Two Dog Attacks Highlight Aggressive Dog Dangers
We’ve all heard the saying: dogs are man’s best friend! Even cat lovers can probably agree that dogs play a beloved and important role in our society, as they assist police during drug searches, help people with disabilities get through their daily routine, and provide support to people in hospices and nursing homes, all while being adorable. Since dogs make such great companions, it’s not surprising that 44% of Americans own a dog, with dogs present in 43,346,000 households.
But when a dog is aggressive or poorly trained, it can be far from friendly. Two recent dog attacks show the dangers of aggressive dogs, and how important is to take proper precautions to avoid endangerment.
Dog Attacks Highlight Dangers
The first attack took place in Goochland, Virginia. It involves an owner being attacked by her own animals. The woman, a small 22-year-old, was walking her two pit bulls, who weighed around 100 pounds each, on their daily walk in the wood. For some unknown reason, the dogs turned aggressive. When the young woman never returned home, a search party went out and eventually found her body. The woman had apparently raised the dogs since they were puppies, leading close friends to wonder how such a violent attack occurred. Some posited that the woman was a murder victim, but the local sheriff stated that the defensive wounds on the woman’s hands and arms are consistent with an animal attack. Both dogs were euthanized.
The second incident occurred on Christmas Eve in Bell County, Kentucky. When a woman stepped outside to feed her cats, she was attacked by two dogs. Her husband was also attacked when he came to her aid, and shot one of the dogs as it lunged at him. The woman suffered serious injuries and died at the scene, and the owner of the dogs faces charges of harboring a vicious animal. It’s unclear what breed the dogs were, or if the surviving dog was euthanized.
Dog Laws in Florida
As these recent tragedies show, dog attacks can happen anywhere, and can involve strange dogs or dogs that people have known for years. When a dog is stressed, scared, provoked, or trained to be aggressive, any situation can quickly turn deadly.
According to Florida Statutes, a dog is considered dangerous if it:
- aggressively bites, attacks, or inflicts severe injury on a human being, either on public or private property
- severely injures or kills a domestic animal on more than one occasion
- chases a person on public property in a manner that is clearly aggressive
However, the aggression needs to be unprovoked. If a dog attacks a trespasser or the aggression results from abuse or harassment, it’s an unprovoked attack. In these cases, the dog is usually not considered dangerous.
If a dog is dangerous, animal control confiscates it. It stays impounded until the investigation into the incident is complete. In some cases, the dog is euthanized. Furthermore, the dog’s owner may be liable for any damage done by their dog. If so, they may have to pay medical bills.
Traditionally, American Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls), Rottweilers, Huskies, and Bull Mastiffs are the most dangerous dog breeds. However, don’t automatically assume that all dogs of these breeds are dangerous. With proper upbringing and training, these breeds can make fine pets. Similarly, a dog of any breed or size, if aggressive or improperly trained, is capable of becoming dangerous.
To prevent dog bites, the Humane Society of the United States recommends being aware of a dog’s body language. Stiff tail or pulled-back ears show agitation or aggression. If a dog seems agitated, do not approach. Teach your children not to approach a dog without asking the owner.
In the event that you encounter an aggressive dog, you should stand very still and avoid eye contact. Attempting to run away could provoke the dog into chasing you. When walking your own dog, be sure to keep them on a leash.
We want dogs to continue to be man’s best friend! That’s why it’s important to teach your dog proper obedience and to educate yourself and your family on what to do during an encounter with an aggressive dog.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.