Tag: dog bites
A proposal to alter dog bite liability law in Maryland looks to be unraveling, the Washington Post reports.
Last month, the House of Delegates passed a bill to address a Maryland Court of Appeals decision declaring pit bulls “inherently dangerous” and holding their owners — unlike owners of any other dogs — automatically liable if their dog bit someone.
The House passed a bill that didn’t single out any breeds, but shifted the burden of proof in dog-bite cases — proving that a dog was known or should have been known to be dangerous — from the victim to the dog’s owner.
With negotations having taken place beforehand between members of the House and Senate, with its seeming bipartisan support, with it having passed the House unanimously, it appeared smooth sailing was ahead for the bill.
That hasn’t been the case.
The Senate has come up with an amended version of the bill that — while it doesn’t single out pit bulls — makes it “virtually imposible” for a defendant in a dog-bite case to prevail, according to the delegate who negotiated the bill through the House.
Del. Luiz Simmons (D- Montgomery) says his Senate counterpart had assured him the bill, as approved by the House, would have no problem: “He told me he agreed with the compromise, he told me not to worry about it. We had a deal.”
Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery), who negotiated the bill for the Senate and is chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, said that events had taken an unforeseen turn, leaving him in an “awkward position.”
The new provision — it requires owners to provide “clear and convincing” evidence that their dog was not dangerous before an attack — was proposed last week by Sen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Montgomery) and approved by a majority of Frosh’s committee.
Frosh voted against it, but says he doesn’t think the amendment hurts the bill.
After the bill arrived on the Senate floor Tuesday, there were attempts to delete Zirkin’s provision, but Zirkin fought them: “I love dogs but if my dog bites a little kid, I should be responsible,” he said.
The feuding could threaten the legislation’s chances of getting passed this session.
Members of the General Assembly failed to pass a similar bill during a special summer session, leaving the appeals court decision that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” intact.
That court, ruling in a case involving the mauling of a 10-year-old Towson boy mauled by a pit bull in 2007, declared owners of pit bulls (and “third parties,” including landlords) automatically liable in the event that their dog bites or injures someone.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bill, compromise, court of appeals, delegates, dog bites, general assembly, house, inherently dangerous, law, liability, maryland, negotiations, pit bulls, pitbulls, proposal, senate, senators
The Maryland House of Delegates yesterday approved a bill that would make it easier to hold all dog owners accountable for injuries caused by their pets — not just those who own pit bulls.
The Washington Post reports that the measure provides “a small measure of victory to pit bull owners,” whose dogs had been singled out by a Maryland court last spring as “inherently dangerous.”
The bill effectively overturns the Maryland Court of Appeals decision, Tracey v. Solesky, which stemmed from a 2007 incident in which a pit bull mauled a 10-year-old Towson boy.
The measure approved by the house Thursday would make it easier to hold all dog owners liable for injuries caused by their pets. In the past, plaintiffs suing the owners of dogs had to prove the dog was dangerous. Now it will be up to dog owners in liability cases to prove in court that their dog is not dangerous.
The 2012 court decision made owners of pit bulls, and their landlords, automatically liable in the event that their dog bit or injured someone.
Animal rights groups protested the appeals court decision, saying it was leading to dogs being euthanized and tenants being forced to surrender their dogs or move. The House bill does not contain breed-specific language.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breed-specific, burden of proof, courts, dangerous, dog bites, dogs, house of delegates, inherent, inherently dangerous, law, lawsuits, legislation, liability, maryland, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls
She’d left the dog inside her Toledo home when she went to work that day. She’d secured the gate of the fence around her yard. And Duke, even if he did manage to somehow get out of her house, had never left the yard before.
Curry returned home from work to find Duke was gone.
A note was left on her door by the Lucas County dog warden. When she called the phone number on it, she was informed that she was being charged with failure to confine her dog.
Toledo Police had been to her home earlier that day, back in August, after a man said he had been bitten by Duke while strolling down the sidewalk. The man said Duke pushed open the gate, attacked him then returned to the yard.
Duke was seized by the Lucas County dog warden, labeled a potentially dangerous dog, and quarantined for ten days.
She faced a misdemeanor charge that could carry a penalty of 30 days in jail.
She worried about losing her job, and her home, and having to pay hefty insurance fees as the owner of a “dangerous dog.”
And — even though she had left the door to her home unlocked — she still had no idea how her dog got out of it, or the yard.
She heard from neighbors who had seen the man walking through the neighborhood. One said she never saw Duke leave the yard — but did see the man enter it.
It was looking more and more like Duke, as opposed to miraculously escaping both house and yard, had actually just been defending his home, as Curry suspected from the start.
This week, at a pre-trial hearing, the ”failure to confine” charge against Curry ws dropped.
She still faces a charge of “failure to vaccinate.” While she claims she has the paperwork, she was unable to present it within the two days the dog warden gave her. That charge was upheld in court.
And Duke still faces a determination on whether he’s a “dangerous dog,” which could lead to restrictions that include being muzzled, having signs posted to that effect in his yard, and having to kept in a pen with a roof, according to DogHeirs.com.
The Lexus Project is handling the case against Duke and representing him in court. You can learn more about Duke, and help support his cause by visiting these links:
You can read Curry’s explanation of what’s transpired so far in the comments below.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american bulldog, animals, bite, bulldog, burglary, carissa curry, dangerous, defending, defense, dog, dog bites, dogs, duke, home, home protection, legal, ohio, pets, protecting, seized, toledo
A Michigan politician was bitten three times by a dog while campaigning — just days before the beginning of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
Republican Ann M. Doyle said she passed out on the way to the hospital, where she received one stitch. On the other hand, she got lots of publicity out of it, and what she thinks will be a sympathy vote, from the dog’s owner.
Doyle, who’s running for the 94th District state House of Representatives seat, was handing out literature in Frankenmuth Township when a dog came running ran at her and bit her three times, according to MLive.com. The dog’s owner heard the commotion and called it off.
She said the homeowner helped her into his car to take her to the hospital, but that after that she passed out on the way. At the hospital, Doyle, a fourth-term Saginaw County commissioner who lives in Tittabawassee Township, received one stitch on her right forearm.
“I’m the one that went on their property,” Doyle said. “I put myself into his territory, so if I were a dog, would I try to protect my space? Probably, I don’t know if I would have lunged.”
Doyle received a call from the dog’s owner later that night, who offered to let her put a campaign sign on her property.
National Dog Bite Prevention week started Sunday, accompanid by the traditional release of dog bite statistics from the U.S. Postal Service, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and insurance companies.
About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and more than half of the victims are children, the CDCP says. About 800,000 of those seek medical attention for the bites. Less than half of those require treatment. The Insurance Information Institute estimated that nearly $479 million in dog bite claims were paid by all insurance companies in 2011, up from $413 million in 2010.
(Top photo: Brittney Lohmiller / The Saginaw News)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ann doyle, bites, candidate, commissioner, dog, dog bite prevention week, dog bites, dogs, house of representatives, michigan, pets, politician, politics, saginaw county, statistics
A group of dog lovers is working to persuade officials in Henderson, Nevada, to spare the life of a mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix who bit and killed a 1-year-old boy last week.
Onion, six years old, is scheduled to be euthanized next week.
“This dog will never harm another soul,” said Les Golden, a Chicago-area dog rescuer who is leading the campaign to spare Onion. “The dog deserves to be saved.”
Golden told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he hopes a flood of supporters calling and emailing Mayor Andy Hafen will persuade him to stay the execution, which could happen Monday or Tuesday after the dog’s 10-day quarantine.
Onion’s family voluntarily gave their pet to animal control officials for euthanization. “For what he did to my son, he deserves to be punished,” father Christopher Shahan said. “I’ve already accepted the fact that he’s dead.”
Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan was attacked by the dog on April 27 after the family had finished celebrating the boy’s first birthday. He crawled over to Onion and grabbed onto the 120-pound dog to help himself stand up, as his family said he had done many times before
Jeremiah’s grandmother, Elizabeth Keller, was leaning over to pick him up when Onion suddenly attacked. Jeremiah’s father and others freed the child about 30 seconds later and he was rushed to a nearby hospital. He died the next day at University Medical Center.
Henderson animal control officers declared Onion vicious, which requires euthanization following the state-mandated quarantine.
“The dog attacked and killed a child,” animal control spokesman Keith Paul said. “It would be irresponsible of us to allow this dog to be adopted out.”
Lisa Kavanaugh, said she would welcome Onion to her 35-acre ranch near Denver called Blue Lion Rescue, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
“If it’s an accident, why not give him a chance?” Kavanaugh said. “He’s never, ever going to get a chance to hurt anybody else.”
Onion had been with the family since he was a puppy and helped Keller through her battle with lung cancer. The dog had never shown aggression toward anyone, family members said.
“I would love him to be in a sanctuary the rest of his life, but what sort of punishment would that be for killing a human being?” the father said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, attack, baby, bites, blue lion rescue, calls, campaign, child, dangerous, dog bites, email, euthanasia, euthanized, group, henderson, infant, jeremiah eskew-shahan, killed, les golden, mastiff, mix, nevada, onion, quarantine, rhodesian ridgeback, sanctuary, save, shahan, vicious
A pit bull that police say killed a 74-year-old man in Santa Fe is expected to be labeled a dangerous dog and put down next week.
Police blame Achilles (pictured above) for the injuries that killed Clifford Wright last Wednesday. The dog belongs to his son, Gavin, who described his father as Achilles’ constant companion and a lover of pit bulls.
Wright, a retired pawn shop owner, was watering his lawn when the dog, for reasons unknown, attacked him, police say.
Lt. Louis Carlos said a preliminary finding by the state Office of the Medical Investigator is that “the injuries sustained by Mr. Wright were from the dog. There were no other medical reasons related to his death.”
“Right now there is too much to speculate on as far as what actually happened,” Gavin Wright told the Santa Fe New Mexican Friday. “No one is going to know exactly why or what took place. But I know that everything that took place prior to that was nothing but good things.”
Wright came home to find his father’s body outside. The family has four dogs — two pit bulls, an English bulldog and an Australian shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix.
Police said Friday that Achilles will remain in quarantine at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society for up to 10 days. Early next week, he said, police will likely ask a judge to declare him dangerous.
The New Mexican said the dog bite death was the 10th in New Mexico in the last 45 years, according to a database kept by Karen Delise, founder of the National Canine Research Council.
The majority of those deaths were not attributed to dogs described as pit bulls.
“We have 78 million dogs in this country and over the last decade there have been an average of 25 fatalities each year,” said Delise. “So, it’s an extremely rare occurrence, and I think we need to keep that in perspective.”
Delise said speculation that a dog’s breed or its neuter status caused an incident is usually erroneous.
(Photo: Santa Fe Police Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: achilles, aggression, animal control, animals, bites, clifford wright, dangerous, death, dog bites, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, gavin wright, karen delise, national canine research council, new mexico, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, santa fe
According to statistics released yesterday by the Postal Service, 62 Houston letter carriers were “attacked” by dogs in 2010 — almost 20 more than the second place cities (a tie between San Diego and Columbus, Ohio).
Nationwide last year, 5,669 postal employees were bitten in more than 1,400 cities, leading to medical expenses of $1.2 million, the Postal Service said in a press release issued in connection with National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 15-21).
Among the entire population, about 4.7 million Americans are bitten annually — and dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims paid out in 2010, costing nearly $413 million, the press release added.
“Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem,” said Matthew Lopez, Houston’s postmaster.
Rounding out the top 10 cities for dog bites among postal carriers were Los Angeles (44), Louisville (40), San Antonio and St. Louis (tied with 39 each), Cleveland and Phoenix (tied with 38 each), Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon (tied with 35 each), Denver and Philadelphia (tied with 31 each), Sacramento (30) and Seattle (28).
(Photo: Ace greets my postal carrier almost everyday, and likes to follow him, even though he doesn’t carry treats and has never given him one.)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacks, bites, delivery, dog bite prevention, dog bites, dogs, houston, letter carriers, mailman, mailmen, national dog bite prevention week, pets, post office, postal carriers, postal service
Banning pit bulls has had no significant effect on slowing the number of dog bites in Ontario, Canada, according to a study by the Toronto Humane Society.
Results of a humane society survey of municipalities show no significant drop in dog bite cases since the provincial government passed breed specific legislation in 2005 — a law that required pit bulls to be muzzled in public and resulted in “countless” pit bulls and Staffordshire Terriers being destroyed.
In a statement Wednesday, the humane society called on the provincial government to amend the legislation and ” stop the punishment of innocent animals,” the Toronto Sun reports.
According to statistics, there was a 10 percent drop in dog bite cases in 2005, but after 2006 the number increased to the 2004 level.
The law was touted by the attorney general at the time as one that would “make our streets safer.”
Apparently, it has not, Humane Society spokesman Ian McConachie noted.
McConachie said outlawing specific dog breeds “targets the wrong source of the problem: “Dogs are not born violent,” but are “made that way by irresponsible owners who train them to be that way or neglect them …”
“If we want to reduce the number of dog bites we have to address the route cause of the problem, those irresponsible owners who do not appropriately care for their animals.” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bites, breed-specific, breeds, canada, dog bites, laws, legislation, news, ohmidog!, ontario, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, staffordshir terriers, statistics, study, toronto, toronto humane society
One family’s experience with “canine disarming” — a controversial last resort for dogs who haven’t been able to lick the biting habit — was the subject of a first person account in Saturday’s Los Angeles Times.
Dog owner Diane R. Krieger wrote about her dog, Cotton, a six-year-old American Eskimo dog who even ”Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan couldn’t help,
“I had tried everything. Puppy classes and basic-training at the neighborhood PetSmart. A library of self-help books and videos. Even a pricey dog-aggression expert whose Israeli accent made me want to stand at attention. He ordered counter-conditioning and desensitization drills, supplemented by a low-protein diet and a doggie herbal remedy akin to St. John’s Wort…
“I tried clicker training, high-pitched electronic tones, pepper spray, throwing soda cans filled with rocks. I considered an electric shock collar but worried that in the hands of an amateur … it might do more harm than good.
“Finally, I appealed to the fabled Dog Whisperer.”
Krieger writes that Cotton became calm and submissive — until Millan left.
Running out of options, she considered surrendering the dog, and even euthanasia.
Then she saw an Animal Planet program featuring Dr. David Nielsen, a veterinary dentist based in Manhattan Beach, talking about a miracle fix: “canine disarming.”
Instead of extracting the four canine teeth, Nielsen cuts away 4 millimeters of tooth, then blunts the extra set of pointy incisors. Nielsen says he has “disarmed” some 300 animals in the last dozen years, not all of them dogs.
Kireger notes that Nielsen may be something of a maverick. The American Veterinary Medical Association says that disarming dogs, once fairly common, fell out of favor several years ago as behavioral modification techniques improved. The association is opposed to either tooth removal or disarming.
The American Veterinary Dental College agrees that disarming is controversial, but in a position statement adopted in 2005 it endorsed the procedure in “selected cases.”
Cotton’s reconfigured choppers cost Krieger $1,600, and led to no lasting physical side effects.
Nielsen told Krieger canine disarming does have psychological effects, though. “You can see it in their eyes almost the moment they wake up from the anesthesia. It’s like they’re wondering, ‘who took away my knives?’”
Cotton still bites, Krieger wrote, but inflicts little damage.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, american eskimo dog, american veterinary medical association, animal planet, behavior, bite, biters, biting, california, canine, cesar millan, clicker, cotton, david nielsen, defang, dental, disarming, dog bites, dog whisperer, dogs, pepper spray, problem, shock collar, teeth, training, veterinary