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Man May Lose Arm Function After Seven-Minute Dog Attack

Beware of the dog sign on a fence

Dan Jones, 77, suffered severe injuries that might leave lasting damage after a vicious and sustained dog attack in his Houston neighborhood.

Several dogs attacked the victim, and he told KPRC 2 that he was not the only person attacked on April 28. He said he was concerned for the safety of a mail carrier when he spotted three loose dogs roaming a neighborhood intersection that afternoon.

Jones walked toward the intersection and saw the mail carrier targeted by the dogs. A neighbor told him to retreat, warning that he should “run” and that the dogs “are killers.” At that point, the dogs turned on him and attacked.

Severe Injuries Reported

Jones said the three pit bulls – later identified by officials as one adult and two puppies – attacked him. He described the horrific attack saying one of the dogs grabbed his arm as he tried to fight it off. The two other dogs later attacked him. Surveillance video shows horrifying footage of the attack, which lasted nearly seven minutes. It also shows a fire truck pulling up, but no one coming to the aid of the elderly man until the dogs dispersed.

Jones said he begged passersby for help, telling them that the dogs were “tearing him apart,” but no one stopped to assist. He says he has bite marks all over his body and is unsure if he can use one of his arms again because of the damage caused by the dogs. A different video captured that same day shows a mailman standing on top of a car after being bitten by a group of dogs surrounding him.

The footage shows a truck pulling up and the mailman escaping by jumping on the truck bed. BARC, the animal shelter for the city of Houston, told KPRC 2 the owner was issued a failure to surrender (the dogs) citation. BARC said the dogs are now in their custody and are scheduled to be put down after being tested for rabies.

Dog Breeds and Dog Attack Incidents

According to Dogsbite.org, in the 13-year period between 2005 and 2017, dogs killed 433 Americans. Some dog breeds are known to be more dangerous than others. Pit bulls contributed to 66% of these deaths. Within this period, deaths attributed to pit bulls rose from 58% (2005-2010) to 71% (2011-2017), a 22% rise. Between 2015 and 2017, pit bulls comprised about 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population. This is a 63% increase since the three-year period before that (2010-2012) when the total U.S. pit bull population was estimated to be 4%.

Statistics also show that rottweilers, the second most lethal dog breed over the last 13-year period, inflicted 10% (45) of the attacks resulting in death. This is a decrease from an earlier period (2005-2010) when rottweilers inflicted 14% of the total recorded deaths. Other dog breeds involved in fatal attacks include German shepherds, mixed breeds, American bulldogs, and mastiffs. Most notably, the 13-year data set shows the combination of pit bulls, rottweilers, and “baiting” bull breeds, fighting and guardian breeds (American bulldogs, mastiffs, Presa Canarios, and Cane Corsos) contributed to more than 80% of all dog bite deaths.

Dog Attacks on Mail Carriers Package Delivery Workers

In the calendar year 2022 alone, the U.S. Postal Service reported 5,304 dog bites and incidents nationally, of which 57 incidents occurred in Houston. These numbers don’t even include other mail delivery services or Amazon, whose drivers deliver millions of packages nationwide.

Recently an Amazon driver in Missouri was killed in a dog attack when he was found dead hours after delivering a package to a house where two large dogs had access to the yard. Last year, a delivery driver in New York also reported getting bitten after dropping off a package and being chased by dogs. That driver said he had been bitten before, an incident after which he had to fight off an infection.

Dog Attack Injuries and Damages

California has a strict liability statute regarding dog attacks, which means dog owners are responsible for injuries, damages, and losses caused by their pets. If you have been injured in a dog attack, you must seek prompt medical attention, treatment, and care; collect and preserve as much evidence as possible from the scene of the attack, including surveillance video; obtain information about the dog owner; and contact an experienced dog bite lawyer who can help you with all of the above.

Dog attacks leave individuals with physical injuries that can be difficult to recover from, emotional trauma, and mounting medical expenses.

Injured dog bite victims can seek compensation for a number of losses, including medical expenses, lost income, cost of hospitalization, cosmetic surgery, psychological counseling, permanent injuries, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options better.

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