Texas Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

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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 ‘Pit bull’

An Elderly Woman in San Antonio, Texas, Dies from a Pit Bull Attack; the Fifth Fatal Dog Attack in Texas in 2014

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Pit bull

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Petra Aguirre, age 83, died this week from injuries sustained in a March 31 dog attack in San Antonio, Texas, in spite of having received needed medical attention. Aguirre was in the backyard of her west-side home feeding her cats when a neighbor’s American Stratffordshire terrier mix that had somehow gotten through the backyard fence bit her on the neck, head, arms, and legs. The dog’s owner received a citation and Animal Care Services euthanized the dog, with the owner’s permission.

An American Stratffordshire terrier mix is a type of pit bull mix.

Aguirre is the fifth person this year alone to be killed in Texas as a result of a dog attack. Pit bulls were the dogs involved in all of the other dog attack fatalities except one in which it was a bull mastiff. Five deaths caused by dogs in our state from January through mid-April should be enough to motivate our citizens to demand that legislators take action to protect the public from dangerous dogs.

These are the circumstances of the other fatalities:

Forty-three-year-old Christina Burleson of Houston, Texas, was killed on January 5 by two pit bulls that were running loose in her neighborhood. Two other people were also attacked by the dogs that day, including one person who tried to rescue Burleson.

Two-year-old Je’vaeh Mayes of Temple, Texas, died on February 17 after being attacked by a chained pit bull. The dog, along with two of her puppies, was chained in the child’s backyard; Je’vaeh ventured into the backyard without her family’s knowledge. The dog belonged to a friend, who said it had never shown signs of aggression before the attack.

Two-year-old Raymane Robinson, Jr., of Killeen, Texas, was walking home from a playground with an 8-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man on March 1 when a bullmastiff first attacked the 8-year-old and then Raymane. The toddler was dragged down the street by the dog until a neighbor fired a gun, after which the dog released the boy. The dog’s owner was out of town; the owner’s mother was caring for the dog when the fatal attack occurred.

Eighty-five-year-old Dorothy Hamilton died on March 31 following an attack by two pit bulls inside her home. The dogs belonged to her son, and he was away when the attack occurred. According to police, the very aggressive pit bulls broke through the door of the bedroom where they were kept to attack Hamilton.

This news is all very alarming, and it seems obvious that our laws need to change to ensure that dog owners have very stiff penalties in the event their pet causes harm or death. Once owners realize they are responsible for harm to others, it is reasonable to expect that they will have proper motivation to ensure the safety of others.

–Guest Contributor

 

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Hundreds Donate to Help the Toddler Attacked by a Pit Bull in League City, Texas

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Picture of an American Pit Bull Terrier

Picture of an American Pit Bull Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 2-year-old girl and her mother were attacked by a pit bull in their League City, Texas, apartment on March 31; the story has captured the attention of people all over the world. Donations to help with medical costs for treatment of the severe injuries the child is recovering from amount to over $18,000 so far. Because more medical care is required, a lot more financial help will be needed. Fundraisers are ongoing in the area.

Kenzi, the toddler who was attacked by her mom’s boyfriend’s pit bull, had been in a dance recital just weeks before the awful incident that could have easily taken her life. Her mother was also badly injured in her efforts to stop the pit bull attack. Her mom also called 9-1-1, and police showed up at the apartment. One officer who saw that the dog was still attacking both victims shot the pit bull. He recently visited Kenzi in the hospital, and she expressed her thanks for rescuing them.

Within just a few days, 299 people from as far away as Singapore donated to help with Kenzi’s medical expenses. The toddler, whose recovery from the pit bull attack has been slow and painful, has also won the hearts of people right there in League City. A collection bowl is in the local Man Cave, and the proprietor said that many people enter the establishment for the single purpose of giving to the cause.

Kenzi is home, and her scars and injuries are healing. The family is grateful that they can also say the little girl is also smiling again.

–Guest Contributor

 

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A Judge in Montgomery County, Texas, Rules that a Dangerous Pit Bull Mix will Not be Euthanized

Monday, April 14th, 2014

IMG_8367.CR2

IMG_8367.CR2 (Photo credit: stephskardal)

A young woman from the Magnolia, Texas, area was allegedly viciously attacked by a pit bull mix in February of 2012. There has been an ongoing lawsuit over the issue of whether or not the pit bull should be put down, and the case has just reached a settlement. As of last week, both sides of the lawsuit agreed to let a judge decide, just minutes before the start of a jury trial.  The judge ruled to allow animal rights groups to take custody of the animal. The victim in the dog attack is said to be in agreement with the outcome.

The lawsuit went on for 14 months, and the dog was housed at the expense of Montgomery County all that time. Part of the final agreement is that the expenses to the county will be reimbursed, which comes to about $3,000.

The pit bull mix is not allowed to be housed in Texas. Pursuant to Texas law, the dog has been declared a dangerous dog. Future handlers and/or owners of the dog must be informed about the animal’s history of biting. The Cesar Millan Foundation and other animal rights groups agreed together to ensure that the dog is transported to the Cesar Millan foundation in California for rehabilitation. Montgomery County and the State of Texas cannot be held responsible for any future attacks or liability associated with the pit bull mix.

The woman involved in the alleged vicious dog attack has chosen not to have her name released in connection with the case.

County Attorney J. D. Lambright expressed his hopes that the victim will continue to heal emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Victims of violent dog attacks often have physical problems that affect them for months, years, and sometimes for a lifetime. Among the psychological effects is that victims, especially small children, sometimes suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD include sleep disturbance, excessive anxiety, pronounced startle responses, irritability, altered appetite, and reduced creativity. Other symptoms include excessive fear of dogs or total avoidance.

–Guest Contributor

 

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A 2-year-old and her Mother are Brutally Attacked by a Pit Bull in League City, Texas

Monday, April 7th, 2014

English: American Pit Bull Terrier

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

In League City, Texas, which is 24 miles south of Houston, a toddler and her mother were both viciously attacked by a dog that they were taking care of for the mother’s boyfriend. The pit bull attack occurred on E. League City Parkway at the Avana at South Shore apartments. The toddler was taken by medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital, and the mother also received medical attention.

According to police, 23-year-old Chelsi Camp said the pit bull suddenly attacked her 2-year-old daughter. Camp was bitten several times in her efforts to rescue her child.  She called 9-1-1; and when police responded, they found that the victims had been cornered by the dog in a bathroom. The dog was still attacking the woman and the child when police arrived. A police officer, to put an end to the attack, shot the pit bull one time.

The child was severely injured on the head and face, and Camp was injured on her arms and hands.

Because the pit bull was badly wounded but not dead after being shot, it was euthanized by animal control officers.

Pit bulls cause more harm than other dogs when they bite because they have powerful jaws and great tenacity. Pit bulls are the dogs used most often in illegal dog fighting rings. Their muscular bodies can pull up to 7,000 pounds. The prey drive is strong in pit bulls, and it’s believed that their fighting instincts have been evident for centuries.

If a pit bull is properly trained, however, it will listen and obey its master better than many other breeds.

There is a great deal of controversy which surrounds the topic of whether or not pit bulls are too dangerous for society or perhaps too dangerous to risk having them in the care of an irresponsible owner or a caregiver who does not have command over the dogs.

–Guest Contributor

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An Elderly Woman from Kaufman, Texas, is Apparently Killed by Pit Bulls – Part 2

Friday, April 4th, 2014

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)

DogsBite.org provides the following statistics:

 

  • Pit bulls killed 151 people in the U.S. from 2005 to 2012, which comes to one person killed by a pit bull every 19 days. Rottweilers killed 32 people in that period or one person every 91 days.
  • Rottweilers are the dog breed that is the second most lethal, after pit bulls. Pit bulls and Rottweilers together account for 68% of all fatal dog attacks in 2012. In the eight-year period referenced above, the two breeds were responsible for 73% of all fatal dog attacks.
  • Data from 2012 shows that half of the victims of fatal dog attacks, or 19 people, were adults and 21 and older; the other 50% of the victims were children under 9 years old. Children under age 3 make up 79% of all of the children who died as a result of a dog attack.
  • The victims were males 61% of the time in 2012. Of the male victims, 61% were under 9 years of age. Only 33% of female victims fell in that age group.
  • It is frequently more than one dog responsible for a death. In 2012, 34% of all dog bite deaths involved at least two dogs. In addition, 13% involved actively breeding on the dog owner’s property or having been involved in breeding in the recent past. Tethered dogs caused 5% of the deaths, which was quite a drop from an average of 14% from 2005 to 2010.

See this Part 1 of this two-part series for more dog bite fatality statistics.

–Guest Contributor

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Will All Dog Owners be Responsible for First-Time Dog Bites in Maryland?

Monday, March 31st, 2014

a pit bull terrier named "Wiki" smiling

a pit bull terrier named “Wiki” smiling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The State of Maryland is currently tackling the controversial issue of making all dog owners responsible for dog bite injuries the first time a dog causes death or injury, regardless of the dog’s breed.  A dog bite bill to that effect received preliminary approval in the House on March 11, 2014. A battle is raging over this issue which was launched following the vicious 2007 attack of 10-year-old Dominic Solesky.  Dominic, of Towson, Maryland, was attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull in the alley behind his home as he was playing with friends, planning to ambush them during a “war” game.

Dominic’s femoral artery was severed in the dog attack; and his face and body were scarred.  The court case over the incident presented Maryland lawmakers with the question of how much responsibility a dog owner should have when their pet attacks someone.  Also, does that responsibility also apply to a pet owner’s landlord?  The ultimate ruling of the Court of Appeals was that pit bull owners are responsible for damage caused by their dog, even if there is no prior incident or evidence that the dog may cause harm.  It was also found that the liability does extend to landlords.

As a result of that ruling, there was a sharp increase in the number of pit bulls that were surrendered to shelters.  In addition, some landlords began advising tenants to move out or get rid of their pit bulls.

While the 2012 decision is soon to be done away with, what replaces it may have an even wider effect.  The measure currently up for approval would apply to all dog owners, not just pit bull owners, whose dog bites someone and causes injury or death. However, pet owners would be allowed recourse, if they can prove their dogs have been nothing but docile up until that first biting incident.

Dog advocates are turning out in full force to fight this decision, and it is widely suspected that political strategizing will ultimately water down whatever law may be passed in the end.

With all of the dog attacks that occur in Texas, it would be good for the public at large to adopt stricter laws which protect people from dangerous dogs owned by irresponsible owners.

–Guest Contributor

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Ruling about Mickey the Pit Bull, who Mauled a 4-year-old, set for March 25

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Last Walk, Unwanted Shelter Dog being walked t...

Last Walk, Unwanted Shelter Dog being walked to the room to be Killed (Photo credit: Beverly & Pack)

The pit bull mauling of 4-year-old Kevin Vicente of Phoenix, Arizona, has captured nationwide attention as tens of thousands petition to stop the euthanization of Mickey, the dog.  Many find it disturbing that the dog seems to have greater support than the child. The opposing view is that the pit bull does not deserve to die, in spite of the terrible extent of Kevin’s injuries.

Mickey is currently housed at West Valley Animal Care Center in Phoenix, and a judge is expected to make a ruling about whether or not the dog will be euthanized on March 25.

Kevin is still recovering from the vicious dog attack that left him with a crushed eye socket, broken lower jaw bone, and crushed cheek bone.  The preschooler received medical care at Maricopa Medical Center after he tried to take a bone from Mickey and was bitten in the face on February 20.

Doctors say that Kevin’s injuries will require months and even perhaps years of reconstructive surgeries.

While the Facebook page supporting Mickey has received over 59,000 likes, a witness to the attack, Guadalupe Villa, filed the vicious-animal petition to have the pit bull euthanized.  Villa is a friend of the babysitter in charge of Kevin when this attack occurred and has been widely and harshly criticized by pit bull supporters.

This controversy was partially ignited by a Facebook post by an employee of the Maricopa County Animal Control and Care Center, who wrote that Mickey the pit bull was “going night night.”

A spokesperson for the center, Melissa Gable, said the employee faced administrative action for the controversial Facebook post.

Pit bull advocates are pulling together to try and save Mickey because they believe the dog is not to blame, since he was just doing what dogs do.  But if Mickey is spared, what if the next time he simply does what dogs do someone isn’t just critically injured but dies?  Would the dog then be considered a dangerous animal who should be euthanized for the protection of society?

–Guest Contributor

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A New Jersey Lawmaker Drafts a Bill in Answer to Two Recent Fatal Dog Attacks

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Português do Brasil: Bull-mastiff brasileiro

Português do Brasil: Bull-mastiff brasileiro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stricter laws aimed at reducing dog attack fatalities are rarely pursued, in spite of annual dog-related deaths and millions of dog bite injuries across the U.S.  Unfortunately, as with many laws, it takes alarming circumstances to move lawmakers toward action.  In New Jersey, two boys recently died in vicious dog attacks, in two separate incidents.  Another boy was also seriously injured.  Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic) is currently taking legislative action, reportedly drafting a bill which would require owners of larger breeds of dogs to build fences that are taller and stronger.

The first of the two recent fatal dog attacks in New Jersey which have heightened public concern occurred in Newark. A 10-year-old boy was allegedly home alone in his father’s apartment.  Also with the child were two pit bulls that were unfamiliar with him.  The dogs attacked the boy, biting him repeatedly, until a neighbor who heard the terrible commotion broke the door down.  The child’s father is still behind bars on charges of child endangerment.

A 13-year-old boy was the other recent fatal dog attack victim.  He and a friend were playing outside when a bull mastiff weighing 115 pounds broke a chain and attacked both boys.  When they ran in different directions, the dog pursued the child who was later found dead near a creek.  The dog in this case was said by neighbors to be frequently left outside in harsh conditions and exhibited violence toward children.

While numerous large breed dogs are connected with fatal attacks, pit bulls and pit bull mixes are involved in over 60% of all dog-related fatalities.

Even though fatal dog attacks are rare, they are devastating.  Serious attacks in which the victims are badly injured also have long-term effects on the victims as well as their families.

–Guest Contributor

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A Jogger is Bitten by Two Pit Bulls 56 Times in Houston, Texas

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Pit Bull

Pit Bull (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

Monica Garza was jogging on the South Belt hike and bike trail in Houston, Texas, last Wednesday when two pit bulls viciously attacked her.  Charles Jordan, who is 63 and walks using a cane, rescued Garza.  He said it appeared the dogs were literally trying to tear her apart; they were playing tug of war with her.  She suffered from 56 dog bites before Jordan placed himself between Garza and the dogs.  He was bitten on the mouth, but he said it seemed the dogs were targeting Garza.  After about ten minutes of him covering Garza with his own body, the dogs finally went away.

Garza was transported to a local hospital, and she underwent emergency surgery.  Jordan said that he was fine.

Garza’s father, Jeff Mack, said Jordan saved her life by risking his and that his daughter had a guardian angel watching over her.

Jordan was adamant that he is not a hero.  He’s got children and grandchildren, and he said he doesn’t think young people need to be hurt.

Miguel Cantu was one of the EMTs who responded to the scene, and he is a close family friend with the victim.  He said that she was wet and bloody and he didn’t recognize her.

Animal control seized the two pit bulls, and they will be quarantined for ten days.  One of the owners has been identified; authorities spoke with him.  They are still trying to contact the other dog’s owner.

It’s believed that Garza is going to have a full recovery.

Read about a study done in Houston regarding the fear of being outside due to loose dogs, in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Child Suffers Severe Injuries from a Bulldog Attack; Advocates Speak Up on Behalf of the Dog

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

English: An old photograph of a Bulldog/Olde e...

English: An old photograph of a Bulldog/Olde english bulldog with a baby. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A dog trainer in Colorado Springs, Colorado, recently criticized the way news was handled surrounding a 1-year-old child being severely mauled by the family’s American bulldog.  The child suffered serious dog bite injuries and was transported by medical helicopter to a nearby hospital.

According to Jackie Cotton, who refers to bulldogs and pit bulls as part of “bully breeds,” these canines are unfairly represented in the press.  She believes that all dogs bite but the only ones that make the news are bites by pit bulls and other bully breeds.

Cotton has started an advocacy group called the Southern Colorado Pitbull Advocacy group.  Her views are largely shared by Linda Brennen, who owns Canine Coach.  A dog trainer, she offers classes for parents to learn how to train dogs the proper way to behave around children.  Brennen does not condone breed-specific legislation, nor does she support discrimination against bully breeds.

A neighbor to the infant who was mauled has a different viewpoint.  The neighbor was apparently familiar with the bulldog and said it was an aggressive dog and that you are asking for trouble when a dog has signs of aggression.

Brennen points out that all dogs either bite or have the potential to bite.  She says that dogs bite, for example, because a dog is backed into a corner and feeling uncomfortable.  It’s important to learn canine body language that gives a hint that a bite is about to happen.

The dog that bit the infant was taken to an animal shelter and quarantined for ten days, to be watched for signs of rabies.  The decision about whether or not the dog will be put down has not been made as yet; but if he is to be put down, there will obviously be opposition.

–Guest Contributor

 

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