An 85-pound pit bull mastiff mauled a two-year-old girl’s face and upper body after she reportedly tried to feed it a treat. The unneutered dog named Fresh, was euthanized by Hillsborough County Animal Services after the dog’s owner stabbed the dog in the face to allegedly get him off of the toddler.
The child was taken to a local hospital where her conditions are unknown. A man and woman suffered injuries on their arms from the attack.
Officers cited the owners because they could not show proof of the dog’s vaccinations or tags. Officers said that charges are unlikely to be filed since the attack happened to a family member and not a stranger.
No previous problems with the dog or its owners were reported.
In the 3-year time frame of 2006 to 2008, pit bull type dogs reportedly killed 52 Americans and accounted for 59 percent of all fatal attacks. Together, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 73 percent of these deaths. Each day, an estimated 1,000 Americans need emergency care treatment for dog bite injuries. Through a compilation of U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2010, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, named pit bulls, rottweilers, presa canarios and their mixes as the breeds most liable for serious injuries and death.
Dogs that bite are a liability to their owners and can pose dangerous threats to other people. Most states have comprehensive laws pertaining to dog bites and dangerous dogs, and Florida is no exclusion to these regulations. Florida’s law, “Damage by Dogs” makes it clear that a dog owner is responsible for any and all destruction that arises from a dog biting an individual, whether in public or private. This includes the dog owner’s home. This accountability can be reduced if the bite happens because of the victim’s negligence or taunting. Any injuries the dog in question inflicts on other persons, livestock or domestic pets, is an owner’s legal responsibility.
Local governments in Florida can enact their own regulations, which can differ by city and town. Unlike other states that may let owners off the hook for first time dog attacks, Florida law has no tolerance for vicious dogs, first time offenders or not. This means that if a victim is harmed because of a dog attack, the owner may be liable for present and future medical bills, present lost wages and future earnings, present and future damages relating to pain, scarring and even psychological suffering and property destruction.
If you or someone you care for has been hurt in a vicious dog attack, contact the Florida Dog Bite Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 813-221-3200 or 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).