Fatal Dog Attack Brings Charges

A family’s worst nightmare came true in late November. A mother was walking with her young son to volunteer at a local elementary school when a pack of vicious dogs attacked her and her son. At first the mother covered her child, but the dogs bit the mother and took the child away and dragged him under a fence. Behind the fence, the dogs mauled and killed the boy. Three of the dogs were killed at the scene and the last dog was later euthanized.

Neighbors from the area have long complained about the dogs involved in this case, and other dogs as well. Dangerous dogs pose a significant threat to the health and safety of close communities like those in Detroit. When services like convenience stores, schools, and community centers are in walking distance, people put themselves at risk by simply going about daily activities when dangerous dogs are present. Now the local legal authorities are trying to bring change about as a result of this case.

Criminal Prosecution

Local prosecutors are charging the owner of the dog with murder following the attack. The man was arrested and arraigned in front of a judge and held without bail. The case is a rare one in the criminal justice system for several reasons. In the first instance, murder typically requires that the perpetrator have a specific intent to commit the murder, or at least a reckless disregard for human life. In this case there is no evidence that the man even knew his dogs were out or that they could have acted in this way.

The family of the child welcomed the charges. In what one can only view as a horrific and awful tragedy, the parents are hoping this case gets a just result. Community members and leaders are hoping that this story will spark change of how people are allowed to keep dogs that pose a danger to the community.

Florida Dog Laws

In dealing with dog bite cases, Florida has its own set of laws. Dog owners are deemed liable for the damages that they cause under Florida Statutes 767.04. There are some limitations and exceptions to this general rule, but the law requires dog owners to own their dogs in responsible and reasonable manner so as to not cause harm to others.

For dogs who do attack humans, they are required to be put down. This law has come under scrutiny in recent months due to the case of a dog who attacked a young child at a veterinarian’s office after being provoked. The dog was slated to be put down, but the story caught international attention and it is being reviewed by Florida legal authorities.

Panama City Dog Bite Attorney

At The Pittman Firm we sue negligent dog owners for the damage they cause our clients. Keeping dogs as pets is becoming more and more popular in our society, but with dog ownership comes responsibility. When dogs are cooped up and not given adequate attention or exercise, they are more likely to cause harm to others. And when people choose particular breeds of dogs that are known to be aggressive, they should be held accountable when those dogs cause harm. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a dog in the Panama City area, contact us.

See related blog posts: Florida Dog Attack Getting National Attention; A Look Back on Florida Dog Bite Laws.

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