Dog Attack Non-fatal dog attacks occur infrequently, but fatal dog attacks are very common. In most cases, between thirty and fifty people in the US die from dog attacks each year, and the numbers of fatalities from dog attacks seem to be increasing steadily. There is a high risk of dog attacks for children and families with smaller children. The majority of dog attacks take place when the dog is fully mature. Most dog attacks can be avoided by simply being aware of a dog’s potential dangerousness at all times.
Dog Attack There have been many cases of tragic dog attacks over the past year. In January, two boys in upstate New York were walking on a sidewalk when a large dog suddenly attacked them, killing one boy. A week later in Upstate New York a woman was walking her dog down a sidewalk when another dog attacked her, causing her to fall and break her leg. Both boys and women were lucky; their dog attacks did not result in any fatalities. One dog that was recently killed in Minnesota reportedly bit a child to death, and yet no one seems to know who the dog belongs to.
Dog Attack Last month, a man who was drunk was convicted of fatally stabbing a dog to death while he was drunk. The dog in question was a pit bull, which the man had taken from a previous owner. He had previously been sentenced for assaulting another dog with a hammer, and the judge said that he should have known that the dog would be dangerous to even look at after being tied to a chain. The dog owner pleads guilty to second degree murder, and was sentenced to four years in prison. The unfortunate part of this story, however, is that this dog attack occurred only days before the man was scheduled to be released from prison.
This is just one of the many stories we hear about over the holidays, all of which involve dogs: a woman walking her dog down a sidewalk; a child playing with his dog on a leash and being attacked by a large dog; a woman who was mauled by a pit bull. All these stories are often accompanied by the same phrase, “it was nothing, it was only a matter of seconds.” We are quick to judge and pass judgment, sometimes before we’ve even finished hearing what happened. This makes it very difficult for people who have had a dog attacked, or who have had a dog that has been injured in an accident, and for people who want to see that justice is meted out when someone attacks a fellow human being.
Dog Attack There was a story last month in San Francisco that made national news: a young woman was riding on a sidewalk in San Francisco when she was attacked by a dog. The dog bit the woman so badly that she died on the way to a hospital. Police are still looking for the dog’s owner, but the case has elicited many comments from local citizens, many of whom believe the dog was either provoked or involved in some kind of malicious intent. The city has called for the dog’s owner to be held criminally liable for the death of the woman.
Pit Bulls have long been known as “savage animals” because of their propensity to attack people. In the past, pit bulls were used in dog fights, where they displayed their ferocious strength and skill in a show ring against other dogs. Recently, however, breeders have bred a new type of dog, the “boxer,” which acts more like a small, gentle dog than a “wolf-pack” dog. Many animal advocates say that these new dog breeds have lowered the chances of fatal dog attacks. But how can we be sure?
Last month, a man in Texas was euthanized by a humane society after he attacked a woman and her dog. The story went national. There were news reports about the man killing his dog because it bit him. So how often is this type of story different from a typical domestic violence attack in which the dog is either killed or seriously injured?
The answer is that we do not know. There is very little data on how often dogs are killed or seriously injured in these cases. It’s also difficult to find out whether the dog owners responsible for the deaths or injuries are convicted of first-degree or second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, or any other crime. This is because not every jurisdiction treats dog attacks as second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. If you’re fighting with your dog and he attacks you, the best thing to do is call the police and consult with an attorney, not to press criminal charges.