The female victim, who suffered multiple leg bites, was treated by paramedics at the scene and transported to an area hospital.
A Long Beach police officer shot and killed a pit bull after the dog attacked its owner the night of June 11, 2017. According to a KABC news report, officers responded to a caller’s home when they heard a woman screaming for help in the area of Carson Street and Norse Way. Good Samaritans helped fight off the aggressive dog and police shot at it and chased it away.
But the dog eventually returned and began to act aggressively again. This time, police say they did not have a choice but to shoot and kill the dog as it moved in their direction. The female victim, who suffered multiple leg bites, was treated by paramedics at the scene and transported to an area hospital. She told officials that her dog did have a history of violent behavior.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Almost one out of five bites becomes infected. A five-year review of dog-bite injuries from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, published in 2009 in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that almost 51 percent of the attacks were from pit bulls, almost 9 percent were from Rottweilers and 6 percent were from mixes of those two breeds.
Strict Liability Statute
In this particular case in Long Beach, the woman was attacked by her own dog. However, in many cases, we see that individuals including children are attacked when they are going about their business – walking on the street, playing in the park or while visiting friends or neighbors. In these cases, the dog owner will be held liable for the injuries and damages caused.
California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
Steps Dog Owners Can Take
There is no question that dog attacks and dog bite incidents multiply during the summer when most of us prefer to be outdoors. There are several steps dog owners can take to prevent their dogs from attacking or biting:
- Be sure to spay or neuter your dog. This helps reduce aggressive tendencies.
- Socialize and train your dog so it is comfortable around people.
- Never allow a child or infant to be alone with your dog.
- Keep your dog on leash or in a fenced-in yard.
- Don’t wrestle or play aggressively with your dog.
- If your dog has a history of biting or attacking other dogs or people, be sure it is muzzled when you take it out in public or around people.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Long Beach personal injury lawyer will be able to help you obtain maximum compensation for your losses and hold the negligent dog owner accountable.