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 Toddler Fights for His Life Following an Attack by a Pack of Dogs

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

A Rottweiler in Sesimbra, Portugal.

A Rottweiler in Sesimbra, Portugal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 2-year-old boy is seriously injured after being attacked by three family dogs on Monday. Authorities say the incident happened at about 11:30 a.m. in Aberdeen, North Carolina. The child was outside with his aunt at first. The aunt then went back into the house, for the purpose of checking on another child. While she was inside the house, the toddler wandered over to where one of the three dogs belonging to the aunt was tethered by a chain. The dogs viciously attacked him. Deputies said all three dogs had blood on them. The 2-year-old suffered severe injuries to his neck and head, and he was transported by helicopter to UNC Hospital. At last report, he was in very serious condition. Animal control picked up all three dogs.

This tragic accident can serve as an important reminder that it’s dangerous to have small children with dogs unless there is supervision. With summer just starting, it’s an excellent time for parents to teach their children how to avoid a dog attack. When children are out to play more frequently, the potential of encountering a stray or loose dog is increased.

Responsibility lies first with dog owners. It’s against the law in probably every city in Texas to let dogs run loose. In areas outside city limits, there often isn’t the same protection provided by such a law. When owners disregard the law, however, no one can be truly safe. Large dogs pose the greater danger because they can do more harm. If children encounter dogs while running, shouting, and playing, it’s reasonable to assume that the dogs could end up becoming agitated or biting because of the prey instinct to give chase to someone running or riding their bicycle away from them.

Learn more about children avoiding a dog attack in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

 

 

 

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Dallas Woman Mauled by Pack of Dogs Dies from Injuries – Part 2

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

3.5 year old Brindle Pit Bull Terrier

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

Antoinette Brown, age 52, died on May 9, 2016, a week after being mauled by a pack of dogs in Dallas, Texas. People in the area where she was attacked heard her screams and called police. One neighbor said that anytime someone tried to approach the victim, to help, the dogs turned on them. The mayor admitted, after the incident, that the city has not given the issue of loose dogs the priority it demands. He has since suggested a policy overhaul as far as how the city handles reports of aggressive dogs. The chief of police stated that the owner of six dogs involved in the fatal attack could face charges, but none have been filed as yet.

Texas laws do not take into account the clear history of violence among the pit bull breed. There have been many pit bull owners killed in recent history in the U.S., none of whom suspected that they were in danger. Other people, such as children walking in their neighborhoods, have also been killed by pit bulls. In addition, other breeds have suddenly killed on occasion. And yet, with all of the available data showing that dogs previously thought to be gentle suddenly take a human life, Texas has a “so-called” one-bite rule. No matter what a dog does, such as kill a person, if there is no clear evidence that the owner had prior knowledge of a vicious tendency, there is no criminal punishment. In civil court, a Texas judge set a precedent, saying that a dog owner is not liable for injuries caused by their dog if there was no prior knowledge of vicious behavior.

Leash laws are in place in cities and municipalities throughout Texas, but there is little that would serve to inspire dangerous dog owners to be especially careful to protect the public from their potentially vicious dogs.

There is no doubt about it. Dog laws need to change in Texas.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Woman Mauled by Pack of Dogs Dies from Injuries

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Rottweiler

Rottweiler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antoinette Brown, age 52, died on May 9, 2016, a week after being mauled by a pack of dogs in Dallas, Texas. People in the area where she was attacked heard her screams and called police. One neighbor said that anytime someone tried to approach the victim, to help, the dogs turned on them. The mayor admitted, after the incident, that the city has not given the issue of loose dogs the priority it demands. He has since suggested a policy overhaul as far as how the city handles reports of aggressive dogs. The chief of police stated that the owner of six dogs involved in the fatal attack could face charges, but none have been filed as yet.

Of the incidents in Texas tragically resulting in dog attack fatalities since 2015, most involved more than one dog. Brown, who died this month from over 100 dog bites, is the only such 2016 fatality in Texas. There were five Texas deaths in 2015.

  • Betty Wood, age 78, was killed by the family Rottweiler on March 12, 2015, in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
  • Brayden Wilson was killed by the family pit bull in Dallas, Texas, on April 19, 2015; the infant was only 10 weeks old.

The other 2015 dog attack fatalities in Texas involved two or more dogs, which seems that it should bring into question the dangers involved with dog packs roaming our streets.

  • Gaege Ramirez, age 7, was killed by five mixed-breed dogs in Canyon Lake, Texas, on May 2, 2015.
  • Norberto Legarda, age 83, died in Pecos, Texas, on July 2, 2015, after being attacked by three pit bulls belonging to his daughter’s neighbor.
  • Tanner Smith, age 5, died in Vidor, Texas, on October 18, 2015, after being mauled by two pit bulls belonging to a family friend.

Learn about Texas dog bite laws in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

 

 

 

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Graphic Video Shows an 8-year-old Girl Mauled by a Pit Bull

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Daddy

Daddy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last Wednesday 8-year-old Gabby Jones was walking to school when a neighborhood pit bull viciously mauled her. A security camera captured the disturbing pit bull attack on video. The dog approached Gabby on the sidewalk from behind, and she said she thought the dog would continue walking by. Instead, the dog jumped on her, dragged her down by her hands, bit her face, and tore an ear and one of her legs. Fortunately, rescuers immediately rushed to her aid. Reportedly, there were more people standing nearby videoing the attack with their phones. Only two of the witnesses helped. Gabby had to get stitches and will require surgery, according to her mother.

This savage attack occurred in San Bernardino, California. Pit bulls are exhibiting the same type of deadly behavior in Texas and across the country. Advocates of the breed are passionate in their refusal to acknowledge that the dogs are too dangerous to exist in society without stricter guidelines and penalties against owners, in the event someone is harmed. Banning pit bulls would be the best way to protect society because the “irresponsible owners” blamed for the fatalities that occur approximately every 14 days in the U.S. are apparently everywhere.

Pit bull advocates claim that the media is biased against the breed. A look at the known fatalities caused by pit bulls tells a different story. This year nine people have been killed by pit bulls, and the total number of fatalities caused by dogs so far in 2016 is 11. Because this statistic is similar to recent years, it’s obvious that pit bulls are different from all other breeds combined. It’s time to create new laws that will protect the public from pit bulls.

–Guest Contributor

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A Pit Bull Goes on a Horrific Rampage, Biting Multiple Children on a Playground

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Staffordshire Bull Terrier during dogs show in...

Staffordshire Bull Terrier during dogs show in Katowice, Poland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Staffordshire bull terrier aka pit bull created bloody chaos this week, attacking multiple children at a playground. Approximately 30 children were at the Blythe playground in Northumberland when the pit bull dashed inside the fenced area, seemingly out of nowhere. One of the victims said that at first the children laughed at the energetic dog, but suddenly the pit bull seemed to snap and viciously went for one victim after another. A 12-year-old girl said she climbed on some equipment, but the dog jumped up and latched onto her leg. Although she kicked at the dog, crying and screaming, it did not let go for what seemed like a very long time.

Children knocked on a man’s door to tell about the dog attack, and the man was the father to one of the children at the park. He said the scene was horrific, with children screaming and howling. The man was able to restrain the dog first by sitting on it and then by tying it to a fence.

Three of the children trapped in the park who had been bitten in the pit bull attack were hospitalized overnight. Among them was a 7-year-old girl who will probably need surgery and skin grafts, as part of her medical treatment.

Another neighbor who lives directly across from the park said that she saw the dog running around very quickly, biting every child he passed. The neighbor said she saw the dog bite one small child on the shoulder. She described the scene as “bedlam.” Her own daughter was one of the victims and was bitten on the thigh.

The 37-year-old woman who is believed to be the owner of the pit bull was arrested on suspicion of having a dangerously out-of-control dog.

Although this took place in England, it could very well happen here in Texas. Pit bulls are a popular type of dog in the Lone Star State, in spite of dangers associated with the breed.

–Guest Contributor

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Dog Bite Lawyer for Fort Worth – May 15-21, 2016, is National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

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

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

Every year in May statistics are released about the number of postal workers attacked by dogs in the previous year in the U.S., followed by National Dog Bite Prevention Week. In 2016, the annual focus on avoiding dog bites is the week of May 15 thru 21. With summer soon-coming, when more children are playing outdoors in neighborhoods, it’s a great time for parents to review dog safety tips with their children. Postal carriers, children, and the elderly are the three groups most vulnerable to dog bites. Every year there are more than 4.5 million dog bites in the U.S. Many dog attacks result in serious injuries, including maiming, disfiguration, and amputation. Approximately 30 people are killed by dogs every year, which is about every 12 days.

Some animal experts believe most dog bites are preventable. The following are dog bite prevention tips from dog trainer Michael Baugh:

  • Puppies should be socialized from the time they are young to understand that humans are not a threat. Baugh highly recommends socialization classes. Proper socialization helps to prevent incidents of a dog biting a person or another animal when off-leash, whether at home or away from home. However, if a dog seems frightened or overwhelmed, it is best to guide him away from people, to avoid a bite incident.
  • Dogs should be well-trained in simple commands such as “sit,” and “down,” and coming when called.
  • Baugh encourages dog owners to train their dogs to gently touch an outstretched human hand. This type of training can prevent dog bites. Giving a dog a specific task such as gently touching a hand with his nose helps dogs feel safe around humans. Whenever a dog touches a hand, as instructed, he should be rewarded with a treat.

Learn more safety tips on how to prevent a dog bite in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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Animal Attack Lawyer – Texas Ranks a Distant Third in Dog Bite Claims – Part 2

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Daddy

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

State Farm has released its annual report on dog-related claims. In 2015, Texas had 165 claims. California ranked first with 383 claims totaling $18.3 million. Illinois ranked second with 338 claims at $11.2 million. The total State Farm paid in 3,100 dog-related injury claims across the U.S. was the highest ever, at $118 million. There were four more State Farm claims in Texas related to dogs last year, but the payout this year was much greater, jumping from $2.8 million to $4.9 million.

Injuries inflicted by dogs can be fatal. Research by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides injury-related dog bite statistics. About 43.2% of the time, hospitalization related to a dog bite involves subcutaneous tissue and skin infections. About 22.1% of the time, open wounds of extremities required hospitalization. Approximately 10.5% of the time, a hospital stay was required due to open wounds of the trunk, neck, and head. Other top diagnoses included upper limb fractures, infective osteomyelitis and arthritis, crushing injury or internal injury, septicemia, and lower limb fractures.

Victims of dog attacks almost always suffer psychological injury to some extent, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This means that fear of another dog attack is common and, in some victims, never goes away. The horror of a dog attack can be relived as a result of walking through a park or visiting the home of a dog owner.

Dogsbite.org provides an example of psychological damage. A pit bull belonging to a neighbor charged into a woman’s garage as she was cleaning her car out. The dog went straight for her 7-month-old child, and she quickly placed the baby in a garbage can, to protect him. The mother also used her arm as a shield. The pit bull relentlessly attacked. By the time help arrived, her arm had been shredded. As a result of the horrific incident, she moved and was still afraid to go outside four months later. She was also dealing with mounting medical bills. This is one of countless incidents in which the dog owner’s insurance would hopefully help a victim deal with expenses related to an attack.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Man Allegedly Attacks his Girlfriend with a Pit Bull, a Deadly Weapon – Part 6

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Titanpit

Titanpit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man in Houston, Texas, allegedly used his pit bull to attack his girlfriend.  As a result, authorities charged him with assault with a deadly weapon. The more you know about pit bulls, the more you know that it makes sense to classify the breed as a deadly weapon. Pit bulls are too dangerous to be considered the same type of pet as other dog breeds.

It is confusing to many people that pit bull advocates seem undeterred from their stand that the breed is just fine, no matter what sort of horror occurs. One of the most shocking cases in the U.S. occurred in August of 2011. A young woman was part of a pit bull advocate group. She owned a female pit bull, and her husband adopted a rescue pit bull. The couple chose not to neuter the rescued male, even though it was the recommendation of the advocate group. When the woman was in her sixth month of pregnancy with her first child, her husband got home during the lunch hour to discover his wife dead on the floor, with the male pit bull standing over her. The other dog was in the corner, obviously frightened.

In spite of the brutal death, the husband strongly advocated for pit bulls shortly after his wife and unborn child were killed. He didn’t blame the dog and said pit bulls are the most loving breed of dog he has ever owned. What further shocked the nation was that he went so far as to announce plans to put the cremated body of the pit bull that killed her in his wife’s casket.

The battle to pass breed-specific legislation seems more difficult to win when even the family members of those killed by pit bulls take the dogs’ side. Many victims who are seriously injured in pit bull attacks also continue advocating for the breed.

Learn more about why it is fitting to refer to a pit bull as a deadly weapon in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Man Allegedly Attacks his Girlfriend with a Pit Bull, a Deadly Weapon – Part 5

Friday, May 13th, 2016

English: A 12 year old American Staffordshire ...

English: A 12 year old American Staffordshire Terrier (FCI registered). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man in Houston, Texas, allegedly used his pit bull to attack his girlfriend.  As a result, authorities charged him with assault with a deadly weapon. The more you know about pit bulls, the more you know that it makes sense to classify the breed as a deadly weapon. Pit bulls are too dangerous to be considered the same type of pet as other dog breeds.

Since this series has been in progress, a ninth person has died as a result of a pit bull attack this year in the U.S. Adonis Reddick, age 45, was a courageous man with developmental disabilities. He owned two pit bulls. Family members checked in on him on May 9, 2016, after not hearing from him for a few days. Inside of his home, they discovered his lifeless body; and his two pit bulls were roaming the house. Police were called to the scene, and one of the pit bulls was uncontrollably aggressive. Officers shot that dog to death, and the other was taken into the custody of animal control. According to the medical examiner, Reddick was killed as a result of perforating and penetrating dog bite wounds to his neck.

Obviously, children as well as grown men are in danger of death in a pit bull attack. The breed has a powerful network of advocates that never seem to change their minds about pit bulls, no matter how many people are killed.

Learn more about why it is fitting to refer to a pit bull as a deadly weapon in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A 9th Person is Killed by a Pit Bull in the U.S. in 2016

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Deutsch: American Staffordshire Terrier Deutsc...

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

On Monday morning, May 9, 2016, 45-year-old Adonis Reddick was found dead in his home in St. Louis County, Missouri. Reddick’s body had been discovered by two relatives who were checking on him, having not heard from him since Saturday. When police went inside the home, one of Reddick’s two dogs, both pit bulls, was behaving aggressively and couldn’t be controlled. Officers were forced to shoot the dog, and it died. The other pit bull was taken into the custody of animal control. Initially, the cause of Riddick’s death was unknown, though police described it as “suspicious.” On May 10, the county medical examiner determined that the cause of death was perforating and penetrating dog bite wounds to the neck. County authorities believe the aggressive pit bull was responsible for Reddick’s death.

Most of the nine victims of fatal pit bull attacks this year were the dogs’ owners. This statistic is similar to last year, when 27 people were killed by pit bulls and approximately half were owners or from the same household.

It is past time for the red flags to be up and for laws to change. People need protection from pit bulls, whether the blames lies with the dogs or with irresponsible owners or a combination of both. Three people were killed by pit bulls in January, one in February, three in March, and one in both April and May. As of the 11th of May, 1 person has been killed by a pit bull every 14.6 days this year.

The statistics are really alarming when you examine injuries caused by pit bulls, in addition to fatalities. Physicians literally say that a pit bull attack is similar to a shark attack.

Ironically, just last month in April, a new state law passed in Missouri, where this latest pit bull fatality occurred. The new law prevents local governments from enacting breed-specific ordinances. About 24 jurisdictions in Missouri have ordinances that are now nullified with the passage of the bill. In other words, rather than increasing protection against pit bulls, whatever protection was there, at least in Missouri, has been nullified.

–Guest Contributor

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