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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

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 ‘Rabies’

An El Paso, Texas, Animal Control Officer is Attacked by Stray Dogs

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

English: stray dogs from kozhikode,kerala,india

English: stray dogs from kozhikode,kerala,india (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An animal control officer was attacked by three dogs Thursday when she responded to a call about stray dogs in a Northeast El Paso trailer park. The incident happened at about 3:20 p.m. The animal control officer managed to radio for help as the dog attack was in progress. El Paso police quickly arrived on the scene of the dog attack, and one dog was shot and badly wounded.

The breed of the dogs wasn’t mentioned in the report about this story. Because of the shooting involved, the El Paso Police Department is handling the investigation into the incident. It is standard practice for the Police Department’s Shooting Review Team to investigate all officer-involved shootings.

The animal control officer suffered bites to her right forearm and to her left leg below her knee. She was transported by ambulance to a hospital.

Communities across Texas are inundated with stray animals, and a lot of the problem has to do with pet owners who can no longer afford to care for their pets. There are even times when dogs begin to act in a threatening manner and, in complete disregard for the safety and well-being of others, the reckless owners dump the dogs to save costs of handling the situation responsibly.

In addition to the threat of being bitten by stray dogs, there are other health risks, such as the following:

  • Stray dogs are more likely to be exposed to rabid animals in the wild. Rabid dogs cause more rabies deaths in humans than any other animal. Every year over 20,000 people in India die as a result of exposure to the rabies virus, and the vast majority of them are infected with rabies from dog bites. Many of these rabies victims are children.
  • Stray animals negatively impact animals in the wild and the environment.
  • Stray dogs that wander onto roadways are endangered, but they also put people in vehicles at great risk for being killed in an accident.

–Guest Contributor



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A Deputy Kills a Dog on the Attack in Lufkin, Texas,

Friday, September 19th, 2014

English: LEMOORE, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2007) - Mas...

English: LEMOORE, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2007) – Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Jacob L. Pinkas handles Arco, a Navy working dog, while she demonstrates an attack maneuver on Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Joe R. Campa Jr. During his visit, MCPON spoke with several of the dog handlers assigned to the security detachment aboard Naval Air Station Lemoore and was able to train with some of the working dogs. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Julian T. Olivari (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A deputy police officer in Angelina County, Texas, shot a dog at a residence Tuesday evening. The deputy was on a disturbance call on Hughes Street in Lufkin. He went to one residence and learned that a person involved in the incident had gone next door. The officer spoke to the other party at the other home. As he was preparing to exit the home, a large dog bit him on the leg. The dog then tried to bite the deputy again, and the officer shot the dog, killing it. The deputy was treated at a Lufkin hospital for minor wounds. The dog’s remains are being tested for rabies, to determine whether the officer needs to take post-exposure rabies vaccinations. The dog’s owners witnessed the dog attack the police officer and, according to Sheriff Greg Sanches, had no complaint about their dog being shot.

Police officers frequently kill beloved pets in the line of duty, and many families end up suffering from their loss. Dog shootings are especially egregious when the incidents are random and the family affected had no involvement in the related police activities. Because of an increase in the number of dogs being shot by police, many police departments in Texas have begun training their officers on ways to avoid killing pets.

Austin police officers are currently scheduled for training about how to identify the difference between a playful dog and a dog that is on the attack, as a way of reducing the number of dogs that are shot.

At a cost of $12,000, by month’s end, 1,700 police officers in Austin will have attended a four-hour training course, which will include tips on reading dog body language.

–Guest Contributor


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Austin Dog Bite Lawyer: 75% of the Dogs in a New Braunfels, Texas, Shelter are Euthanized Due to Disease – Part 2

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

English: Close-up of a dog's face during late-...

English: Close-up of a dog’s face during late-stage “dumb” paralytic rabies. Animals with “dumb” rabies appear depressed, lethargic, and uncoordinated. Gradually they become completely paralyzed. When their throat and jaw muscles are paralyzed, the animals will drool and have difficulty swallowing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The deadly rabies virus is well under control among the dog population in the United States because of laws requiring pets to be vaccinated. Rabies is a fatal disease. Humans infected with rabies can survive if they receive post-exposure vaccinations before symptoms of the disease are manifested. Wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes typically start outbreaks of rabies. Dogs that stay in the yard are more susceptible to rabies exposure than indoor dogs. To help prevent rabid animals from coming near, keep dog food put away at night and keep trash covered. The following are signs and symptoms of rabies in a dog:

  • Friendly dogs may become irritable.
  • Excitable dogs may become docile.
  • Any form of stimulus could lead to a bite or snap, which could be directed at a human, animal, or inanimate object.
  • Constant chewing, biting, or licking at the site of the bite (though exposure can also come through saliva of an infected animal.)
  • Possible fever.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weakness.

When the disease progresses, some or all of the following symptoms may occur:

  • Paralysis of the throat.
  • Hypersensitivity to light, sounds, and touch.
  • Eating unusual things.
  • Hiding in dark places.
  • Aggression.
  • Foaming at the mouth.
  • Paralysis of the jaw and throat muscles.
  • Disorientation, staggering, and incoordination resulting from paralysis of the hind legs.
  • Seizures.
  • Sudden death.

See Part 1 and this continuing series for more information about dog viruses.

–Guest Contributor


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A Man is Bitten by a Pack of Dogs in Corpus Christi, TX; the Dogs are Being Tested for Rabies

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Meet Bosco (1)

Meet Bosco (1) (Photo credit: shinealight)

A man was attacked by a pack of dogs in Corpus Christi, Texas, Wednesday morning. He suffered minor injuries, but officials say it could have been much worse. The man was actually walking the same route he does every morning. The dogs that attacked him were familiar to him; he usually sees them locked in a warehouse. On Wednesday, the medium-sized dogs were loose and attacked him, ripping his pants. The man says a Good Samaritan helped him get free of the dogs; no further details were provided.

One animal control officer and two police officers worked to capture the dogs; they turned out to be a mother dog and five of her grown puppies. Corpus Christi Police Department Lt. Karl Wright believes the mother dog was being overly protective, and that’s why she went on the attack. Capturing the dogs turned out to be a challenge and backup was summoned. The dogs will be tested for rabies.

Lt. Wright stresses the importance of keeping dogs properly contained on the owners’ property. Even dogs that don’t seem aggressive can instinctively attack due to natural protective instincts.

One of the most alarming potential dangers of a dog attack is the possibility of contacting the deadly rabies virus. Dogs that run loose can easily be exposed to wild animals with rabies, such as skunks, bats, foxes, and raccoons. Then the dog can bite humans and pass the virus on to them. If it can’t be confirmed one way or another whether a dog that has bitten someone has rabies, it’s essential that the bite victim have post-exposure rabies shots, just in case.

Rabies affects the body’s central nervous system. Headaches, fever, discomfort, and general weakness are among the early symptoms of rabies. As rabies progresses, the person may experience confusion, excitation, anxiety, insomnia, and fear of water. Once the latter symptoms appear, death typically occurs within a few days.

The vaccine for rabies must be given before symptoms of the disease manifest.

–Guest Contributor


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Dog Bite Lawyer: Corpus Christi, Texas, Animal Control Reports Dog Bites on the Rise

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Brown Dog

Brown Dog (Photo credit: mstabbycat)

According to Corpus Christi, Texas, Animal Control, there has been an increase in the number of animal bites in the city. Officials urge citizens to report all bites for the purpose of helping to protect public health. The potential threat of rabies is very real, which is the number one concern.

James Schneider of Corpus Christi was recently bitten by a stray dog and said the experience was alarming because of the possibility of contracting rabies. The bite he received left him with a small scar, but his real concern was whether or not that dog was infected with the deadly rabies virus. He and his brother were able to capture the dog and have it tested for rabies.

Heather Hedrick, who is with Animal Control in Corpus Christi, indicated that you can’t overstress the importance of reporting every dog bite. She points out that if the correct treatment isn’t taken when needed, contracting rabies results in death 100% of the time.

This year in Corpus, more than 500 reports of dog bites have resulted in quarantines of hundreds dogs. The animals are checked each day numerous times, to check for any signs of illness or rabies. If the animal is not available for rabies testing, it is crucial for the bite victim to have post-exposure rabies shots.

A new online bite form is now available in Corpus Christi which allows Animal Control to more quickly address the issue of capturing dogs and other animals involved.

–Guest Contributor



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Residents in Killeen, Texas, are Warned about the Rabies Virus Found in Skunks – Part 5

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Patient with rabies, 1959

Patient with rabies, 1959 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any warm-blooded mammal can get rabies, which includes humans. The way people are infected with rabies is through exposure to the saliva of a rabid animal, whether through a bite, a scratch, or if the saliva gets into a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

There have been cases of people being exposed to rabies without knowing it. Bats, for example, have small teeth that are sharp and do not always leave a visible puncture wound; and there may not be any pain at the site of the bite. These are other scenarios in which a person may unknowingly be exposed to rabies:

  • If the person’s bare skin comes into contact with the bat’s head or other body part while not looking at the bat.
  • A bat is discovered in a room with a person who is asleep.
  • A bad is discovered in the room of a child who was unattended.
  • Bats have been found near children who were playing outside without supervision.
  • Anytime a bat is found indoors in the above situations, it should be captured and tested for rabies because there is a reasonable probability of exposure.

The incubation period between when a person is exposed to rabies and when symptoms appear is normally between two and eight weeks, though incubation periods of a year and more have been reported. The following are among the symptoms of rabies in humans:

  • Early on, symptoms include headache, fever, irritability, and sometimes pain or itching at the site of exposure.
  • Within a few days, the rabies disease progresses to convulsions, spasms of the throat muscles, paralysis, delirium, and death.

For more information, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this ongoing series, which will include information about treatment for rabies.

–Guest Contributor

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Dog Bite Attorney: Residents in Killeen, Texas, are Warned about the Rabies Virus Found in Skunks – Part 3

Friday, June 6th, 2014

English: A spotted dog from Kalimpong, West Be...

English: A spotted dog from Kalimpong, West Bengal, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Signs and Symptoms of Rabies in Dogs

Some of the initial signs that a dog has contracted rabies include:

  • Extreme changes in behavior, such as timidity and restlessness, which are sometimes compounded by aggressiveness.
  • Dogs that are normally friendly may become irritable.
  • High-energy, excitable dogs may become docile.
  • Any form of stimulus could cause an infected dog to snap or bite.
  • The dog may chew, bite, and constantly lick the site where the bite occurred.
  • Possibly a fever.

As the rabies virus progresses in a dog, he or she may:

  • Become hypersensitive to sound, light, and touch.
  • Hide in dark places.
  • Eat unusual things.
  • Develop paralysis of the throat, sometimes followed by paralysis of jaw muscles.
  • Foam at the mouth.
  • Stagger and exhibit incoordination and disorientation.
  • Develop paralysis of the hind legs.
  • Become weak.
  • Have seizures.
  • Experience loss of appetite.
  • Die.

The animals most at risk for a rabies virus infection are unvaccinated dogs who roam freely without supervision. These dogs are exposed to animals in the wild and have an increased chance of getting into a fight with infected stray cats or dogs.

For more information, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this ongoing series, which will include signs and symptoms of rabies in humans.

–Guest Contributor




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Residents in Killeen, Texas, are Warned about the Rabies Virus Found in Skunks – Part 2

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Rabies virus

Rabies virus (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

Because a rabies-infected skunk was found in Killeen and three dogs were exposed to the virus, residents of the city have been asked to take these safety precautions:

  • Keep all pets’ rabies vaccinations current.
  • When children and pets are outside, be sure they are supervised by an adult, even in fenced areas.
  • Do not approach a wild animal, and do not touch one.
  • Do not leave out water or food that might attract wild animals.
  • Watch your pets for any signs of rabies symptoms.
  • If you see a sick or injured animal or any type of abnormal animal activity, report it to the Killeen Animal Control Unit by calling 254-526-4455 during normal business hours; after hours call 254-501-8800.

Rabies is a deadly virus that results in death among humans almost 100% of the time, if post-exposure vaccinations are not administered prior to signs of rabies being manifested in the person exposed. The virus is passed on to animals or humans when they are exposed to bodily fluids such as the blood or saliva of the infected animal.

In Bell, McLennan, and Coryell counties this year so far there have been a total of 22 cases of animals being confirmed to have rabies.

See Part 1 and this continuing series for more information, including signs and symptoms of rabies in dogs and humans.

–Guest Contributor

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Residents in Killeen, Texas, are Warned about the Rabies Virus Found in Skunks

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Pet skunk in kitchen

Pet skunk in kitchen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday of this week, the Killeen Animal Control Unit was notified by the Texas Department of State Health Services that a skunk found in the area tested positive for the rabies virus. The skunk was found on Greyhouse Drive on Saturday, in the 4500 block. Officers with Killeen Animal Control responded to a call about a skunk being chased from a residential yard by a dog. A bit later another call reported that the skunk was dead in another backyard in the neighborhood. The skunk was sent to be tested for rabies at the Texas Department of State Health Service, Austin Laboratory.

Once the Texas Department of State Health Services learned that the skunk was rabid, it was decided that handouts would be distributed in the area where the skunk was found. Nearby residents were made aware of the incident and the associated hazards and were advised on safety procedures.

Part of the incident involved three dogs which had contact with the rabid skunk, and all three of the animals have been put down.

See this continuing series for more information about rabies and how to avoid exposure to the deadly disease.

–Guest Contributor

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A Man is Southeast Houston, Texas, is Severely Injured in an Attack by Pit Bulls – Part 4

Monday, May 12th, 2014

English: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Steve Ha...

English: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Steve Hanks, a military working dog handler with the 55th Security Forces Squadron, hoists Ada up in the air after she clamped down on a bite sleeve as part of a working dog demonstration Oct. 20, 2010, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The demonstration was part of a base tour for high school and college students ready to enlist in the Air Force. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year about 880,000 victims of dog bites go to emergency rooms for medical treatment. Having a dog in the home increases the risk of being bitten. The age group most likely to be bitten, as compared to all other age groups, is children between 5 and 9 years of age.

Medical care may not always be necessary following a dog bite, although it can sometimes be very difficult to determine what sort of damage has occurred to structures underlying the skin. An exception is that infants and children should always be evaluated following a dog bite.

If there has been no puncture wound and the abrasion is minimal, it may be sufficient to watch for indications that the wound has become infected. Before seeking medical care for a minor bite, watch for pain, warmth, swelling, redness, and drainage of fluid or pus.

When seeking medical attention, it is important to determine two things: the victim’s tetanus status and the dog’s rabies immunization status. If rabies therapy is needed, it is essential that it begin as soon as possible, since a person will almost certainly die if treatment is not issued before actual signs of having contracted the rabies virus are evident. In cases where an unknown dog has attacked and the dog is not available for testing, rabies treatment is a must.

Health care professionals will typically do an exam to determine whether tendons, muscles, bones, or nerves have been damaged by the dog bite.

Besides cleansing the wound, sutures may be necessary, though sutures increase the possibility of infection. On parts of the body where the skin is less visible, wounds are usually allowed to heal before suturing for aesthetic reasons.

When facial wounds and other serious injuries are involved, dog bite injuries may be treated in an operating room, since prolonged anesthesia may be needed for treatment.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series for information about what to do if a dog attacks.

–Guest Contributor



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