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’

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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A 3-day-old Baby Girl and a 53-year-old Woman Die from Separate Pit Bull Attacks on Monday – Part 2

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

3.5 year old Brindle Pit Bull Terrier

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

The 4th day of June was the first of two deadly days in the same month in which two people in the U.S. were killed by pit bulls. As on June 27, the two victims were an adult and a child or infant. Another correlation was that the adults were both visiting a friend who owned pit bulls, and the friends’ dogs fatally attacked. Also, both children were killed by a relative’s pit bull(s).

Hunter Bragg, age 7, was at a relative’s home in Corinna, Maine. There were eight dogs living at the residence. One of the dogs was the pit bull that attacked and killed Hunter as he was outside playing with two other children. Investigators discovered that the dog responsible had previously belonged to the owner’s daughter and had killed one of her other dogs, a beagle.

Earl Stephens, Jr., age 43, of Stockton, California, was helping a friend repair a scooter in the friend’s front yard. Both men went inside the home together. Stephens then went back outside by himself to retrieve something from his car when one of the friend’s pit bulls brutally attacked him. Two other dogs also got involved with the mauling. Two people from inside the home heard the commotion and tried to rescue him, and both were injured in the process. Officers were called, and the pit bull that initiated the attack was still being aggressive. Officers shot and killed the dog. The injuries Stephens suffered were massive, and he died that day.

Word about these four pit bull fatalities needs to be made public. June 2016 should be a turning point when pit bull advocates begin to see the difficult and painful reality that the breed truly is too unpredictable to put friends, families, and themselves at risk.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby Girl and a 53-year-old Woman Die from Separate Pit Bull Attacks on Monday

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Daddy

Daddy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Fresno, California, on Monday, June 27, 2016, a three-day-old baby girl was killed by family dogs. Two Shar Pei-pit bull mixes attacked and killed the newborn after her mom left her alone on the couch and went outside. The mother said she believed the dogs were chained up outside. She said she left the door open because it was hot outside. The only other person at home was the mother’s brother, who owned the pit bull mixes. The dogs were surrendered to the Central California Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). An SPCA spokesperson said the dogs will be euthanized. The fatal dog attack is still under investigation. Investigators say charges have not been ruled out. However, early on, authorities said they believed it was an unfortunate accident.

It is always unsafe to allow infants and small children to be alone with any kind of dog.

Special care should always be taken where pit bulls are concerned. On June 27, two people in the U.S. actually died as a result of pit bull attacks. The infant mentioned above and a 53-year-old woman from New Haven, Connecticut. The two are the 13th and 14th victims killed by pit bulls this year.

The attack on the New Haven woman, like the incident with the newborn, seems to be as horrific as any dog attack could be, based on statements made by the witnesses, who were offered counseling. Two pit bulls belonging to a friend she was visiting attacked the woman so savagely, she lost both of her ears and her eyes in the attack. Her neck, throat, and facial injuries were severe. One of her legs was amputated, due to the severity of the injuries, and an arm was scheduled to be amputated, as well.

Pit bulls and pit bull mixes commit fatal attacks approximately every 14 days in the U.S., and that has been true at least since January of 2015. Our laws need to change in order to protect even pit bull lovers from the breed, considering that the owners are the fatal victims about half the time.

This is the second day in June 2016 in which two people died as a result of two separate pit bull attacks. Learn more in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Neighborhood is Shaken Up after Pit Bulls Attack a Mom and Baby – Part 7

Monday, June 27th, 2016

English: Second dogs first smile. Happy Pit Bull.

English: Second dogs first smile. Happy Pit Bull. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two male pit bulls went on the attack at about noon on Monday in a Green Bay, Wisconsin, neighborhood. A mother and her 15-month-old baby were seriously injured, but authorities say the injuries aren’t believed to be life-threatening. The mother was walking with her infant in front of a house where the two pit bulls are usually kept in the basement. Someone let the dogs out, the pit bulls’ owner says. Jim Williams, a neighbor, looked out of his window, saw the shocking unprovoked pit bull attack, and immediately ran to help. He said he would beat the dogs, pull them off, and they would continue to viciously attack the two victims. The relentless attack finally ended when police arrived.

Sadly, this series will end on a horrific note, with news of another pit bull attack. On June 20 in New Haven, Connecticut, 53-year-old Jocelyn Winfrey was visiting the owner of two pit bulls when the dogs savagely attacked her. Neighbors quickly ran to give aid to her upon hearing her screams. Children were witness to the gruesome scene and tried to stop the attack by throwing rocks. Words to describe the attack are simply too graphic to express, in consideration of the family.

Winfrey is in a medically induced coma. One of her legs has been amputated as a result of the pit bull attack. She has lost both of her eyes, and doctors believe an arm will also need to be amputated. She is hanging onto life by a thread. Doctors say her condition is extremely grave. Witnesses to the attack are being offered counseling. It is expected that the pit bulls will be euthanized.

In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this seven-part series, learn more evidence that pit bulls are a threat to society and should be banned or strictly regulated.

–Guest Contributor

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A Neighborhood is Shaken Up after Pit Bulls Attack a Mom and Baby – Part 6

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Daddy

Daddy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two male pit bulls went on the attack at about noon on Monday in a Green Bay, Wisconsin, neighborhood. A mother and her 15-month-old baby were seriously injured, but authorities say the injuries aren’t believed to be life-threatening. The mother was walking with her infant in front of a house where the two pit bulls are usually kept in the basement. Someone let the dogs out, the pit bulls’ owner says. Jim Williams, a neighbor, looked out of his window, saw the shocking unprovoked pit bull attack, and immediately ran to help. He said he would beat the dogs, pull them off, and they would continue to viciously attack the two victims. The relentless attack finally ended when police arrived.

As published on the DogsBite.org website, various surgeons, doctors, and other medical professionals who are considered experts in treating victims of pit bull attacks have the following things to say (not direct quotes):

Expert David A. Billmire, MD, who is a specialist who has served at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Division of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery speaks about the dangers of pit bulls in strong, convincing terms. He says that there is absolutely a breed-specific problem, as far as dog bites are concerned. He said that at a certain point in time, roughly 25 years ago, dog bite wounds began to be disturbingly different than previously. Rather than wounds being warning bites, the attacks were unprovoked, relentless, and often involved multiple dogs. He says that a pit bull or a pit bull mix was responsible in each of these alarming scenarios. One of the common wounds is that flesh is torn from the victims. He points out that there are plenty of dog breeds that peacefully coexist with humans in society, and there is no need to be exposed to the danger of unpredictable pit bulls.

In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this continuing series, learn more evidence that pit bulls are a threat to society and should be banned or strictly regulated.

–Guest Contributor

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