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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 ‘Pet adoption’

A Rescued Pit Bull Kills a Woman in her 90s Hours After Adoption

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

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

A fatal pit bull attack occurred in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the night of May 31, 2017. The family had adopted the dog just hours before the horrific incident. Police officers were contacted about the dog attack at about 7:30 p.m. Upon arrival, they discovered that the victim was suffering from life-threatening injuries. She was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where she underwent several surgeries. One of her arms had to be amputated. Sadly, she did not survive the surgeries; she died the following day.

The victim’s daughter said she was in the backyard with the newly adopted pit bull, and she removed the shock and canvas collars. She then realized she had been locked out of the house. When she called her mother, she had fallen and said she couldn’t get up. The daughter broke a window pane with a hammer to get into the home. She says the dog ran past her and began mauling her mother on her arms and then her abdomen and thighs. The daughter tried hitting the dog with the hammer and with a skillet, but the dog was not deterred from attacking. She later said the attack didn’t stop until the elderly woman in her 90s stopped screaming. At one point, the daughter was bitten on the arm.

The dog had previously been in a shelter and identified as a biter. He was rescued and ended up with this family. The new owner said that she had never seen anything like the gruesome attack.

This tragic incident is like so many others, when people are convinced that pit bulls can be perfectly safe for adoption only for disasters like this one to occur.

–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 Grandmother is Fatally Wounded in a Pit Bull Attack – Part 9

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Poncho, a 1.5 year old brindle Pit bull mix pl...

Poncho, a 1.5 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing, showing teeth, looking crazy. Poncho, who was hit by a car last year, was a friendly and gentle dog with people, other dogs, and cats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Garland Animal Services enforces fencing requirements for pit bull dogs and pit bull mixes. On their website, the city states that since 2004, when dog bite statistics were kept, pit bulls and crossbreeds of pit bulls were responsible for the majority of dog bites. In addition, 27% of dogs found running at large are pit bulls. The city fencing requirement for pit bulls was developed in response to growing public concerns about safety.

The following are specific requirements for fencing for pit bulls in Garland, Texas:

  • The fence which encloses pit bulls must be 6 feet tall, measured from the ground.
  • The fence must be constructed of either 11-gage chain link fencing or wooden planks at least ½ inch thick.
  • There can be no gaps or openings in the fencing larger than 2 inches.
  • Brace posts must be buried no less than 18 inches deep, and fencing must be firmly attached to the posts.
  • All gates must have a locking mechanism that ensures that the gates are securely closed.

Garland Animal Service Officers must only consider a dog a pit bull dog if the animal exhibits the traits listed for American Staffordshire Terriers by the American Kennel Club. The fencing directive should only be implemented when an animal is a pit bull dog or a pit bull crossbreed.

Considering the many fatal pit bull attacks that have occurred in the U.S. this year alone, it seems entirely fitting that there should be a growing number of cities that ban pit bull ownership.

See 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 about true accounts of pit bull injuries and fatalities.

–Guest Contributor


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An Elderly Man in Pecos, Texas, is Killed by a Neighbor’s Pit Bulls – Part 11

Friday, July 24th, 2015

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing in bac...

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing in backyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pit Bull Fatalities 2015

  • In Lawton, Oklahoma, on June 28, 3-year-old Jordan Collins-Tyson was fatally injured in a pit bull attack. Jordan was being cared for by a babysitter and was alone in his great-grandmother’s backyard with her two dogs when one of the dogs, a pit bull, attacked him. The babysitter says she checked on him from inside the house by looking out of a window. One minute he was fine but the next he was on the ground. Police were called to the scene, and the dog continued to behave aggressively upon their arrival. The pit bull was shot to death by police on the scene. Jordan was already lifeless and was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office. The dog had bitten him in the throat.
  • Six-year-old Joshua Strother of Hendersonville, North Carolina, was killed on July 7 by a pit bull that belonged to a neighbor. The neutered male pit bull had been adopted from the Asheville Humane Society (AHS) approximately 21 days before the deadly pit bull attack. The previous history of the dog was unknown. Joshua climbed the fence and entered the neighbor’s yard, and the pit bull brutally attacked him. When police arrived, the pit bull continued to show aggression, and deputies shot and killed the dog. The child’s mother was 8 months pregnant and had gone to the bathroom at the time he climbed over the fence. According to the mom, Joshua had been visiting the dog and the same neighbor’s young daughter ever since the dog had been adopted. Following Joshua’s death, officials with Buncombe County ordered a moratorium on transfers of pit bulls from the county to AHS as well as all adoption agencies until the AHS temperament procedures and transfer protocol were reviewed.

Read more about this story and the danger of pit bulls in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and Part 10 of this ongoing series. Learn about more specific pit bull fatalities that have occurred in the U.S. this year in the next segment.

–Guest Contributor


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A 5-year-old is Attacked by the Family Dog in North Texas – Part 6

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Labradors are a very popular selection for use...

Labradors are a very popular selection for use as guide dogs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Labrador Retriever

The mischievous dog in Marley and Me is a Labrador retriever, and the breed is considered excellent for people of every age, including children. It is important, however, to properly care for a Labrador. The following is more information about Labrador retrievers:

  • The most recognized colors for the breed are black, yellow, and chocolate.
  • They shed a lot and need to be brushed daily. Frequent vacuuming is usually needed for Lab owners.
  • The dogs are highly trainable and often used as seeing-eye dogs.
  • They are smart and loving.
  • Labs are completely at ease with a lot of commotion. Children can push and pull them, and they are in on the excitement.
  • Although Labradors are good with kids, training is required for them to know how to handle themselves around children, and children should also be taught how to properly handle Labs.
  • Labradors are good dogs to have when you also have cats and other small pets. With training, the breed can interact well with other animals, fostering an inclusive environment for animals.
  • Labs need a lot of exercise. They tend to become overweight if fed excessively while at the same time lacking needed exercise.
  • They are generally healthy dogs, though there are a few genetic diseases that are sometimes passed on through bloodlines.
  • Labs are friendly and eager to please.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this six-part series for more information about dogs that are best suited for families with small children, to prevent dog attacks.

–Guest Contributor


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Longview Animal Control Raises Public Awareness about the Dangers of Pets Left in Hot Cars

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Matilda in Kevin's car

(Photo credit: markhillary)

A pet adoption event and fundraiser in Longview, Texas, on Saturday called “Petdependence Day” included demonstrations by Longview Animal Control to raise awareness about pet safety in summertime, specifically the dangers of leaving pets alone in parked automobiles.  With temperatures already rising above 100° across the state, it’s far too hot to leave pets in cars.  Many people don’t realize how quickly an automobile heats up to dangerous levels.  The recommendation of humane organizations is to leave pets at home, rather than get in a situation where the dog is left alone in the car.

It takes ten minutes for a car’s interior to reach 102° if it’s 85° outside, even if the windows are left open a couple of inches.  In a half hour, the temperature escalates to 120°.  When the weather is as cool as 70°, the inside of a car can heat up to as much as 90°.

Here are more facts related to the danger of keeping pets alone in a car:

  • The amount of shade a car has does not greatly change the interior temperature.
  • Hyperthermia or overheating is a dangerous condition that can be caused by leaving a pet in a car.  Those most at risk are young or elderly animals, dogs with short muzzles, animals with dark-colored or thick coats and overweight pets.
  • In Texas, you can be charged with cruelty to animals if you leave an animal in your car in hazardous conditions.  The police and animal control agents are authorized to use necessary means to rescue an animal left in a hot car.
  • If your dog is ever overcome by heat, you can lower the body temperature by soaking him in cool water – not ice water.  Make sure no water gets in the nose or mouth of an unconscious animal.  Seek veterinary care immediately.

The following are tips for safely traveling with your pet:

  • If you must go inside somewhere during your travels, one option is to keep your pet outside of the car in a travel kennel in a shady area.  This isn’t always possible because you don’t want to leave the kennel in a parking lot or in an area where people may agitate or possibly even steal your pet.
  • Eat at drive-thru restaurants.
  • Bring along vaccination certificates and flea and tick treatments.
  • Bring a two-liter plastic bottle of frozen water or cold water in a thermos.
  • Don’t exercise your pet following a meal.
  • Exercise your pet at dawn and dusk, which are the coolest times of the day.
  • Walk your pet on dirt or grass when possible because hot tar and asphalt can burn a dog’s paws.

If you ever see a pet abandoned in a hot car, contact the manager of the establishment where it’s parked, who may be able to locate the car owner; or call the police.

–Guest Contributor


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The San Angelo, Texas, Animal Rescue Community Provides Support for a Hospital-Bound Shelter Owner

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Animal Shelter Painting Event

(Photo credit: wabisabi2015)

Cathy Ray cares for about 60 dogs in Vancourt, Texas, at her shelter, Animal Rescue Services Inc. She keeps meticulous records on all the dogs, all of which she knows by name. She is scheduled for surgery for a brain tumor soon, and the shelter will be shut down. Ray’s bookkeeping is coming in handy, since Concho Valley PAWS (Pets are Worth Saving), a local nonprofit animal rescue service, is assisting her in getting all of the dogs relocated.

Adoption events are scheduled, including one on January 25th from 3 to 6 pm at Penny Pub & Grill parking lot, 2400 College Hills Blvd. in San Angelo. Dog adoption fees, which come to $140, include vaccinations, spaying or neutering, a heartworm test, treatment for fleas, microchip, treatment for ticks and worms, and a health exam.

Approximately a dozen volunteers and staff members from Concho Valley PAWS are working to find permanent homes not only for the dogs Ray has been sheltering but also for the pets already sheltered at PAWS. But last weekend 34 volunteers from the San Angelo dog and cat rescue visited Ray’s property in Vancourt to become acquainted with the needs of the dogs there.

PAWS isn’t a shelter but instead relies on about 50 foster homes to care for the dogs until they are adopted. One of their usual practices is to also give shelter to dogs slated for destruction at the City of San Angelo’s animal shelter.

Ray, who must give up Animal Rescue Services because of health issues, started her shelter in 1987, when she became incorporated in order to qualify for grants. She says that grants aren’t as easy to come by as you may think and she usually spent more than she took in for care of the dogs. Contributions from generous donors helped, but she said they came in sporadically.

Since her rescue work started, Ray has found homes for over 1,000 dogs and has traveled to Houston, California, Wyoming, and Arkansas to unite dogs with their new owners.

PAWS’ executive director Jenie Wilson said that Ray has done a wonderful job of maintaining the health of the dogs in her care. Wilson said that PAWS is happy to assist a colleague in the field of animal rescue.

–By Guest Contributor


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Dallas, Texas, Animal Services Gives Seniors a Break – Part 1

Friday, August 17th, 2012


Beagle Hara

(Photo credit: kathy doucette)

Dallas, Texas, Animal Services is celebrating seniors by offering significantly reduced pet adoption fees for both animals over six years old and citizens over 65 years old.

The following reduced rates also apply when adopting more than one pet from Dallas Animal Services:

$43 for dogs over 6 years old (Usual cost: $85)
$27 for cats over 6 years old (Usual cost: $55)

Animal shelters just like those in Dallas always offer great adult pets that would make ideal best friends and family companions. Since most new pet owners prefer to adopt puppies or kittens, the wonderful older dogs are often euthanized. This is just one of many reasons that it’s a good idea to spay or neuter your dogs and cats.

What is Spaying?

Spaying is a veterinary procedure in which a female pet’s uterus and ovaries are removed.

What is Neutering?

Neutering is a veterinary procedure in which the testicles of a male dog or cat are removed.

There are many substantial benefits to spaying or neutering your pets, besides making a way for older dogs to find loving homes. Many of the benefits involve pet health and pet behavior.

See the next part of this series to learn advantages of sterilizing your pets.

–Guest Contributor


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Pflugerville, Texas, Animal Shelter Strolls Toward Boosted Dog Adoptions

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Animals at the Gordon County Animal Shelter

(Photo credit: zane.hollingsworth)

The Pflugerville, Texas, Animal Shelter has found a new way to promote dog adoption.  Shelter volunteers now walk the dogs through city parks not only so that the dogs may enjoy exercise away from the shelter but also as part of an effort to encourage adoptions.  The first all-volunteer group walk took place on Sunday, August 5.

The following are some high points about the dog-walking event:

  • Volunteers wore green t-shirts showing that they were Pflugerville Animal Shelter Volunteers.
  • The dogs all wore “Adopt Me” handkerchiefs around their necks.
  • The volunteers met at the shelter at 5:15 pm.
  • Everyone went to Pfluger Park at 6:00 pm for a group dog walk.
  • The dogs were on long leashes and were allowed to play and splash in Gilleland Creek.
  • Several park visitors took the time to visit the dogs and ask about dog adoptions and other information about Pflugerville Animal Shelter.
  • Volunteers are interested in walking the dogs in other, more populous locations so that more people are made aware of the animals in need of a loving home.

Lieutenant Laura Wilkes, who works with Pflugerville Animal Control, said, “The outing lets the dogs interact with children that come up and ask to pet the dog and gives families an opportunity to see the caliber of dogs we have that need homes.”

Volunteer Patsy Caylor-Van Geem said, “Dogs that were scared or unapproachable last week as they first came into the shelter are now lovable and enjoying playing out in the creek.”

As research has proven, pet ownership is significantly down across the U.S. due to the economy, and Texas animal shelters are feeling the effects.  Pflugerville isn’t the only city working hard to improve dog adoption rates, but it may have one of the most creative approaches.

–By Guest Contributor


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