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’

Are More Regulations Needed to Protect the North Texas Public Against Dog Bites? – Part 2

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

English: A German Shepherd dog Polski: Owczare...

English: A German Shepherd dog Polski: Owczarek niemiecki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is another dog bite incident that made the news this year, and it took place on Sunday:

  • Jason Blackerby is very active in the out-of-doors with his family of four in Bellevue, Nebraska, which makes the dog attack he suffered on Sunday even more alarming. Blackerby was jogging alone when two dogs belonging to a neighbor began running at him on the street. He suspected that an attack was eminent, and he tried to fend the dogs off. He managed to keep one of the dogs away, but the other bit his arm through three layers of clothing, latching on determinedly. Blackerby and his wife are both concerned about what may have happened if the victim had been a child, theirs or someone else’s. He is aware of at least two prior instances when the dogs showed aggression, and he believes that at least the dog that bit him should be removed from the neighborhood. The dog has been declared “potentially dangerous.” If the dog is caught running loose without a muzzle, the dog will be removed from the owner and the owner will not be permitted to own a pet for four years.

The laws in Texas do not include banning an irresponsible dog owner from owning a pet for any amount of time. Since owners are blamed for the actions of aggressive dogs, maybe the Nebraska law is one that should be considered in Texas, for an added incentive to protect the public.

See Part 1 of this continuing series about recent dog attacks in the U.S. In the next segment, read about a fatal pit bull attack that occurred yesterday, taking the life of a toddler in Florida.

–Guest Contributor


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An Infant is Seriously Injured by a Dog Known to be Dangerous – Part 2

Friday, January 16th, 2015

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)

Dog breed-specific legislation (BSL), which is most often aimed at pit bulls, is frowned upon by most dog experts and is hotly contested in whichever location it is introduced. Those that defend pit bulls are every bit as passionate on the issue as those that are convinced the breed is too much of a danger to society. Some studies have focused on the fact that human behavior should be the focus of solutions. The premise is that the best long-term solution to dangerous dogs is to address human behavior.

What about attributes of the dog, though? Shouldn’t that be considered, since the potential for harm is extreme among pit bulls? It was found in Denver, Colorado, where pit bulls have been banned, that pit bulls are uniquely dangerous, including to their owners. Also, when you combine a pit bull’s strength, agility, and stamina with genetic predisposition for aggressive behavior, they are a danger, particularly when not trained or raised properly.

A study revealed two human-related problems associated with pit bulls. First, pit bulls are the breed most frequently used and abused for purposes of dog fighting. Secondly, there are breeders who produce aggressive dogs for people involved with dogfighting. But the fact that pit bulls are deemed uniquely dangerous when improperly trained or raised is even part of Denver’s ordinance shows that a dog’s genetic makeup can easily be exacerbated by irresponsible owners.

Pit bull advocates argue that the core of the pit bull problem is irresponsible ownership. They encourage legislation not that bans pit bulls but that encourages responsible dog ownership that is applicable to all breeds.

Read Part 1 of this two-part story.

–Guest Contributor



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An Infant is Seriously Injured by a Dog Known to be Dangerous

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Poncho, a 1.5 year old brindle Pit bull mix pl...

Poncho, a 1.5 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing, showing teeth, looking crazy. Poncho, who was hit by a car last year, was a friendly and gentle dog with people, other dogs, and cats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three dog bite incidents occurred in the past few years with a particular dog, a pit bull mix. Last week in Florida, that same dog bit a 10-month-old boy in the face. The infant was transported by medical helicopter to a nearby hospital to receive treatment for extensive facial injuries. The dog has since been ordered by a judge to be euthanized, but the family could take steps to keep the dog. Before this incident with the baby, the dog was on record for having bitten three children previously. Was there not already plenty of evidence that the pit bull should not be trusted around children or babies?

Of course, dog owners don’t usually expect that their little ones will be harmed by the family dog. It’s like the saying that hindsight is 20/20. But all too often dog lovers seem to be in denial about the potential for harm posed by their dog, even with abundant evidence. When it comes to pit bulls and pit bull mixes in particular, there is a growing body of evidence that the dogs are dangerous, plain and simple.

Experts, even in the face of statistics showing the damage and fatalities caused by pit bulls, maintain that training is the problem and not the breed of dog. Perhaps a better way to look at the argument is that dog owners must be responsible enough to ensure that the pit bull or mix they own is receiving the proper training and care and is being restrained well enough that others, even in their own households, are not in danger.

Read more abut pit bulls and pit bull attacks in this continuing story.

–Guest Contributor



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Rio Grande City Family Fights for Protection Against Pit Bulls

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lillie Herrera and her family are in a struggle to find safety against pit bull attacks in their neighborhood in Rio Grande City, Texas. A neighbor has two aggressive pit bulls that have repeatedly been allowed to run loose, and Herrera has already been bitten twice while walking her 4-year-old and 5-year-old to the school bus stop. The bites occurred in December, and the dogs have apparently not been kept under control.

Officials in Rio Grande City have spoken about the situation. From their point of view, animal control is complicated because animals are like members of the family. There is nothing complicated about the issue for Herrera. She has the scars, the police report, and the medical records to show that the pit bulls in question are dangerous.

Since the December attack, Herrera’s father has walked the children to the bus stop. He brings a long stick for protection, and last week he says he was threatened by the dogs twice.

The owners of the pit bulls had their pets returned to them after a quarantine period following the initial dog attack. At that time, they signed an agreement that they would not allow the dogs to run at large. Apparently, they have not kept that agreement.

At this time, the pit bulls and three puppies are all in ten-day isolation. A judge will decide whether the dogs must be removed from the city or whether they can again be returned to the owners. The Herrera family is simply hoping that they will no longer have to concern themselves with fending off vicious dogs.

–Guest Contributor


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A State Law is Passed Preventing the Banning of Specific Dog Breeds – Part 2

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Português do Brasil: Bull-mastiff brasileiro

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

A visit to Dogsbite.org may be enough to convince anyone that pit bulls and other breeds can be vicious and deadly. To make a case for dog breed-specific legislation (BSL), one could look at, for instance, some of the dog bite fatalities of 2014 that occurred in Texas alone. It is disturbing to see photos of the victims and the dogs that killed them, but the stories say a lot. The following are a few examples:

  • On January 5, Christina Bell of Houston, Texas, was brutally attacked  by three pit bulls at about 2 a.m. on the southeast side of the city. Neighbors heard her screaming and saw her lying in the street. One man who tried to help was also attacked. Bell died from her injuries. Two of the dogs’ owners were charged with a felony because there was prior evidence that the dogs were dangerous and they failed to keep the dogs contained.
  • In a horrifying incident on March 2, 2014, a bullmastiff escaped his owner’s garage and viciously attacked first an 8-year-old girl and then turned on a 2-year-old. As would-be rescuers watched helplessly, the dog dragged the toddler along the sidewalk. A neighbor fired a gun, after which the dog finally released the child. The 2-year-old died, and the 8-year-old was hospitalized with serious injuries.
  • On April 1, 85-year-old Dorothy Hamilton was mauled to death by two pit bulls. She had been caring for the dogs in her son’s absence, but the dogs attacked her after breaking through a bedroom door.

In spite of these and many more stories about deadly breeds, the majority of experts agree that the dogs themselves are not to blame and that owners have the lion’s share of responsibility when people are hurt.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor


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A State Law is Passed Preventing the Banning of Specific Dog Breeds

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

German Shephrd with Muzzle

German Shephrd with Muzzle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dog breed-specific legislation (BSL) is not statewide in Texas; but different municipalities throughout the state implement BSL, usually for pit bulls. There is a passionate debate about BSL that never seems to let up. People for it and against it across the U.S. have deep convictions, and sometimes the result is a change in laws. Last week in the state of Utah a new law took effect which prevents towns and cities from banning specific breeds of dogs. According to advocates for animal welfare, the action ends a form of legal discrimination.

The State Representative who authored the new law, Brian King, said that ten cities in Utah had ordinances banning the ownership of breeds perceived to be aggressive, including pit bulls. Those laws are now nullified, and cities are prevented from adopting legislation that targets certain dog breeds. King said that the new state law stops the action of singling out and stigmatizing specific breeds.

Animal advocates point out that any dog can become aggressive, no matter the breed. When dogs are aggressive, it is because of something with regard to their health or the way they were trained. It comes down to assigning blame on dog owners, including the responsibility of preventing dogs from being loose.

What’s interesting about this new law is that it prevents cities from banning breeds, whereas there are many efforts in Texas and other states to have a statewide law which bans pit bulls. In the past, German shepherds were often considered dangerous. Read this continuing series to learn about pit bull attacks that have occurred recently in Texas as well as statistics which seem to support the theory that pit bulls are inherently dangerous and the public needs protection from them.

–Guest Contributor


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A Texas Woman Dies Following an Attack by Five Foster Dogs

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Stray dog. Moscow

Stray dog. Moscow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sixty-four-year-old Rita Woodward, known as Rita Ross, was the victim of a fatal dog attack at her Corpus Christi home earlier this month. The coroner said her death was the result of a heart attack which occurred after being bitten by dogs multiple times. Woodward has been a faithful part of the dog rescue effort in the city called “For the Love of Strays,” and the dogs that attacked her were foster dogs that she was caring for. In accordance with Texas law, the five dogs that were staying at her home and believed to be involved in the attack were all euthanized. At least two of the dogs were pit bulls or pit bull mixes. There were 17 dogs total in her care when the tragic incident happened.

Keeping multiple dogs requires special considerations, in order to try to prevent dog bites and dog fights. The following are tips for safely managing the care of multiple dogs, though there are no guarantees against a dog attack, since even the most docile dogs sometimes bite:

  • Dogs require a minimum of 17 hours of rest, and they need a space in which they can get comfortable and calm. There should be no children bothering the dogs in their rest zone, and any noise should be soothing. Clean drinking water, a soft bed, and some toys are all that dogs need in their rest area.
  • Remember that dogs operate in a pack mentality, and you need to be established as the leader of the pack. See more about how to be the pack leader in this continuing series.
  • Provide the dogs with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, as well. Dogs are more well-balanced and well-behaved when they can expend their energy and enjoy mental challenges; they are also less likely to bite.
  • Feeding time is an essential consideration. The dogs should be fed separately and supervised during meal time. However, prepare all of the dogs’ food before beginning the process of serving them. Feed the youngest, the oldest, and the least healthy separately in a room behind a closed door or in a crate.
  • Provide dogs with the basic training of sitting and staying. Provide plenty of praise and rewards, including for good behavior.

In this ongoing series, read more about how to be the pack leader as a dog owner or dog foster parent.

–Guest Contributor


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Animal Control in San Antonio, Texas, Warns of Increase in Dog Attacks

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Antonio’s Animal Control Services (ACS) recently announced that the number of severe dog attacks in the city is climbing. Between October of last year and the present, eight dogs have been declared dangerous, which is double the number compared to the same time frame the previous year. Officials with ACS want people to be aware that during the holidays, the chances of being bitten by a dog are even greater.

Dog attacks can be deadly, and it takes seconds for a dog to do serious damage to a person. Last month a 9-year-old girl was on San Antonio’s west side and was walking to a relative’s house. A pit bull mix suddenly jumped on her, throwing her against a metal fence. The dog bit her leg and one of her hands before a neighbor stopped the attack. In those few seconds, the child’s ring finger was broken in three places and she suffered deep lacerations. Her hand has pins and stitches in it.

On December 6 in San Antonio, and 11-year-old girl was viciously attacked by a pit bull. The dog attack left her with gaping wounds on her chest and arms, and the child may lose one of her arms.

An 83-year-old woman was killed by two pit bulls that attacked her in her backyard in San Antonio, and the dogs’ owner has been indicted on the second-degree felony charge of a dangerous dog attack leading to death. The woman could be sentenced to up to two decades in prison, if she is convicted.

Learn why it is especially important to be careful about dog attacks during the holidays, in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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A Man in Harris County, Texas, is Severely Injured in a Relentless Pit Bull Attack

Friday, December 19th, 2014

An American Pit Bull Terrier muzzled. Español:...

An American Pit Bull Terrier muzzled. Español: Un Pit Bull Terrier Americano con bozal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday a man was strolling on Nanes Drive off of Interstate 45 in Harris County, Texas, when two pit bulls began relentlessly attacking him. Neighbors in the area and one of the dogs’ owners heard the man screaming and went to his rescue, which turned out to be extremely difficult to achieve. Although the dogs’ owner managed to pull one pit bull off of the victim, the second pit bull ignored the pounding he received by a would-be rescuer and continued ripping and chewing one of the victim’s legs. The man bravely continued trying to get the dog away from the victim, aware that he could himself become the victim at any moment.

The victim of the vicious pit bull attack was transported by ambulance to Ben Taub Hospital, where he was hospitalized, reportedly with severe injuries to one leg.

An investigation into the incident revealed that the pit bulls had escaped their yard by digging under the fence. One of the dogs’ owners admitted that the dogs had attacked a person before Wednesday’s incident, but his wife denied that the dogs had harmed anyone before. According to authorities, they have records showing that the pit bulls had previously been reported for attacking someone.

The owners of the pair of pit bulls have had the dogs euthanized, though the decision was not an easy one for them, sources say. Police expressed their belief that the owners did the right thing.

Pit bulls cause more serious injuries than any other breed of dog, and they are responsible for far more fatalities than any other breed.

–Guest Contributor


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A Great Dane Severely Mauls a 60-year-old Woman in Lavaca County, Texas

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Great Dane and Chihuahua mixed-breed

Great Dane and Chihuahua mixed-breed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Lavaca County, Texas, recently, a 60-year-old woman was attacked when she was trying to feed a Great Dane for a family member. She entered an outdoor pen for that purpose, and that’s when the dog attacked her. The dog attack victim was hospitalized in Lavaca Medical Center and then later transported by medical helicopter to a hospital in San Antonio. She was injured on her left arm, and her scalp was torn and bitten. The Great Dane was euthanized by the owners after the attack, and the incident remains under investigation by police.

While many dog lovers will strenuously defend Great Danes as extremely gentle dogs, they, like any other breed, can bite. Research was done based on dog bite fatalities, and Great Danes were the ninth most dangerous breed. Between 1979 and 1998, there were 7 fatalities attributed to Great Danes. The dogs are among the largest to be domesticated. Originally bred to be a hunting dog, the breed has a low prey drive. Their size, however, makes them an obvious threat to children as well as adults.

The most dangerous breed of dog, according to statistics, is the pit bull. In the same 20-year-period when Great Danes were responsible for 7 deaths, 66 deaths were attributed to pit bulls. While there is plenty of evidence to support the premise that pit bulls are inherently dangerous because of their aggressive nature, dog experts are adamant that there is no particular breed that is more dangerous than another if given proper care and training.

–Guest Contributor


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