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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 ‘Sheriff’

A Chained Dog Gets Loose and Viciously Attacks a Boy

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

My Dog Abby, taken by me in my back yard.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Carroll County, Indiana, on Thursday, April 13, 2017, a dog neighbors say is always chained in its yard was loose and brutally attacked an 8-year-old boy. The dog attack victim’s 12-year-old neighbor Raven McMurtie saw what was happening in the field near her home, went outside, and let out a scream that frightened the dog away. McMurtie said she immediately began crying and praying for her friend, whose arm was hanging, as though broken, and he had blood all over.

According to McMurtie’s mother, who also witnessed the dog attack, the dog was shaking the boy, dropping him, and shaking him again. They ran to his aid and found that the injuries went to the bone in at least three places.

McMurtie credited the boy with being tough and brave, assuring her that he was fine. The boy was quickly transported to a nearby hospital with what police said were serious arm injuries.

During an investigation of the incident, the attacking dog behaved aggressively toward a police officer, who shot the dog in the chest. The animal was transported by Clinton County animal control to a vet in a nearby city. The dog will be quarantined for 10 days, to watch for signs of rabies.

Other neighbors spoke about the dog. They said the dog has never been seen running free. It is kept chained all the time, and several people have reported that the dog often didn’t have food or water.

Reports have been done that indicate dogs are more dangerous after being cruelly chained for long periods of time. According to the State of Texas HB 1411, it is against the law in Texas to chain or tether a dog except in strict circumstances.

–Guest Contributor


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A Woman, Age 68, is Mauled to Death by Pit Bull Mix Dogs – Part 6

Monday, August 31st, 2015

English: Second dogs first smile. Happy Pit Bull.

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

The circumstances surrounding the fatal pit bull attack on 79-year-old Kenneth Ford of Pahrump, Nevada, are absolutely terrifying. The following is what happened in the March 13 pit bull attack and afterward:

Ford had been helping his neighbors by feeding his cats. The neighbor has a two-home property, and the tenant next door owned three pit bulls. The dogs were behind a six-foot fence, but they jumped the fence as Ford was feeding the cats. Two men heard Ford screaming for help as the three pit bulls brutally attacked him. Both men ran to Ford’s aid and were seriously injured by the dogs as they pulled him to the yard next door. Again, the dogs found a way through the fence and continued their attack on Ford. One of the men trying to save Ford finally went and got a shotgun. Even after shooting two of the pit bulls with the gun, all three dogs continued attacking. Finally, Ford was rescued from the dogs and transported to a nearby hospital. He died on April 14 as a result of the injuries suffered in the relentless pit bull attack. Immediately after the attack, law enforcement officers arrested the pit bulls’ owner. There was evidence that the pit bulls had a history of both being at large and of being aggressive.

Learn more about the danger of pit bulls in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this continuing series, which will include more specific examples of pit bull fatalities that have occurred recently here in the U.S.

–Guest Contributor


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A Dog Bites a Person in Harris County and Tests Positive for Rabies – Part 4

Friday, January 30th, 2015

English: three days old dog bite

English: three days old dog bite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though the odds of being infected by the rabies virus are remote, the possibility of being infected is very real and should be taken seriously. The following are suggested precautions for anyone who has been or suspects they may have been exposed to rabies:

  • Vaccinate dogs and cats that are your pets as well as any stray animals that you care for.
  • Do not handle or approach wild animals.
  • Never handle wild animals that appear to be sick. Contact animal control services, your veterinarian, or a wildlife rehabilitator if you see a wild animal that seems to be sick.
  • Immediately and aggressively scrub any bite wound with soap and water. If available, use betadine or antiseptic soap. Thoroughly flush the wound with water. Next, immediately go to an emergency room or to a doctor’s office.
  • Immediately get medical advice from health department personnel or a physician if a person is bitten by a wild animal or a dog that you think may have rabies.
  • Immediately seek advice from a veterinarian if your pet is bitten by a wild animal.
  • The animal should be captured and tested for rabies, if at all possible. Do not risk further bites, however; let professionals with animal control capture the animal.
  • If you find that a bat is in or has been in a room with someone who has been sleeping, assume that the sleeper has been bitten and proceed as though it were a known bite.
  • When post-exposure treatment is administered quickly and with extreme care, treatment is virtually 100% effective.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series for more information about the deadly rabies virus.

–Guest Contributor


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A 59-year-old Man is Killed by a Pack of Pit Bulls

Monday, November 10th, 2014

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing in bac...

1 year old brindle Pit bull mix playing in backyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seventy-seven-year-old Maria Fernandez is still recovering from being attacked by a pack of pit bulls in mid-October; but her 59-year-old son did not survive, after making it possible for her to escape. The California woman, who is grateful to be alive, said that first her son was attacked in the backyard by a neighbor’s pit bulls. She went after the dogs with a broom, helping her son escape to safety in a nearby shed. The dogs then turned on her. Her son then went to her rescue. She made it inside her home, bleeding profusely, and screamed for help. The next thing she remembers was hearing sirens approaching.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Juan Fernandez being attacked by three pit bulls; and another pit bull was nearby, circling. Police shot two of the dogs. The other two initially escaped but were later shot and killed when they charged police who were trying to capture them.

Maria suffered dog bites on her shoulder, head, and arms. Her leg was also broken. The cause of her son’s death was ruled as multiple traumatic injuries from a dog attack. According to investigators, the dogs made entry into the yard through a common fence.

Further investigation of the fatal dog attack revealed that there were more than 50 pit bulls at the residence where the four dogs involved in this incident lived. It is suspected that the dogs were used for dog fighting.

Of the 32 dog bite fatalities that occurred in the U.S. last year, three-fourths of them were caused by pit bulls. Two or more dogs caused approximately half of the fatalities.

–Guest Contributor


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Dog Attack Lawyer: A Woman is Attacked by a Dog in Uvalde, Texas — One of an Estimated 1,000 in the U.S. That Day

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014


dog (Photo credit: Irita Kirsbluma)

On June 11 a woman was collecting aluminum cans in Uvalde, Texas, along the East Freeway when she was attacked by a stray dog and possibly two strays. The attack was witnessed by a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy who was driving by. Other witnesses also saw the attack and were unsuccessfully trying to rescue the woman when the deputy walked up. The deputy shot the dog after instructing others to clear the area. The dog died and other dogs on the scene were taken into custody by animal control. The woman who was attacked was transported by ambulance to East Houston Regional Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

This attack barely showed up in the news and is one of an estimated 1,000 dog bites in the U.S. requiring professional medical treatment which occurred on that same day. Dog attacks are a very real threat, as evidenced by the fact that State Farm insurance reported that in 2013 alone they paid out over $104 million in dog bite claims involving 3,700 claims. Among the over $510 million paid in claims related to dog bites over the past 5 years, it is believed that the majority of them were preventable. Texas placed fourth among the 50 states, as far as highest amount of dog bite claims paid by State Farm in 2013; the total was $4.0 million for 207 claims.

As surprising as it may seem, the clear majority of dog bites are not caused by strays. Most people are bitten by either their own dog or a dog they are familiar with.

–Guest Contributor


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Police Shoot the Dog that Killed a Liberty County, Texas, Woman

Monday, July 8th, 2013

English: My Sweet Dog

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stories about law enforcement officials shooting family dogs unnecessarily are fairly common and raise a lot of complaints; but in the Houston, Texas, area a stray dog was shot and killed by police on Tuesday, causing many to breathe a sigh of relief.  On Monday, the dog in question killed 63-year-old Linda Oliver, who had been kindly feeding the stray for about two weeks.

Oliver was on the phone with her husband when the dog attack which killed her started.  He was an hour away and called 9-1-1.  Liberty County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at their residence, where the bloodied dog lunged at them.  A police officer shot the dog at that time, but the stray managed to escape into the woods.  When the police went into the home, they discovered Oliver lying in a pool of blood.  She was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Judge Barry Graves.  An autopsy was ordered by Graves.

Meanwhile, neighbors throughout that rural area were afraid to leave their homes, with such a dangerous dog on the loose.  Deputies warned people in the area to keep their children and pets inside until the dog was found.

Police began patrolling the area.  They were looking for a dog originally described as a pit bull and then later as a large black Labrador.  On Tuesday, residents who live about a half mile from the Oliver residence called the Sheriff’s office and reported that the dog was in the woods behind their home.  When the deputies arrived, the dog immediately charged at them.  An officer shot the dog twice, after which the dog was declared dead.  The shot which occurred the day before was evident on the dog’s neck area.

The animal’s remains are being sent for testing, to determine if the dog had rabies.

After the police shot the dog, some people left their homes for the first time since they heard tragic news of the fatal attack and the deputies’ warnings.

–Guest Contributor


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A Stray Dog that Killed a Woman in Liberty County, Texas, is on the Loose

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever (Photo credit: emildom75)

In Woodland Hills, a neighborhood outside of Dayton, Texas, police are asking residents to keep pets and small children inside until a dangerous dog is located and restrained or killed.  A large black mixed-breed Labrador killed a woman inside of her home on Monday.  The 62-year-old woman was on the phone with her husband when the horrific dog attack occurred.  Police went to the house and shot the dog in the victim’s yard, but he escaped.

According to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Linda Oliver was speaking to her husband on the phone when the family’s pet dog was attacked by a stray dog she had been feeding.  When Mrs. Oliver tried to stop the dog fight, the stray turned on her.  Her husband says that he heard his wife being attacked, and then the phone went dead.  He was in Pearland, about an hour away from home, when it happened.  Mr. Oliver called 9-1-1 and advised police officers to shoot the dog on sight.

An ambulance was sent to the Oliver’s home, and dispatchers kept Mr. Oliver on the phone while emergency crews went to the scene of the attack.  Deputies were met at the gate by a vicious long-haired black dog covered in blood.  As officers approached the house, the dog charged at them.  Deputy McQueen fired multiple shots at the dog, and he believes he struck the dog at least twice.  But the stray ran to the back of the yard, crawled underneath the fence, and disappeared into the woods.  When the police entered the home, they found that Mrs. Oliver was deceased.  The search for the dangerous dog continues as the neighborhood remains alert.

–Guest Contributor

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A Toddler Crawls through a Doggie Door and is Killed by Seven Pit Bulls

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Shiny white teeth of a 1 1/2 years old raw fed...

American pit bull terrier. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A dog attack story out of Ellabell, Georgia, has caught the attention of parents and grandparents across Texas and the U.S. A 1-year-old crawled through the doggie door of her home last week and was killed by her family’s seven pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Several adult relatives, including the toddler’s mother, were home when the horrific scene unfolded, according to a Georgia sheriff.

The first to discover what was happening was the toddler’s grandmother, investigators said. The grandmother heard the dogs barking as she was lying in bed. She looked out of the window and saw her granddaughter being dragged by the dogs and immediately recognized that the little girl was being killed.

An ambulance was called to the scene, but it was apparent to emergency personnel that the child was already dead when they arrived. The child’s diaper, shoes, and shredded clothing were scattered across the fenced yard.  The dogs were euthanized by animal control officers at the scene of the fatal dog attack, Smith said.

Among the people who lived in the two-story house with the dog attack victim were four family generations, including two uncles who are young boys and the 18-year-old mother.

The sheriff’s investigation found that at least three adults were inside the home as the child was being killed outside. Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith said that no charges had been filed as of Thursday, but he sees child neglect charges being filed, at a minimum.

Relatives explained that the dogs involved in the fatal attack were family pets, a female pit bull and six offspring born 16 months ago. The dogs were free to go in and out of the house through the doggie door.

Smith said that by all appearances the animals were well-fed and healthy. There were no signs that the dogs were used for fighting.

Family members said there had never been any signs of aggression before the attack, other than the possibility that one of the dogs may have killed a cat.

–Guest Contributor

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A Woman is Attacked by Six Pit Bulls in Odessa, Texas

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Picture of an American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Odessa, Texas, 54-year-old Anna Marie Salcido was attacked by six pit bulls in the 3700 block of West 10th Street on March 11, 2013. There had been numerous reports on the dogs previously, though no actual attacks until now. Because of their level of aggressiveness and the owner’s lack of control over the animals, it’s expected that all six of the pit bulls will be put down following the 10-day quarantine period.

Salcido was walking at 2 p.m. on the day she was attacked. Sgt. Sherrie Carruth with the Odessa Police Department said Salcido was injured all over her body and has undergone surgery as a result of the vicious dog attack.

The dogs’ owner has been cited because the pit bulls had no rabies shots or licenses and for having dogs at large. A 41-year-old woman was given a citation for interfering with a humane officer.

Following a serious dog attack, there is a limitation to what animal control officers can do. They can confiscate the dogs and issue citations. At that point the case is transferred to law enforcement officials, whether with the city or county.

Deputies with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office are in the process of determining whether the owner can be charge with a felony for this attack, according to Lt. Roddy Eaton. The situations which are considered felonies are if a dog is loose and makes an unprovoked attack off of the owner’s property or if a dog known to be dangerous previous to the incident attacks someone outside of a secured location such as a fence.

–Guest Contributor

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Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Texas, Acquires a Drug-Sniffing Dog

Monday, December 24th, 2012

English: A photograph of a German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In news out of Sherman, Texas, there is a new addition to the law enforcement team at the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office; and people who are involved with illegal drugs have something more to be worried about.  Thor is a 2-year-old German shepherd who was brought over from the Czech Republic about three months ago, and he’s the Grayson County Sheriff’s department’s new drug-sniffing dog.

It’s been about seven years since the deputies had the assistance of a drug-sniffing dog.  Investigator Mark Haning, who is chiefly responsible for Thor’s care, says that Thor has been trained to identify the odors of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamines.  Thor will be very helpful in the attempt to stop the trafficking of drugs which are moved north from Mexico.

Haning says that Thor is there with him if a suspicious-looking driver doesn’t agree to a search.  If the dog alerts the vehicle, Haning has probable cause to conduct a legal search.

The way Thor and other drug dogs are trained all begins when dogs are identified by their level of drive.  High strung dogs with a desire to play all the time are perfect for the job, and they don’t even realize they’re working.  Drug-sniffing dogs are happy when they identify the smells which help law enforcement officers because it’s like they win the game by identifying the secret location of the drugs.

Thor will be a great asset to the officers, and he is an addition to law enforcement which didn’t cost the taxpayers anything.  Thor was purchased with confiscated drug money.

–Guest Contributor


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