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’

Family Dogs are to Blame for a Woman’s Death and an Infant’s Injuries Last Week

Monday, August 11th, 2014


bulldog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In news last week, a woman in Ohio was killed by a family dog and an infant in Florida was badly mauled by the family dog. According to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, a 59-year-old woman in Hamilton, Ohio, was in the backyard and was attacked by the family dog, suffering multiple injuries to her neck, face, and body. She died from her injuries. In St. Petersburg, Florida, an 11-year-old Husky mix bit an 18-month-old boy in the face. The dog had never shown aggression toward a child prior to the attack, according to the parents. The family from Massachusetts was staying in a hotel in Florida while in the process of purchasing a home there. The child will survive but has significant facial scars.

Dog bites are extremely common, and most of the time it’s a family dog that causes injuries. Some of the most dangerous situations follow:

  • When a child is living temporarily with or visiting a family friend or relative who owns a Rottweiler or a pit bull.
  • Leaving a toddler or infant alone with any breed of dog.
  • Temporary or new situations involving dangerous dog breeds and children.
  • Approaching a dog that is tethered, particularly if the dog is both male and unaltered.
  • Approaching a dog that is in the bed of a truck or inside a vehicle.
  • Encountering a pack of dogs that are running loose.
  • Getting involved in a dog fight, particularly if pit bulls are involved.

See this continuing series for safety tips and to avoid being bitten by any dog, including the family dog.

–Guest Contributor


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A Houston, Texas, Woman is Viciously Attacked by a Pit Bull Outside her Home

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Poncho the Pit bull mix kissing his owner

Poncho the Pit bull mix kissing his owner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forty-six-year-old Celiflora Maldonado was viciously attacked by a male pit bull in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday. A neighbor had seen two pit bulls roaming the area since 7 that morning. At about 12:30, Maldonado returned home with groceries and had a bag of groceries in each arm when she saw the dogs. She attempted to run, but one of the pit bulls chased her and began biting her arms. The woman’s nephew, age 10, saw the pit bull attack and tried to get help.

Neighbors reported hearing the woman’s screams and repeated pounding on her front door to get inside. The 10-year-old boy opened the door and threw a shoe at the dog, but the dog wouldn’t stop attacking his aunt.

Neighbors also went to Maldonado’s rescue; they screamed at the dog, and it finally let her go. She was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with serious bites and scratches.

The debate about whether pit bulls are dangerous or whether the problem is simply irresponsible pet owners will probably never end. But there’s no doubt that if dog owners were careful to be sure their pets are secure on their own property, attacks such as this one in Houston would be much less common.

Ownership of pit bulls should carry more weight of responsibility because the dogs have been proven to cause more damage than other breeds. Pit bulls also cause far more deaths than any other breed of dog. Perhaps if the consequences of a person’s dog hurting or killing someone carried a non-negotiable prison sentence, owners with dangerous breeds such as pit bulls would be much more responsible with their pets.

–Guest Contributor








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A Pre-Schooler in Tomball, Texas, is Viciously Attacked by the Family Pit Bull – Part 5

Monday, July 28th, 2014


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you do online research about pit bulls and how deadly they are as a breed, most of the sites that seem to be authoritative and based on statistics corroborated with other websites take the stance that pit bulls are definitely a dangerous breed that should be outlawed because of the threat they pose to society. Even if there is an acknowledgment that owners are a huge part of the problem, taking the chance on pit bull owners doing what they are supposed to is too big of a risk, involving the potential risk of human fatalities.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for example, did a five-year study on dog bite injuries. The results were published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a medical journal, and showed that approximately 51% of the dog bite incidents involved pit bulls. The second closest dangerous dog was the Rottweiler at just about 9%. Clearly, with a full half of dog attacks resulting in hospital visits involving just pit bulls, which made up only about 2% of the dog population at that time, they are a dangerous breed.

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology did a 15-year study on fatal dog attacks in the state of Kentucky which showed that pit bulls were among three breeds responsible for more than half of the dog attack fatalities in that state.

The Annals of Surgery did a 2011 study which shows that pit bull attacks are associated with higher fatalities rates, a higher risk of death, and higher hospital costs than attacks by any other dog breed. The study’s authors concluded that U.S. mortality rates associated with dog attacks may be substantially reduced by strictly regulating pit bulls.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this five-part series for more opinions about what the truth is as relates to pit bulls.

–Guest Contributor


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A Pre-Schooler in Tomball, Texas, is Viciously Attacked by the Family Pit Bull – Part 4

Monday, July 21st, 2014

A campsite in Tralee, Ireland, with Campers an...

A campsite in Tralee, Ireland, with Campers and Caravans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Survivors of pit bull attacks often have horrible scars, permanent injuries, and medical expenses that they can’t begin to afford, especially when plastic surgeries are needed. DogsBite.org wrote in great detail about a woman who was viciously attacked by a pit bull when she was visiting a friend at an East Texas RV park. Besides the fact that she has scars comparable to a severe shark attack, she has been unable to get any type of satisfaction in holding others responsible for the circumstances which resulted in the pit bull attack.

Research of the incident shows that the pit bull was tethered by a rope that was about 20 feet long and had access to three different RV spaces. The woman who was attacked was standing between RV lots when the dog seemed to come out of nowhere to attack her.

The woman said that as quick as lightning, the pit bull bit just above the left knee. She fell down, and the dog bit harder and started growling and shaking her, like a dog with a toy. Two friends tried to pull the dog off of her, but the pit bull held onto his grip. When the dog finally let go, he immediately bit her on the lower part of the leg. Her left leg had huge gashes, and she was trying to stop the bleeding.

The scars the woman had as a result of the attack are nothing short of shocking, and she almost lost her left leg. Her efforts to get help with medical expenses have been completely fruitless. The only action she seems to have left is to try and warn people about what can happen as a result of a pit bull attack.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this continuing series for more opinions about what the truth is as relates to pit bulls.

–Guest Contributor


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A Pre-Schooler in Tomball, Texas, is Viciously Attacked by the Family Pit Bull – Part 3

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Beautiful Pit Bull

Beautiful Pit Bull (Photo credit: Tobyotter)

On the DogsBite.org website, there is plenty of information to support the viewpoint that certain breeds are dangerous and should be banned from family communities. The first myth that they tackle about dogs is that the owner is the real problem and not the dog; they feel that pit bulls and other dangerous dogs are the crux of the problem.

The slogan which claims the problem is the owner and not the breed perpetuates the problem of dog attacks by dangerous pit bulls and other dangerous dogs. The website claims that pit bull breeders and owners are the ones being protected rather than the the individuals who are exposed to serious injury or death in vicious dog attacks that often occur without any warning whatsoever.

Pit bulls genetically have a bite style that involves holding on with tenacity and shaking. This behavior inflicts horrific maulings on victims and sometimes results in death.

Many appellate courts do not dispute that genetic traits render pit bulls dangerous to society. Many courts have agreed that pit bulls are a significant danger in society. Genetic traits that are often cited in these judgments include tenacity or refusal to give up in a fight, high tolerance for pain, aggression that is unpredictable, and the “hold and shake” bite style. The bites of pit bulls have been compared to shark bites in forensic medical studies.

The most notable argument is that pit bulls killed 176 people in the U.S. from 2005 through 2013, and 52% of the fatalities involved a family member in the household where the pit bull lived.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series for more opinions about what the truth is as relates to pit bulls.

–Guest Contributor


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A Pre-Schooler in Tomball, Texas, is Viciously Attacked by the Family Pit Bull – Part 2

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

English: A Chihuahua protecting its bone. Phot...

English: A Chihuahua protecting its bone. Photographer’s blog post about this image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some municipalities in the U.S. have determined that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous,” and the breed is banned. The ruling always goes against the opinion of the majority of animal advocates and dog experts, though there is a general admission that the matter is complex. Pit bulls were specifically bred for fighting; and the illegal activity of dog fighting involves almost exclusively the use of pit bulls.

The pushback in communities that ban pit bulls raises the issue that science doesn’t support the action. One study determined that the top three biters of human beings are three small breeds: Jack Russell terriers, Chihuahuas, and dachshunds. It’s important to point out also, however, that the bites of pit bulls cause more damage than any other type of dog bite, even breaking bones and causing other internal damage because of their powerful jaws.

There was an effort in the 1990s to promote the good qualities of pit bulls. As part of the initiative, they named socialized pit bulls as “St. Francis terriers.” The campaign was suspended, however, because adopted pit bulls kept killing housecats and engaging in all sorts of other behaviors that could not be considered saintly.

Pit bull advocates argue that all across the nation countless pit bulls are well trained, highly socialized, and don’t do harm to anyone. They further point out that strong and aggressive dogs need to be appropriately managed. Ultimately, the owners are pegged as the real problem.

See Part 1 and this continuing series for more opinions about what the truth is as relates to pit bulls.

–Guest Contributor


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A Pre-Schooler in Tomball, Texas, is Viciously Attacked by the Family Pit Bull – Part 1

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Picture of an American Pit Bull Terrier

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

In Tomball, Texas, a 4-year-old recently sat down to eat breakfast when she was suddenly and viciously attacked by the family dog, a pit bull. The child’s cheek has a substantial scar now, and her lip was partially torn in the pit bull attack. The dog has since been euthanized, and the family is seeking help with the medical cost of having needed plastic surgery so that Laura’s scar isn’t so pronounced.

Is there any way the family could have seen this attack coming, even if there had been no previous signs of aggression? Many people believe that simply owning a pit bull is to invite the potential for a serious dog attack. Dogsbite.org is a website devoted to pointing out the danger of various breeds, especially pit bulls. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), however, takes a strong stance that the owners are the chief factor behind pit bull attacks, not the dogs themselves.

The ASPCA also points out the following myths about pit bulls:

  • Do pit bulls really have “locking jaws?” No, they do not. The anatomy of their jaws is not unique. However, they are powerful dogs with very strong jaw muscles. Pit bulls also have a tendency to bite and hold on with remarkable tenacity.
  • If a pit bull attacks a dog, does that mean people will be targeted next? Research shows that pit bulls that are aggressive toward other canines are not more likely to be aggressive toward people. Some well-known fighting dogs are considered completely trustworthy with human beings.
  • Are pit bulls actually gentle angels that can be trusted alone with other animals? It is best not to leave pit bulls alone with cats and other pets. Pit bulls were bred to fight with other dogs; and even if they do not start fights with other animals, they consistently do a good job of finishing fights.

See this continuing series for more opinions about what the truth is as relates to pit bulls.

–Guest Contributor


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Two People are Charged with a Deadly Dog Attack in Harris County, Texas

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Art in the Square Vicious Dog

Art in the Square Vicious Dog (Photo credit: Mark Turnauckas)

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced that two people have been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal pit bull attack that occurred on January 5.

The deadly dog attack occurred in southeast Houston at 2 a.m. on Glen Prairie near Lenora. The victim was Christina Bell, who was in her 40s. She was viciously attacked by at least two pit bulls and died at the scene. A second person, who heard screaming and went to her aid, was also injured by the dogs and received medical treatment at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. A third person was also injured but they were minor injuries that did not require a hospital visit.

Neighbors said that the attack involved three dogs, two of which were pit bulls picked up by their owner prior to the arrival of the police. The third dog was believed to be a stray and was taken into animal control custody.

Anderson told reporters that the laws regarding dangerous dogs have changed. In the past, there had to be proof that an owner was aware that a dog was dangerous. Currently, however, what has to be proven was that the owners did not secure their dog; and he says that has been accomplished in this case. Anderson also said that there is a history of violence of the dog owned by the people charged with a deadly dog attack. Their dog had killed another dog and attacked at least two other people before the night of Bell’s death.

Anderson outright stated that the people arrested are being made an example of, in an effort to keep people safe from the actions of irresponsible pet owners. Those charged could be sentenced to between 2 and 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

–Guest Contributor


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A 5-year-old is Viciously Mauled by a Pit Bull in San Antonio, Texas, Where Dangerous Dog Investigations Have Recently Doubled

Friday, June 13th, 2014

English: A female brindle American Pit Bull Te...

English: A female brindle American Pit Bull Terrier at Carolina North Forest in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 5-year-old boy in San Antonio, Texas, was viciously mauled by a pit bull recently as he played in the courtyard of his apartment building. San Antonio Animal Care Services (ACS) Field Ops Manager Shannon Sims said the case is going to the District Attorney’s office for review because of all of the surrounding facts about the dog and because the child will be scarred for life as a result of the pit bull attack.

Sims pointed out that dogs over 25 pounds are not even allowed at the apartment complex where the boy was attacked. In addition to that, the dog was tethered to a clothes line in a public area, and the pit bull was not being supervised by its owner.

A neighbor who went to the child’s rescue said the dog was relentless in his attack of the boy. He said prying the pit bull’s jaws from the hold on the 5-year-old required all of his strength.

Authorities with ACS said the child had gashes and bites on his face, chest, and buttocks and had to be hospitalized for treatment of his severe injuries.

The pit bull’s owner has been cited for not getting a license with the city for her pet, for not getting the dog a rabies vaccination, and for a dog bite. Felony criminal charges against the owner are possible.

San Antonio has had nearly double the number of investigations regarding dangerous dogs within less than a three-year period. In 2012 there were 35 dangerous dog cases reviewed, in 2013 there were 42, and in 2014 so far this year there have already been 60.

–Guest Contributor


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A Man Orders his Pit Bull to Attack a Police Officer in Lubbock, Texas

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014


Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The police received multiple calls about a woman being assaulted by a man at Garden Apartments on 65th Drive in Lubbock, Texas, Thursday at about 4 a.m. Upon arrival at the scene, officers found that a 19-year-old man was shoving a 23-year-old woman. When officers tried to intervene in the struggle, police say the man commanded his female pit bull to attack an officer. The officer was bit on the back of the thigh as the man began fighting with the police officers and trying to gain possession of their weapons.

As officers were trying to subdue the man, the woman tried to stop police as they were handcuffing him. Both the man and woman were arrested.

The officer who was bitten by the pit bull received treatment at University Medical Center. The pit bull’s owner was also injured in the incident and treated at that hospital.

Numerous charges are filed against the pit bull owner, including assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, taking an officer’s weapon, and aggravated assault on an officer. In addition, the man was found to be in possession of a packet of synthetic marijuana. The woman has been charged with interfering with a public servant.

The pit bull is currently in the custody of Lubbock Animal Control.

It is very alarming that a pit bull owner would encourage his dogs to attack a person. Pit bulls have powerfully strong jaws, and it can be extremely difficult to stop a pit bull attack. The dogs are known by many to be wonderful family dogs, but there are many occasions in which the case is made that pit bulls are as much a public menace as their irresponsible owners who fail in their duty to keep others safe from their pet.

–Guest Contributor


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