A July 20 attack on an 8-year-old boy marked the second such attack by the same dog in about a month in Riverside County. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, the most recent attack involved a male pit bull and occurred as two boys were visiting their friend’s house in Home Gardens. The dog, which lived at the house, lunged at one of the boys and bit him causing severe injuries to one of his eyes and mouth.
County officials said the dog should have been secured because it had been deemed “potentially dangerous” after a June 24 attack on a neighbor who was visiting the property. In that earlier incident, the victim suffered four puncture wounds to his right forearm and nerve damage to some of his fingers. After that incident, the dog owner was handed two citations for failing to vaccinate and license the dog.
Dangerous Dog Laws
The dog owner had not complied as of July 20 when the second attack occurred. The owner reportedly signed a form allowing for the dog to be euthanized. If the owner had not done so, a public hearing would have been held where Animal Services would have recommended that the dog be put down, officials said.
Officials said that under county laws, a dog that has been designated as “potentially dangerous” should be maintained in a secure yard or on a harness and should be on a leash when outside the property. The owner also had to post a sign saying “Beware of Dangerous Dog” and would have to have notified Animal Services 15 days before moving the dog to a new home or transferring ownership.
Injured victims of dog attacks may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries such as scarring or disfigurement, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses their pets cause.
This is the law regardless of whether the attack occurred on public or private property and irrespective of whether the dog has been deemed vicious or dangerous. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer who will fight for their rights and help hold the at-fault dog owners accountable.