An 18-month-old child was hospitalized with serious injuries to her face after a dog attacked her in her grandmother’s Riverside home. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the dog attack occurred the night of August 3 in the home on Fern Avenue in the Casa Blanca neighborhood. Officials say the pit bull that attacked the child belonged to the grandmother. The toddler may have also suffered injuries to her eye.
Prior Attack Reported
This is the second time the agency has been contacted regarding an attack by the 11-year-old dog that bit another grandchild of the owner in March 2016, officials said. In that previous case, Animal Services had sought to euthanize the dog, but that request was denied. The dog was declared “vicious” and returned to the owner with certain restrictions placed.
Animal Services officials said the grandmother should “have reasonably known” that this dog posed a threat to a small child. Once the dog is deemed vicious, it is critical that the dog owner takes the necessary steps not only to protect their own family members but also members of the public, officials said. The dog attack is still under investigation.
Dog Owners’ Responsibilities
Owning a dog, regardless of breed, comes with responsibilities. Although some breeds such as pit bulls have a reputation of being more prone to bite, we know that any dog may bite at any time. Dog owners have a responsibility to spay or neuter their pets and ensure that they are kept in a safe and comfortable environment. A dog that is tied up all day, for example, is more prone to biting as is a pit bull that hasn’t been spayed or neutered.
California has a strict liability statute when it comes to dog bites. This means that dog owners are financially responsible for the injuries, damages, and losses caused by their pets. There are very few exceptions to this rule.
This means victims can seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit, which seeks damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of cosmetic surgery, psychological therapy, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside dog bite lawyer who will remain on their side, fight for their rights and hold negligent dog owners liable.