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Welcome to Texas Dog Bite Injury Law Blog

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’

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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Dog Owner Faces Charges after a Cyclist is Viciously Attacked

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

A black Great Dane.

A black Great Dane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On September 7, 2016, Chris Carmichael of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was riding his mountain bike near his cabin when two large dogs charged him in a sudden and vicious attack. Before he had a chance to respond to the situation, one dog bit him on the leg and the other bit him on the hand. Carmichael used his bicycle as a shield, but one dog circled around and attacked him in the neck area. He punched the dog’s face, and both dogs ran away. The dog attack victim described the dogs as Great Dane mixes. He contacted authorities and identified the neighboring cabin where the dogs came from when they attacked. Carmichael received medical treatment at a nearby hospital, where he got several stitches. Animal control opened an investigation into the incident. The Humane Society for the area contacted the dogs’ owner. They reported that he has been charged with unlawfully owning a dangerous animal. If the man is found guilty, he faces possible fines. In addition, the dogs may be euthanized.

Carmichael made a statement about the incident. He expressed his hope that others don’t have to go through what he experienced. He said when he thinks about his daughter going through something similar, it makes it tough to sleep at night.

What happened to Carmichael can just as easily happen to anyone in Texas. Every year, an estimated 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. Large breeds can do extreme harm very quickly. Many people lose their lives from dog attacks. So far this year, 24 people have been victims of fatal dog attacks. Nineteen of the fatalities were caused by pit bulls or pit bull mixes.

Becoming a victim of a dog attack can happen anytime. There is plenty of good reason to become familiar with ways to avoid a dog attack and tips on what to do in the event of an attack.

–Guest Contributor

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An 83-year-old Man is Killed by Four Dogs Belonging to a Neighbor

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Les deux heureux parents de trois merveilleux ...

Les deux heureux parents de trois merveilleux petits rottweilers: Kiara, Charly et Coda ( à voir sur le blog: famillyrotts.skyrock.com) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a horrific scene in Jacksonville, Florida, an 83-year-old man was discovered dead in the backyard of a pet owner with four dogs. The owner’s dogs are a Rottweiler and three mixed-breed Rottweilers. On August 19, 2016, the victim was taking out his trash at the Franklin Arms Apartments, where he lived. There was a hole in the dog owner’s fence, and the dogs escaped. They dragged the elderly victim into their yard and he was discovered dead and dismembered. The dogs are in the custody of authorities. No charges have been filed.

Rottweilers are the second most dangerous type of dog breed. Although pit bulls have consistently been the breed responsible for more than 60% of annual deaths in the U.S. for decades, with that percentage spiking significantly since last year, Rottweilers are dangerous, too. According to DogsBite.org, a site that closely tracks dog bite fatalities in the U.S., the combined breed of pit bulls and Rottweilers have been responsible for 76% of all fatal attacks in the 11-year span of 2005 through 2015. More statistics follow:

  • In 2015, pit bulls committed 28 deaths and Rottweilers killed 3 people. American bulldogs are considered close cousins of pit bulls, and they killed 2 people. Together, the three breeds contributed to 97% or 33 of the 34 dog attack fatalities last year. Only 9% of these 34 fatalities resulted in criminal charges on a meaningful level. This was the lowest level of criminal charges linked to dog fatalities in 11 years.
  • Texas had more deaths caused by dogs in 2015, with 5 people killed.
  • Texas had more deadly dog attacks in 2014, as well, with 7 deaths. Felony charges were filed in connection with 43% of those fatalities.

Annual statistics related to dog fatalities continue to indicate what a danger certain breeds can be. Packs of dogs have also proven to be deadly on several occasions. Laws need to change so that dog owners know there will be consequences if anyone is hurt by their pets. It seems ludicrous that a person can be killed by pets while minding their own business and no one faces criminal charges.

–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 9-year-old Boy is Killed by a Pit Bull while Visiting a Friend

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Daddy

Daddy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On August 17, 2016, 9-year-old Derion Stevenson was fatally attacked by a pit bull in Las Vegas, Nevada. The child was visiting a friend and was in the yard when the friend’s pit bull exited the house and immediately launched an attack on his face and neck. The boy suffered life-threatening injuries and was quickly transported to a local hospital, where he died.

The dog responsible for the child’s death was involved in a dog fight in July, according to authorities. A neighbor said the pit bull attacked her Labrador on July 11, and her dog was seriously injured. Authorities said the injuries were not substantial enough to warrant a declaration that the dog was vicious or dangerous. Since Derion’s death, the pit bull has been euthanized.

So far this year, pit bulls have killed 18 people in the U.S.. Many instances were similar to this tragedy in that people have been killed when visiting a friend. Michelle Wilcox, age 30, was savagely killed by her boyfriend’s pit bull. Susie Kirby died at 3 days old when she was attacked by an uncle’s pit bull mixes. Earl Stephens Jr., age 43, was killed by a friend’s pit bull. These are a just a few. Many more have been killed by the family pit bull or pit bulls belonging to family members.

Nevada authorities said that of 196 dogs involved in dog-on-dog attacks this year in Clark County, only 5 (2.5%) were designated as dangerous. None was declared vicious. With 191 dog owners facing no substantial consequences for instances when their pets attacked another dog, the public  has reason to be concerned that dog owner’s rights are favored over victims.

Between the danger of pit bulls as a breed and the general lack of action when certain types of attacks occur, which is true of many Texas jurisdictions, dogs are often a genuine threat.

–Guest Contributor

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A 52-year-old Man is Killed by Pit Bull Mixes; Dogs are Released Back to Owner

Wednesday, August 17th, 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 tragic story out of Honolulu Hawaii, two pit bull mixes killed Crisencio Aliado, age 52, on July 29, 2016. The victim was a homeless man, and his bloodied body was discovered on the bank of a stream. The two pit bull mix dogs were at the scene and were evidently responsible for Crisencio’s death. Police took the dogs into their custody at that time. It was found by the medical examiner that the victim died from multiple bite injuries. The fatal pit bull attack happened behind a local business belonging to the owner of the pit bull mixes. The dog owner said the dogs somehow escaped the warehouse, which is fenced in. A friend of Crisencio said the dog attack victim had been washing his clothing in a stream when the dogs attacked. He also said the deceased was as mild-mannered a person as you could meet. Authorities returned the pit bulls to their owners on August 11.

It can be terrifying to think that dogs found responsible for the death of a human are simply returned to the same person who failed to ensure the safety of the public on at least one tragic occasion. The United States is not the only place where this type of alarming situation occurs.

In news out of The United Kingdom this week, a 52-year-old man was fatally attacked by a dog that had recently been returned to its owner, though concerns had been raised that the dog was dangerous. There is some dispute over the type of dog it was that killed the man, though neighbors of the dog’s owner say it was a pit bull, a breed that has been banned in the UK.

It makes no sense to potentially expose the public to a dog known to have killed a person by releasing the dog back to the same individual who owned the dog when the fatal incident occurred. More than 30 fatal dog attacks have been occurring in the U.S. annually in recent years. Our laws need to change, in order to address this ominous threat.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Lawyer – Are Dog Attacks on the Increase Across Texas?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

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

Statistics about dog bites in Abilene, Texas, released last month show that dog attacks are on the rise. A story was published and the public was alerted to possible dangers of stray dogs. In Big Spring, Texas, the United States Postal Service (USPS) released information about an alarming increase in dog attacks on mail carriers in the city. Perhaps no city in Texas is facing more controversy than Dallas, however; concerns about stray dogs have been a major focus since the fatal attack on 52-year-old Antoinette Brown by a pack of dogs that occurred in May.

These are three separate cities in Texas that have been compelled to face the fact that dog bites are increasing. Statistics suggest that just about every shelter in every city in the Lone Star State is overcrowded and forced to euthanize more dogs than ever.

Abilene

The Abilene statistics show that the total number of dog bites to humans in 2015 was 215. By June of 2016, there had already been 261 bites to humans. In addition, altercations between dogs came to a total of 71 in 2015; as of June 2016, the number was already 86. The alarming increase in dog attacks has not been explained, but citizens have been provided with suggestions for avoiding a dog attack. For instance, they are urged to know their neighbors in areas where they walk. They are also encouraged to carry objects that can be used as a barrier when walking. Sightings of stray dogs should be reported to Animal Services.

Big Spring

During the four-year period of 2012 through 2015, only two dog bites of mail carriers were reported, according to USPS. In 2016 alone, as of July 16, there have already been four incidents in which mail carriers were bitten. Residents are urged to restrain their pets for the safety of the general public and Big Spring mail carriers.

Dallas

Numerous dog attacks have made the news in Dallas, in addition to the fatal mauling of Antoinette Brown. Recently, it was announced that Brown’s family is seeking a $5 million settlement with the city of Dallas, to avoid a legal battle. The mayor of the city announced that more needs to be done. But even after more resources were put into addressing the issue of stray dogs, reports of dog attacks in the city have continued. Tamika Batts, for instance, was brutally attacked by dogs in Dallas earlier this month.

At the very least, news of a growing number of dog attacks should put the public on alert to take safety precautions. Learn tips for avoiding a dog attack in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Toddler and 71-year-old Woman are Killed by Pit Bulls in July

Wednesday, July 20th, 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)

In separate incidents, two people in the U.S. have been killed by pit bulls in July 2016. Elizabeth Rivera, age 71, of Detroit, Michigan, was killed by her own pit bull on July 16. Police said that about 8 pm that night, her dog knocked her down, bit into her neck, and severed her jugular vein, which resulted in her death. Three other dogs were on the scene, and all four were seized by authorities. Three-year-old Kayden Colter Begay was northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, visiting grandparents on the Navajo Nation Reservation when she was attacked and killed by a pack of 12 pit bulls belonging to family neighbors. Authorities have been busy trying to round up all dogs involved.

Patterns involving dog attacks have been identified in both of these tragic deaths. A few years ago, Rivera was a victim of a pit bull attack. The dog, which belonged to a family member, attacked her face. Rivera had to go through extensive surgeries as a result. The family member who owned the dog involved in that first attack expressed shock because they never thought such a thing could happen again.

DogsBite.org pointed out, in the story of Begay, that Kayden is the third victim of a fatal dog attacks on that same Navajo reservation since 2010. Eight-year-old Tomas Jay Henio was killed by a pack of up to nine dogs in December 2012. In December 2010, 56-year-old Larry Armstrong was killed by a pack of dogs near Gallup. Nationwide since 2010, there have been another seven fatal dog attacks on reservations.

There have been 15 people killed by pit bulls since January 1, 2016, which comes to one person in the U.S. killed by a pit bull every 13.2 days. Statistics overwhelmingly show that pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds, just as it also appears there is a disproportionate number of dog bite fatalities that occur on reservations.

–Guest Contributor

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Two Women in Houston, Texas, are Critically Injured by Pit Bulls

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

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

Ruby Lucky, age 86, was viciously attacked by pit bulls as she sat in her wheelchair in her driveway in North Harris County, Houston, Texas, last week. She had been enjoying the outdoors when the unprovoked attack happened. A 60-year-old neighbor heard her screams and tried to help, but she was also attacked. The dogs bit Lucky in her lower extremities. A deputy went to the scene and shot at least one of the pit bulls. The dog survived. The women were both transported to nearby hospitals in critical though stable condition. Lucky’s granddaughter, Angela Ford, said they have been aware of the pit bulls and have been terrified of them. Neighbors spoke to police and said they have made complaints about the pit bulls in the past.

The dog owners are expected to have up to six charges filed against them, according to Constable Mark Herman. Both of the pit bulls were taken into the custody of Harris County Animal Control Shelter for the purpose of being euthanized and tested for rabies.

Harris County isn’t the only place in Texas where complaints about threatening dogs don’t yield results until someone is seriously hurt or killed. When it comes to pit bulls, there is a genuine threat to the public. Laws need to be changed. As it is, a person in the U.S. has been killed by a pit bull, on average, every 13 days since January 2015. The information about all of the deaths by pit bulls and other dogs can be found at www.dogsbite.org.

Two people in Texas have been killed by dogs this year, and there have been many serious dog attacks, as well. It’s time to change laws to protect people from irresponsible owners of pit bulls and other dangerous dogs.

–Guest Contributor

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A Child is Attacked by a Pit Bull; 4 have been Killed by the Breed since June 4

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Pit bull

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday in Whiteville, North Carolina, a 7-year-old girl entered a neighbor’s home and was attacked by their pit bull. She was transported to one hospital before being transferred to another for reconstructive surgery. The dog did not have a current rabies certificate. The dog is being held for 10 days of quarantine, to check for signs of rabies. Hospital officials together with the Columbus County Health Department are expected to recommend that the child begin the rabies immune globulin treatment.

Pit bulls are notoriously difficult to stop, once they begin an attack. Just a few days ago, on June 27, two people in the U.S. were killed by pit bulls. One was a 3-day-old in Fresno, California, and the other was a 53-year-old woman in New Haven, Connecticut. The details of the New Haven woman have sent shock waves to most people who hear details of her attack and injuries. The witnesses have been offered counseling because they witnessed an attack so brutal that the victim lost both of her eyes. She also had to get a leg amputated, as physicians tried to save her life. An arm amputation was being considered, as well, before she passed away.

The past month has actually been alarmingly dangerous, as pit bulls are concerned. There were also two people killed on June 4. Seven-year-old Hunter Bragg was killed at a relative’s home. Forty-three-year-old Earl Stephens, Jr., was also the victim of a fatal pit bull attack on that day, as he was visiting a friend.

See this continuing series to learn whether the past month was a fluke or whether it is indicative of an ongoing problem.

–Guest Contributor

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