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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 ‘Pennsylvania’

A 60-year-old Man is Attacked and Killed by a Pit Bull

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Pitbullmacho

Pitbullmacho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At about 5:15 am on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 60-year-old Maurice Brown was viciously attacked by a pit bull. Nearby residents heard screams for help that were obvious cries of pain. When police arrived, the pit bull was still actively attacking Brown. The officers shot and killed the male pit bull. Brown was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to authorities, the pit bull responsible for Brown’s death broke his chain to get to him. Three other pit bulls from the same property were also loose, and they have been taken into custody. It is unclear who the owner of the dogs is; the property owner lives in a nursing home.

In response to news about the fatal pit bull attack, Ohio state Senator Bill Beagle expressed concern that senseless dog attacks continue to happen. He introduced the Klonda Richey Act in 2014 and the following year, in response to the death of Richey, who was killed by two dogs belonging to her neighbors.

The Montgomery County Ohio area has been the site of four fatal dog attacks since 2012, and this was the third in Dayton since 2014. Fifty-seven-year-old Klonda Richey was killed by dogs she herself reported as dangerous dozens of times. She repeatedly contacted authorities about the dogs before they attacked and killed her.

A few months after Richey died, 7-month-old Johnathan Quarles, Jr. was killed by the pit bull belonging to his babysitter. The sitter was convicted of six felonies, following the fatal dog attack.

Just two weeks after Quarles Jr.’s death, a woman in Butler County, which borders Montgomery County, was killed by her daughter’s pit bull. The 59-year-old was babysitting her 2-year-old grandson when the dog lunged at her and bit her fatally on the throat. The child wasn’t injured.

If Beagle’s legislation is passed, penalties will increase against dog owners whose pets cause serious or fatal injuries.

–Guest Contributor

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Dogs that Nearly Killed a Young Man Last Year Still Not Surrendered

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

3.5 year old Brindle Pit Bull Terrier

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

On July 2, 2016, 22-year-old Mitchell Slayden rode his bicycle to an address where a friend of his formerly lived, and it almost cost him his life. In Graves County, Kentucky, Slayden entered the driveway where he believed his friend was. Two pit bulls being kept without restraint at the home viciously attacked him as he tried to leave the property. After being discovered with life-threatening injuries, Slayden was airlifted to a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital. He received extensive treatment  for lacerations to his head, face, arms, and legs. The dogs were quarantined for 10 days and later returned to the owner.

Slayden’s dad gave more graphic details of what happened that day. He said that he discovered his bloodied son in a ditch across from the home he had tried to visit. Slayden was literally covered in dog bites. He has undergone a series of reconstructive surgeries and skin grafts, including repair to his damaged scalp.

As a result of the near deadly pit bull attack on Slayden, the pit bull owner was not penalized in any way, according to an investigation by DogsBite.org. The dogs were released back to his custody, but the owner has allegedly not kept his commitment to keep his pit bulls out of Graves County.

This month a jury in Kentucky found the pit bull owner guilty of harboring a vicious animal. He was not sentenced to any jail time, although the County Attorney had requested a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail. Instead, the man was sentenced to pay a fine of $200. In addition, the dogs are expected to be released to the owner on a future date.

In Texas, same as Kentucky, there doesn’t seem to be enough incentive in the law for people to be careful about protecting the public from pit bulls. This breed has killed one person approximately every two weeks over the past 5 to 10 years. Pit bulls have won the hearts of families across the nation, but there is overwhelming evidence that they are too dangerous and should be banned. Otherwise, more horrific incidents like what Slayden suffered will continue to happen.

–Guest Contributor

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How to Identify a Dog Used for Dog Fighting

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

American Staffordshire Terrier o imieniu Gamba.

American Staffordshire Terrier o imieniu Gamba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stories often make the news about abandoned dogs that appear to have been used as bait dogs in dogfighting rings. Some groups believe that these tales are often designed to create sympathy and increase donations to pet rescue organizations. There may be a certain level of scamming going on. Unfortunately, however, dogfighting is a very real illegal bloodsport in which animals are treated with horrible cruelty. Those involved often make a lot of money. In addition to keeping the activity clandestine in order to avoid an arrest, things are kept pretty well hidden for financial motivations, as well.

The humane society says dogs involved in dogfighting frequently suffer severe if not fatal injuries. The majority of dogs used in fighting are bred and trained specifically for dogfighting. Such an upbringing involves mistreatment and abuse from puppyhood on.

A dog that has been in fights will usually have deep puncture wounds, severe bruising, and broken bones. Hours or days after being in a dogfight, the dogs often die of shock, dehydration, exhaustion, infection, or blood loss. When a dog won’t fight, he usually becomes a bait dog used in training of fighters. The violence, animal abuse, and suffering involved in this bloodsport is disturbing.

In all 50 states, dogfighting is a felony offense. If someone brings a minor to a dogfight, it is also a felony offense, under federal law. The large profits people get from their involvement in dogfighting made the previous penalty of a misdemeanor ineffective and meaningless.

–Guest Contributor

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Two Pit Bulls Kill a Toddler in Topeka, Kansas

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsch: American Staffordshier Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On September 24, 2016, Piper Dunbar, became the 20th person in the U.S. to be killed by pit bulls this year. The 2-year-old girl was found dead under a tarp in her front yard. Her death was attributed to an attack by two pit bulls. The dogs belonged to a family friend who was temporarily staying at the residence. According to her father, the toddler fell asleep with him on the couch and went outside after he fell asleep. Initially, the child was reported to be missing. Piper’s father and the dogs’ owner were taken to the Law Enforcement Center in Topeka, Kansas, for questioning. Both of the pit bulls were euthanized by authorities.

In 2015, pit bulls were responsible for 82% of the fatal dog attacks in the U.S. In other words, 28 of the 34 dog bite-related deaths last year were caused by pit bulls. This is an alarming statistic, especially when you consider that, at most, pit bulls make up 7% of the total dog population.

Although the percentage has been higher than usual in the last couple of years, pit bulls have consistently been responsible for at least 60% of all annual dog attack fatalities. This pattern has been recognized in many communities, but getting the breed banned is extremely difficult. Advocates of the dogs are passionate and include most dog behavioral experts, many veterinarians, and other professionals.

Denver has been a model for cities determined to initiate a pit bull ban and keep it in place. Their efforts have been met with consistent opposition, but city officials have managed to continue protecting the public from this unpredictably dangerous breed.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Residents Fear they Can’t Avoid a Dog Attack

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antoinette Brown, age 52, was viciously attacked by a pack of loose dogs on May 2, 2016, in southern Dallas. Brown was bitten over 100 times and died from her injuries on May 9. People in the same neighborhood were in the news this week, making it clear that the problem of loose and stray dogs has not been solved. One neighbor recalls hearing the screams of a woman who was seriously injured by loose dogs in July in the same neighborhood where Brown was fatally injured. The dog attack victim was 39-year-old Tamika Batts. She was bitten dozens of times and was injured on her arms, face, and feet. She suffered serious injuries and received extensive hospital treatment.

City officials made promises about doing a better job of controlling the stray population and having dog owners keep their dogs restrained. More resources have been devoted to the cause. The problem is that strays were endangering people in southern Dallas before Brown was killed, when Batts was attacked, and they are still a problem today.

There is speculation about the reasons southern Dallas has more than its fair share of loose dogs. It is a low-income area, many stray dogs are dumped in the area, people abandon their dogs when evicted, and dogs aren’t spayed or neutered as frequently as in other parts of the city.

It has become a common practice for people in southern Dallas to go walking only when they also carry a bat, a large stick, a golf club, or some other means of protecting themselves. The fear of being attacked is very real. One neighbor shared that she has nightmares about being attacked by a pack of dogs. Until the city finds a way to resolve the situation, people are wise to carry weapons when walking.

–Guest Contributor

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Family Pit Bulls Maul a 60-year-old Woman to Death

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

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

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

Susan Shawl, age 60, of Conifer, Colorado was mauled to death by two family pit bulls Monday night, August 29, 2016. Shawl became the 19th victim of a fatal pit bull attack this year alone. Few details have been released about the tragedy. Police were called to the home, which is in a remote area of Conifer. First responders requested a medical helicopter. Shawl was on the verge of unconsciousness when they arrived. Shortly after requesting the helicopter, an officer announced that it appeared to be a code Frank, which is law enforcement terminology for a fatal incident. The dogs responsible for Shawl’s death belong to her and her son, Richard Shawl, age 36. He was also injured, but his injuries were not life-threatening. There are plans to euthanize the pit bulls.

The victims of fatal pit bull attacks are the owners or members of the family about half the time. The deaths that have occurred in 2016 tell a chilling story of a deadly breed. Many claim that media hype gives these dogs a bad rap. An honest look at actual fatalities makes it clear that there is no exaggeration needed.

Last year, pit bulls killed 28 (82%) of the 34 people who died in the U.S. from dog attacks. Consider that there are, according to worldwide kennel clubs, 332 dog breeds in the world and 187 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. With 187 breeds in the U.S. and a single breed being responsible for 82% of all dog fatalities, it’s clear that pit bulls are far more dangerous than other dogs.

Approximately 700 cities and municipalities have banned pit bulls or at least restricted them. That number should be growing monthly, as the death toll rises with each fatal pit bull attack.

–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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A Pit Bull Mix Attacks a Dallas, Texas, Couple and Their Pet – Part 9

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

English: Rottweiler Head Deutsch: Rottweiler Kopf

English: Rottweiler Head Deutsch: Rottweiler Kopf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following is more information from the Texas Health and Safety Code under Title 10, health and safety of animals, chapter 822, regulation of animals, subchapter A, dogs that attack persons or are a danger to persons.

From Section .0421 – Determination that a Dog is Dangerous

If someone reports an incident which meets the definition of an attack or threat by a dangerous dog, animal control authority may investigate the incident. Animal control authority will review sworn statements of any witnesses and make a determination of whether or not the dog is dangerous, and the owner will be notified.

No later than the 15th day after a dog owner has been notified that one of his or her pets is a dangerous dog, he or she may appeal the determination to a county, municipal, or justice court of competent jurisdiction. If the county, municipal, or justice court of competent jurisdiction makes the same decision, that finding may also be appealed.

From Section .044 – Attack by a Dangerous Dog

If a dog that has been deemed dangerous makes an unprovoked attack on another person outside the enclosure where the dog stays and the attack results in bodily injury on that person, the owner of the dog commits an offense, namely, a Class C misdemeanor. If the person is found guilty of the offense, the dangerous dog may be destroyed by order of the court.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8 of this nine-part series to learn more.

–Guest Contributor

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A 2-year-old Girl is Killed by a Pit Bull Mix

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Pitbullmacho

Pitbullmacho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fatal pit bull attack occurred over the weekend. The victim of Sunday’s deadly attack was 2-year-old Tay’lynn DeVaughn. The pit bull mix belongs to DeVaugn’s aunt’s boyfriend; and DeVaughn and her dad were visiting the aunt in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, when the attack occurred.

According to the toddler’s father, he was in the kitchen and heard a commotion. He stepped out of the kitchen, and the pit bull mix dropped the baby. The brutal attack had already occurred. Paramedics responded to the scene, but they said there was little they could do. The child was transported to Jefferson Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The family has released a statement saying they don’t blame the dog’s owner. The pit bull is currently in quarantine.

This horrific incident is, tragically, not an unusual one in the U.S. With increasing frequency, infants, seniors, and people of every age in between are being viciously attacked by pit bulls, sometimes losing their lives. Experts say that small children should never be left alone with a dog, but people should be aware that leaving a little one with a pit bull is especially dangerous.

Why is it that pit bulls inflict fatal injuries the majority of the time, in cases of fatal dog attacks? All other breeds combined don’t get anywhere close to being as dangerous as pit bulls, when considering cases of serious injury or death caused by a dog. The real questions is: Why is pit bull ownership being allowed without strict requirements and restrictions? The dogs should not have to first seriously injure or kill someone before they are deemed dangerous. Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are dangerous just by virtue of the fact that they are pit bulls.

In spite of above-mentioned statistics, the defenders of pit bulls include most dog experts and they are as passionate in defending the breed as others are about their desire to ban them. Read more about the controversy over whether pit bulls should be banned in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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An Infant is Seriously Injured by a Dog Known to be Dangerous – Part 2

Friday, January 16th, 2015

My dog, Mocha, in a picture taken and cropped ...

My dog, Mocha, in a picture taken and cropped by myself. Mocha is almost a Pit Bull, but we think she has a bit of Labrador Retriever or some other kind of Hound in her. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dog breed-specific legislation (BSL), which is most often aimed at pit bulls, is frowned upon by most dog experts and is hotly contested in whichever location it is introduced. Those that defend pit bulls are every bit as passionate on the issue as those that are convinced the breed is too much of a danger to society. Some studies have focused on the fact that human behavior should be the focus of solutions. The premise is that the best long-term solution to dangerous dogs is to address human behavior.

What about attributes of the dog, though? Shouldn’t that be considered, since the potential for harm is extreme among pit bulls? It was found in Denver, Colorado, where pit bulls have been banned, that pit bulls are uniquely dangerous, including to their owners. Also, when you combine a pit bull’s strength, agility, and stamina with genetic predisposition for aggressive behavior, they are a danger, particularly when not trained or raised properly.

A study revealed two human-related problems associated with pit bulls. First, pit bulls are the breed most frequently used and abused for purposes of dog fighting. Secondly, there are breeders who produce aggressive dogs for people involved with dogfighting. But the fact that pit bulls are deemed uniquely dangerous when improperly trained or raised is even part of Denver’s ordinance shows that a dog’s genetic makeup can easily be exacerbated by irresponsible owners.

Pit bull advocates argue that the core of the pit bull problem is irresponsible ownership. They encourage legislation not that bans pit bulls but that encourages responsible dog ownership that is applicable to all breeds.

Read Part 1 of this two-part story.

–Guest Contributor

 

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