Dog Bites: When Man’s Best Friend Attacks

With ownership of an animal comes responsibility for its actions. Recently, pit bull-mix dogs have gained notoriety for their serious and sometimes fatal attacks on young and old across the nation.

In August, an 82-year-old Passaic woman walked into her backyard to refill her birdfeeders. An approximately 80-pound pit bull-mix dog jumped a 6-foot fence and attacked and mauled the elderly woman, severely injuring her left arm and leg. The woman escaped into her house, and the pit bull jumped back over the fence into its yard. The woman was taken to hospital and the dog was euthanized.

New Jersey holds owners strictly liable for damage and injury caused by their dogs. Pit bull-mix dogs are particularly dangerous for several reasons, including:

  • Pit bull mix-dogs are generally the byproduct of backyard breeding programs without regard for standards or temperament.
  • Some owners of pit bull-mix dogs keep them for their aggressive nature, a poor selection for any community.
  • Pit bull-mix dogs, by nature, are physically strong, agile and tenacious. Without proper socialization and discipline, the dogs can turn on anyone, including their owners.

Few agencies promote breed-specific legislation that would prohibit pit bull-mix ownership, but the danger the animals pose is hard to refute.

If injured or bitten by any dog, contact authorities and obtain medical help. Preserve evidence, including torn clothing, and obtain pictures of injuries and the site of attack. Speak with an injury attorney in New Jersey as soon as possible to preserve your cause of action. When man’s best friend attacks, a good attorney makes sure man (or woman) is responsible.

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