A 7-year-old girl required 1,000 stitches to reconstruct her face after she was brutally mauled in a Riverside County dog bite attack. The dog who attacked her was a Japanese fighting dog. According to a news report in The Desert Sun, the girl was at A Passion for Paws Rescue Inc. kennel in Romoland when a 2-year-old Akita lunged at her and attacked her. The dog bit her on the right side of the face and she sustained puncture wounds. The injuries required three hours of surgery. Animal Control officials said the girl’s injuries were “shocking” because they were primarily to her face.
Our thoughts and prayers are with this child who is recovering from this horrific dog attack. We wish her the very best for a full physical and emotional recovery.
Prior Dog Attacks at Kennel
The nonprofit group focuses on Akita rescues. Akitas are large and powerful dogs that typically weigh about 100 pounds. They are considered natural guard dogs. Animal Control officials said there have been several other incidents at the nonprofit rescue group, but so far the county has not taken any action. A database search shows there have been at least five other serious dog bites at involving animals at or from this kennel since 2013. Two of those incidents occurred last year. The girl who was attacked was at the kennel with the family to adopt the dog that bit her.
The dog, Tux, was listed on the kennel’s Facebook page for adoption. The posting apparently said Tux got along great with kids. The Riverside County dog bite attack happened when the girl’s parents and the child were with staff members at the kennel seeking to adopt the dog, which was rescued from a Los Angeles area shelter in early February. The owner of the rescue group has declined to surrender the dog to be put down and has maintained that the dog is not aggressive and has not exhibited aggressive behavior in the past. However, because of the severity of this attack, Animal Control officials have sought a destruction order at a public hearing.
Riverside County Dog Bite Laws and Liability Issues
Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused regardless of whether or not the dog has been involved in aggressive incidents before. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, hospitalization, the cost of rehabilitative therapy, cosmetic surgery, psychological counseling, and pain and suffering. Injured victims in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside dog bite lawyer who will fight for their rights and help hold the at-fault parties accountable.