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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’

A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog – Part 8

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

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

Three-day-old Sebastian Caban was killed by the family dog, a pit bull mix, on Thursday night, April 21, in San Diego, California.

Pit bulls were the family dogs in four of the eight fatal pit bull attacks that occurred in the U.S. this year. It is an ongoing statistic, that half of the victims killed by pit bulls are owners or family members of the owners. If dog owners fully realized not only this statistic but the fact that a pit bull kills someone in the U.S. approximately every 14 days, would they still be advocates of the breed?

What about the argument that the owners of the dogs that kill are the ones responsible? Apparently, the country is full of irresponsible dog owners, or these fatalities wouldn’t be happening. If cities attempting to be conscientious can’t overcome the controversy regarding pit bull bans, perhaps there should be an approach that provides a deterrent for pit bull owners. Perhaps state legislation would be required, but if dog owners had to automatically serve time in jail if their dog seriously injured or killed someone, things would probably change.

Insurance companies have already taken action to protect their interests. Oftentimes, homeowners are unable to get insurance coverage or get affordable insurance coverage if they own a pit bull.

The point is that if someone besides the dog has something to lose if another person gets hurt, the motivation might be there to protect others. Allowing a pit bull in the home with loved ones while also having an awareness of the danger of the breed is difficult to understand. It makes sense if people don’t truly understand, since there isn’t appropriate media coverage to reveal how dangerous pit bulls are.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7 of this eight-part series.

–Guest contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog – Part 7

Friday, April 29th, 2016

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

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

Three-day-old Sebastian Caban was killed by the family dog, a pit bull mix, on Thursday night, April 21, in San Diego, California.

On February 14, 2008, the city council of Madisonville, Texas, passed legislation banning pit bulls within the city limits. Those who already owned a pit bull were given strict guidelines to abide by and any puppies had to be removed from the city within 10 weeks.

The Interim City Manager at that time reported that no local complaints had been registered but that they had been inundated with out-of-town complaints. In fact, he said they were flooded without out-of-town e-mails and phone calls. Initially, the city council said they would stand their ground and keep the ordinance in place.

In March, 2008, a Madisonville meeting was held to address the continued controversy. Pleas from people who were not from the area were described as “endless.”

By July of ’08, the city council scrapped the pit bull ordinance. Pit bull advocates achieved that result. When asked why the pit bull ban was lifted, the only response given was something to the effect that responsible owners were penalized by the legislation.

What happened in Madisonville happens wherever the attempt is made to restrict pit bull ownership. Denver, Colorado, has what DogsBite.org calls the “model ordinance.” The city has stood firm on its pit bull ban, even when federal authorities tried to interfere. Of the 700 cities with breed-specific legislation, seven of them are Colorado cities with pit bull bans.

In Texas, only the city of Garland has breed-specific legislation, and it restricts but does not ban pit bull ownership.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this ongoing series.

–Guest contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog – Part 6

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

English: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

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

Three-day-old Sebastian Caban was killed by the family dog, a pit bull mix, on Thursday night, April 21, in San Diego, California.

It is truly frightening, when you consider the circumstances surrounding the many pit bull fatalities that have occurred just in recent days. What triggers pit bulls to attack and to do so viciously enough that a human being is killed? For 86-year-old Bessie Flowers of Charlotte, North Carolina, it is believed that she was attacked by pit bulls because she tripped over a dog bed on March 28, 2016. After she stumbled over a pit bull’s bed, the two pit bulls of the household immediately began “playing with her.” Flowers’ daughter, who owned the dogs, saw that the play quickly turned to violence. She called 9-1-1 to report that her dogs were hurting her mother. Flowers died at the scene. The cause of death was blunt force neck injuries resulting from a dog attack, according to the medical examiner’s office. The daughter did not want to surrender the dogs to authorities, but animal control seized the dogs and they have been euthanized.

Dog lovers who are advocates of pit bulls are truly passionate and easily ignore violent episodes. Violence is dismissed as entirely the fault of irresponsible owners. The daughter in this case, who wanted to keep her dogs even though they were responsible for the death of a family member, is no different from many other pit bull owners in the same situation.

When officials in a city move to ban pit bulls, in recognition of the dangers posed by the breed, they face a firestorm of controversy. In the next segment, learn about a city in Texas that passed breed-specific legislation targeting pit bulls and then withdrew the ordinance, due to opposition.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this ongoing series.

–Guest contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog – Part 5

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Español: Pit Bull Terrier Americano Hembra.

Español: Pit Bull Terrier Americano Hembra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three-day-old Sebastian Caban was killed by the family dog, a pit bull mix, on Thursday night, April 21, in San Diego, California.

Pit bulls are dangerous to humans, when you consider that a person in the U.S. is killed by a pit bull approximately every 14 days since January 2015. The breed is recognized as being dog-aggressive. The selective breeding of pit bulls for the purpose of fighting has resulted in the breed being highly aggressive toward dogs and other animals. It is widely known that pit bulls should never be left alone with another animal, including another dog.

On this dog-aggression level, pit bulls are known to cause harm. The same level of understanding needs to become prevalent as regards human-aggression of pit bulls. In some fatal pit bull attacks, the human victim is killed while trying to protect a pet. This is the type of scenario that occurred when 83-year-old Norberto Legarda was attacked and fatally wounded by three pit bulls In Pecos, Texas, on July 2, 2015. Legarda was helping his daughter, who was away, by going into her backyard to feed her Labrador retriever. When he entered the yard, three pit bulls belonging to a neighbor attacked and killed him. Witnesses called 9-1-1, and the dogs were still attacking the elderly man when police arrived. Police officers said they believe Legarda was probably trying to protect the Labrador when he became the target of the brutal attack.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this ongoing series.

–Guest contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog – Part 4

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Pitbullmacho

Pitbullmacho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three-day-old Sebastian Caban was killed by the family dog, a pit bull mix, on Thursday night in San Diego, California.

Pit bulls are a class of dogs that include the following breeds: American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog, and any other mixed breed or pure bred canine that is a combination of these breeds.

Pit bulls were originally bred in England more than a thousand years ago for the purpose of bull baiting, a blood sport that was a national British pastime during that era. By 1835, bull baiting was banned, due to public outrage. Pit bulls were then cross-bred with terriers to increase agility for the new sport called “ratting,” in which wagers were made regarding how many rats a dog would kill in a certain period of time. The next blood sport utilizing pit bulls was dogfighting, which continues in the U.S. today, though it is illegal in all 50 states. The breed is favored for dogfighting far above all other breeds. The following are reasons pit bulls are ideal for dogfighting:

  • Pit bulls are very loyal to their owners. (This so-called fact is belied by the reality that half of the victims of fatal pit bull attacks are the dogs’ owners.)
  • Dogfights take an average of 45 minutes. Pit bulls can go the distance and have been known to continue fighting for up to five hours.
  • Pit bulls are able to withstand a great deal of pain and continue biting. During many attacks on humans, would-be rescuers often try to harm the pit bull so that the attack will stop. The breed has been known to continue attacking even after being stabbed, struck repeatedly with large objects, and shot.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this ongoing series.

–Guest contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog – Part 3

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Daddy

Daddy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three-day-old Sebastian Caban was killed by the family dog, a pit bull mix, on Thursday night in San Diego, California.

There is a critical need for children to be protected from pit bulls. The first person who died this year as a result of a pit bull attack was 9-year-old Tyler Trammell-Huston. The tragedy occurred in Linda, California. Tyler was in the foster system, and a half-sister was being considered for placement. Sacramento County Child Protection Services (CPS) began allowing Tyler to have overnight visits, in spite of the fact that she kept three pit bulls in the home and had no working toilet. Laura Badeker, Tyler’s aunt, warned CPS repeatedly that the boy wasn’t safe in the home with the pit bulls. Her pleas were ignored.

When the fatal pit bull attack occurred, Tyler had been left alone with the dogs for hours. When his sister returned home, she discovered that the dogs had attacked him and he was suffering from life-threatening injuries. Tyler was transported to Rideout Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead soon after his arrival.

Another element of this incident highlights the fact that pit bull advocates are often unbending in their viewpoint even after a family member has been savagely killed by the breed. There is a lot that is misunderstood about pit bulls, but not in the way advocates would suggest. Pit bulls were bred to execute a fatal bite and for purposes of explosive aggression.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in Part 1, Part 2, and this ongoing series.

–Guest contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog – Part 2

Monday, April 25th, 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)

A 3-day-old newborn baby was killed by the family dog, a pit bull mix, on Thursday night in San Diego, California.

With one exception, each person killed by a pit bull or pit bull mix this year was either an infant, a child age 7 or 9, or a senior citizen. Another of this year’s pit bull fatalities was a 36-year-old woman. What is happening to cause this widely loved breed to cause a fatality approximately every 13 days? Pit bull advocates claim it’s all the fault of owners. Since the failure of owners ends a life approximately 27 times per year, shouldn’t there be stricter demands at least on owners so that they have incentive to keep the general public safe?

One problem with the idea of making sure pit bulls don’t run loose is that such actions don’t protect the family members. Last year, about half of the 27 people killed by pit bulls were the owners or at least members of the household or family.

Another baby killed by a pit bull this year was 15-month-old Payton Sawyers. Her babysitters said they woke to the baby crying and found that their pit bull was biting the baby on the head. The sitters have since been charged with second-degree murder and drug-related charges. It is always dangerous to leave a baby or a small child alone with a dog, particularly a breed with powerful jaws and a reputation for being dangerous.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in Part 1 and this ongoing series.

–Guest contributor

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A 3-day-old Baby is Killed by the Family Dog

Monday, April 25th, 2016

A 3-day-old newborn baby was killed by the family dog on Thursday night in San Diego, California. When the fatal dog attack occurred, the parents were lying in bed watching television with their only child, the infant, and their American Staffordshire terrier-mix, a type of dog also referred to as a pit bull mix. The mother coughed, which startled the dog. The pit bull mix then bit the newborn, which the parents never expected would happen. They pulled the dog off of their baby and called 9-1-1 twice with no immediate answer. They then rushed to their vehicle and drove to a nearby hospital, where the newborn was pronounced dead.

The director of the county Department of Animal Services, Dan DeSousa, said that after a 10-day quarantine to determine whether or not the pit bull mix has rabies, the family can reclaim the dog, if they want to.

Since this horrific incident, there has been a lot of discussion about the fact that the emergency dispatchers failed to quickly answer the calls. Perhaps it is more appropriate to talk about the shocking death of an infant because the family trusted their pit bull mix.

Not everyone is aware, but pit bulls and pit bull mixes are deadly animals. They frequently kill humans, and fatal attacks are almost entirely launched without provocation. This year alone, eight people have been killed by pit bulls or pit bull mixes in the United States. Last year there was a new record in pit bull fatalities. Twenty-seven people were killed by pit bulls in the in 2015.

Perhaps the word about pit bulls isn’t out because of media handling. According to DogsBite.org, there is ample evidence that there is a cover-up regarding the danger of pit bulls. Advocates of the breed feel that owners are responsible in every case and are passionate in asserting their viewpoint.

Learn more about fatal pit bull attacks in this ongoing series.

–Guest contributor

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Two Aggressive Pit Bull Incidents Occur in Three Days – Part 5

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Titanpit

Titanpit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In two Illinois cities, two pit bull attacks occurred this week — one on April 12, 2016, and the other on April 14. In Boulder Hill, a pit bull mix that had a history of terrorizing the neighborhood, including biting people, was shot and killed when it showed aggression. In Paris, a pit bull broke a chain to attack a girl and the person who rushed to her aid, both of whom were seriously injured. The head of the Paris animal shelter made a keen observation, which was that making sure pit bull attacks never happen is the only safe way to deal with them.

In spite of the startling statistics showing pit bull attack fatality rates in a category all their own, there is only one city in Texas that currently has breed-specific legislation, according to DogsBite.org.

Madisonville City, Texas, previously legislated a pit bull ban. Among the reasons given for the now inactive breed-specific legislation are the following:

  • Although pit bulls do not have “locking jaws,” as has widely been rumored, they do have a deadly combination of very strong jaws plus an instinct to hang on with remarkable and devastating tenacity. Pit bulls are widely known for continuing to bite victims even while pain is being inflicted upon them by would-be rescuers. There have been recent incidents in which pit bulls were shot or stabbed and yet still would not let go of the hold on their victim.
  • Pit bull bites have a tendency to tear away flesh. Attacks by this breed often result in the need for victims to have multiple plastic surgeries.
  • Pit bulls are uniquely dangerous because of their genetic predisposition to aggression combined with their strength, stamina, and agility.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this five-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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Two are Sentenced after their Pit Bull Killed a 71-year-old Woman

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

American Pit bull Terrier (Schatzi)

American Pit bull Terrier (Schatzi) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Annie Williams, age 71, was the victim of a fatal pit bull attack on July 12, 2015. In the residential neighborhood of Shaker Heights in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Williams had just exited her vehicle to pick up her grand-daughters when a pit bull belonging to two people at the residence viciously attacked her. One neighbor witnessed the horrific attack through her window and said the onslaught lasted about 10 minutes. Another neighbor shot the dog, in an attempt at rescue. The dog ran to the backyard, where it died. Williams was transported to a nearby hospital and was pronounced dead later that day.

Williams had suffered crushing injuries and wounds to her throat, neck, and body, which the county medical examiner said was the cause of death. In connection with her death, the owners of the dog were both sentenced by a judge this week. Leon Morton has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars. He gets credit for 106 days of time served since his July arrest. Bobby Green, his mother, has been sentenced to two years of probation. She cannot own a dog during that time.

The family of the deceased expressed that they had hoped for more severe punishments.

Unfortunately, it is rare for dog owners to pay the price for their irresponsibility which leads to serious or deadly dog attacks.

Texas laws allow for several causes of action in relationship to dog attacks. Dog owners whose pets injure or kill others might be charged with causing a dog bite as a result of violating an animal control law, failing to halt a dog attack in progress, harboring a dog known to be vicious, and/or negligence.

–Guest Contributor

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