimate priority the officers have is to protect life. The aggressiveness of the pit bull had already been demonstrated as a result of the initial attack. The fact that the dog was a danger was clearly demonstrated as the dog attacked the child a second time and also bit a police officer.

The officers are to be commended for helping the young dog attack victim and trying to prevent further injury. If they had not been there, it is entirely possible the child may not have survived. In 2016 alone, 20 people in the U.S. have been killed in pit bull attacks; and in 2015, 28 people were killed by the breed. Pit bulls are popular dogs among families, but they are also the breed of choice among those involved in the illegal blood sport of dog fighting. A passionate community of pit bull advocates always defend pit bulls after violence has occurred, but the lives of victims should be the greater concern.

–Guest Contributor

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Are your Home Insurance Rates Higher Because of the Breed of your Dog?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Daddy

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether your dog has bitten anyone or not, if he is a certain breed, you may need to pay higher home insurance premiums. Although insurance companies generally do cover homeowners for issues related to their dogs, there are limitations. One important factor is an exclusion list naming dog breeds that won’t be covered.

Many insurance companies blacklist coverage on certain breeds, including the following, with pit bull terriers always at the top:

  • Pit bull terriers
  • Staffordshire terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Presa Canarios
  • Chow chows
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Akitas
  • Wolf-hybrids
  • Bull Mastiffs
  • Cane Corsos
  • Great Danes
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian Huskies

Pit bulls are consistently the cause of more than 60% of all fatalities caused by dog attacks in the U.S. and yet the owners never expect that the breed will intentionally cause harm. Insurance is about covering unforeseen events, yet they don’t cover pit bulls and many other dog breeds. What do they know that dog owners aren’t seeing?

Risk related to dogs is assessed via various resources. Temperament scores of dogs are given by the American Temperament Test Society and other organizations. One fact that emerged is that several small breeds are associated with perhaps the largest number of bites. The severity of injuries, however, is the greater measure, as regards insurance coverage on dogs.

Insurance companies factor in the percentage of owners of the various dog breeds. Some might suggest that more pit bulls are on the attack because there are more pit bull owners and not because a higher number of aggressive dogs exist.

Some statistics just can’t be disputed, and it is understandable why insurance companies recognize the risk and therefore won’t cover some dog bite claims. Pit bull terriers caused 295 fatalities in the U.S. between 1982 and 2014. Rottweilers caused 85 deaths during that time frame. Siberian Huskies were next, with 26 deaths. The next figures were 19, 18, 15, 8, and on down. There is no denying that pit bull terriers pose an unusual threat. The insurance companies recognize it but why don’t dog owners who adopt pit bulls to their peril and the peril of others? The risk is clear.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Attorney – Trauma Center Dog Bite Studies Reveal the Truth about Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

American Pit bull Terrier (Schatzi)

American Pit bull Terrier (Schatzi) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since 2009, at least ten peer-reviewed studies show that pit bull injuries occur at a higher frequency than all other dog breeds, in level 1 trauma centers. Hospital records reviewed for purposes of a making conclusions were taken from level 1 trauma centers because they are the facilities where patients are often treated when their injuries are severe. The most conspicuous conclusions to be drawn are that pit bulls create the highest need for surgical intervention and they also cause injuries of a higher severity.

A review was conducted of 551 dog bite incidents treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia over a five-year period beginning in 2009. Of the cases in which the dog breed was known, pit bulls were responsible for injuries 51% of the time. Part of the significance of this percentage is that pit bulls only make up about 7% of the dog population in the U.S., at most.

At a trauma center in Atlanta, Georgia, it was found that pit bulls are more than 2.5 times more likely to bite in multiple anatomical locations, as compared with other dog breeds. In addition, pit bull attacks resulted in a higher risk of death, higher injury severity score, and higher costs associated with hospitalization than other breeds.

An important conclusion drawn by a Pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center in Phoenix, Arizona, was that dog familiarity does not confer safety, where pit bulls are concerned. These findings have tremendous relevance in connection with child safety.

The closer anyone looks at the facts related to pit bulls and the injuries and fatalities the breed causes, the more obvious it is that legislation is greatly needed, to protect members of society, including pit bull owners who are unconvinced of the dangers posed by the breed.

–Guest Contributor

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

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

English: Brindled American Pit Bull Terrier ch...

English: Brindled American Pit Bull Terrier chilling on the floor. (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.

Dog bites are a serious threat to society in the U.S., with more than 4.5 million dog bites reported annually. About half of the victims of fatal dog attacks were unfamiliar with the dog(s) that attacked them and the other half were the owners of the dogs. In other words, not allowing dogs to run at large is not a blanket solution to the danger of dog bites.

On Friday, January 8, 2016, a 19-month-old boy in Deleon Springs, Florida, was seriously injured when a pit bull bit him on the head, and investigators believed it was the family dog, but they were unsure. The child was hospitalized. A report of the incident included the statement that what led to the bite was unknown. When it comes to pit bulls, a look at reports on fatal pit bull attacks shows that there is no way to predict when the breed will suddenly bite someone. Another predictable aspect of pit bull attacks is that the dogs virtually always tenaciously latch on with their powerful jaws and won’t easily let go, sometimes even if being stabbed or shot.

The breed of dog was not specified with regard to the San Antonio amputation injury. The bottom line is that, in spite of the fact that dogs can be depended on to be great friends and family members, dogs can be dangerous. The threat of dog bites is very real.

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

–Guest Contributor

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After Attacking 2 People, a Pit Bull is Shot by Police – Part 10

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

English: American Pit Bull Terrier

English: American Pit Bull Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pit bull went on a rampage in Prince George County, Virginia, on Sunday and wound up being shot and killed by police. The incident began at about 11:55 a.m., when a woman was walking her dog on Manitoba Drive. A pit bull began attacking the woman and her dog, and she began running and screaming. A neighbor who tried stopping the medium-sized pit bull threw a rock at it. The dog then turned on him and bit his hands and arms. Another neighbor tried to help and stabbed the pit bull several times before the dog finally retreated. Police arrived on the scene before long, and the pit bull charged an officer. The officer shot and killed the dog. The owner of the pit bull was later identified and charged with having a dog running at large.

Xavier Strickland, age 4, was walking to school with his mother on a residential sidewalk when four pit bulls escaped under their owner’s gate and attacked the boy. The dogs literally pulled the boy from the arms of his mother and dragged him under a fence, where their attack continued. The attack was horrific and was described in the worst of graphic terms. Police officers arrived on the scene and ended up killing three of the pit bulls. The fourth dog was taken into custody of animal services and was later put down. As mentioned previously, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charged the owner with manslaughter, second-degree murder, and being in possession of dangerous animals causing death.

Learn more about the hazards of pit bulls and what to do if you encounter a dangerous dog in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9 of this ongoing 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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