Dog Bite Injuries - Articles

Atlantic City Sued Over Police Beating and Canine Attack

October 02, 2013

A young man is suing the Atlantic City, New Jersey, police department after being beaten by five officers and attacked by a police dog, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed by 20-year-old David C. Castellani, who was attacked by police after being kicked out of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino on June 15 for being underage.

A video of the incident shows Castellani yelling at police officers after being ordered to leave the premises. Officers then grabbed Castellani, threw him to the ground, and began beating him with clubs and fists, before another police car arrived at the scene and a police dog was released. The dog attacked Castellani, causing multiple bite wounds to his head and neck, before dragging him to a nearby curb.

Castellani, a junior at Temple University, required over 200 stitches following the attack, and he still has numbness on the right side of his face, according to his attorney.

A spokesman for the Atlantic City Police Department said an internal review of the incident is underway, but the officers involved will remain on active duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

Castellani, who was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault on a police officer and canine, is seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages and demanding that the police department fire the officers involved in the beating.


Boy, 6, Dies in Pit Bull Attack

June 18, 2013

A California family's pit bull attacked their 6-year-old son and mauled him to death, according to police reports.

The pit bull attacked 6-year-old Nephi Selu while he was playing in the backyard at his family's home in Union City Monday morning.

Police investigators believe the dog may have attacked the boy when he tried to climb on the dog's back.

The boy suffered bite wounds to the top of his head.

He was transported by emergency crews to a children's hospital in Palo Alto, where he was pronounced dead.


Man Faces Murder Charge for Dog Mauling Death

May 31, 2013

A man is facing a murder charge in Los Angeles County after his dogs attacked and killed a jogger, according to a statement by the county district attorney's office this week.

Police arrested 29-year-old Alex Jackson on Thursday, charging him with murder in a May 9 dog mauling that killed 63-year-old jogger Pamela Devitt.

Four pit bulls attacked Devitt, who suffered 150-200 bite wounds and died of blood loss before she reached the hospital.

Police found the four dogs, along with four others, at Jackson's home. The animals still had Devitt's blood on their coats.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office said that the incident warranted a charge of murder because Jackson was allegedly aware the dogs were vicious prior to the attack. According to police, Jackson's dogs had been involved in attacks on three previous occasions.


List of Defendants in Maryland's Pit Bull Lawsuit Expands

October 17, 2012

A lawsuit over whether or not landlords in Maryland can ban tenants who own pit bulls as pets was expanded this week to name the state's governor, attorney general and chief appellate judge as defendants, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed by residents of a low income neighborhood in Baltimore against Armistead Homes Corp. for allegedly violating tenants' Constitutional rights when they told residents who own pit pulls that they would have to move or get rid of their dogs. An appeals court judge issued a ruling in favor of Armistead Homes.

This week, the suit was expanded to include Governor Martin O'Malley, state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, who the plaintiffs claim have a duty to ensure the laws and the Constitution are upheld.

The plaintiffs allege that each of the high-profile defendants added to the suit failed to uphold the law in allowing the appeals court ruling to stand.


2-Year-Old Boy Killed in Dog Attack

May 29, 2012

A 2-year-old boy in South Carolina was attacked and killed by stray dogs near his home Sunday evening, after climbing out of bed and wandering out of the house unnoticed, police said.

The boy's aunt said that she had put Ja'Marr Tiller to bed shortly before he was attacked. The boy apparently climbed out of bed, descended a flight of stairs and slipped out the back door of his Mount Pleasant home without being noticed.

Tiller's mother found her son on the ground near the home when she returned from running an errand. She called 911 when she discovered Ja'Marr unresponsive with torn clothing and dog bites covering his body.

Tiller's aunt performed CPR until emergency crews arrived, but Ja'Marr later died at the hospital.

The two dogs, which were strays that had been seen roaming the area by several neighbors, are now in the custody of Animal Control.

No charges have been filed in connection with the attack.


Alligator Attack the Focus of Wrongful Death Suit

February 08, 2012

An alligator attack is the focus of a wrongful death lawsuit under review by the Georgia Supreme Court this week.

At issue in the suit is a legal doctrine that protects landowners from liability when guests are attacked by wild animals while on their property.

In 2007, 83-year-old Gwyneth S. Williams was attacked by an alligator at The Landings, a golf and residential resort located on Skidaway Island just off the coast of Savannah.

Williams' heirs filed a wrongful death suit against The Landings in 2008, after she died from injuries sustained in the attack.

Attorneys for The Landings argue that the landowners are freed from liability in the case under the doctrine of "ferae naturae," which holds that property owners cannot be held responsible for harm caused by wild animals on their land.

They also argued that although no warnings about possible alligator attacks were posted on the property, residents were warned about the danger in publications and on its Web site.

Attorneys for the family countered that the doctrine of ferae naturae does not apply if the property owner has prior knowledge of the presence of wild animals and has actually done something to attract them.

They allege The Landings fed the animals and maintained the habitat in their lagoons specifically to attract alligators, court documents show.

Oral arguments in the case began on Monday.


6-Year-Old Boy Loses Ear in Bull-Mastiff Attack

January 26, 2012

A bull-mastiff that escaped from a yard in Southern California attacked a 6-year-old boy and his mother, causing the boy to lose his ear, police said.

The incident occurred in Moreno Valley, California, on Wednesday, when the dog viciously attacked Ruben Juarez Jr. while he was walking with his mother and another sibling through their neighborhood.

The boy, whose ear was severed in the attack, had to undergo surgery to have it re-attached.

Juarez' mother also suffered bite wounds to her back when she attempted to rescue her son.

The dog, which had no history of aggressive behavior, was seized by Moreno Valley Animal Control.


Pit Bull Attack Victim Wants Owners Criminally Charged

January 18, 2012

A Chicago man who was hospitalized for weeks after being attacked by pit bulls while jogging said he wants police to file criminal charges against the owner of the two dogs.

Sixty-two-year-old Joseph Finley was jogging in Rainbow Beach Park on the morning of January 2, when he was viciously attacked by the two dogs, suffering numerous bite wounds that caused him to lose his left foot.

A neighbor who heard the commotion began to beat the dogs back with a baseball bat, before police arrived on the scene and shot both animals.

Police have not announced whether or not they will bring criminal charges against the dogs' owner.


Mail Carrier Sues Dog Owner Over Bite

January 16, 2012

A mail carrier in East Hartford, Connecticut, has filed suit against the owner of a dog that bit her after breaking through a screen door at a home where she was delivering mail, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed Monday by Felicia Powell, a former U.S. Postal Service employee who says a German Shepherd bit her, causing severe emotional distress.

Powell says the dog jumped through a screen door onto the front porch where she had just delivered the mail, chased her into the yard and bit her on her inner and outer left thigh.

She claims the attack contributed to her decision to quit her job as a mail carrier.

Powell is suing for medical expenses and lost wages, claiming the dog owner, Luz Rosario, should have restrained the dog knowing that the mail carrier would be arriving to deliver the mail.

Investigators found no fault on the part of the dog or its owner, noting that "Beware of Dog" signs were posted on the gate and on the front door of the home.


Chicago Man Attacked by Pit Bulls While Jogging

January 03, 2012

A 62-year-old man was attacked by two pit bulls as he jogged along the Chicago lakefront early Monday morning, officials said.

The incident occurred at about 6 a.m. while the man, whose name has not been released, was running along a path in Rainbow Beach Park.

The man was bitten on his arms, legs and face by two pit bulls, who were later shot and killed by police.

Police said the dogs attempted to attack them when they tried to rescue the victim.

The man was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.


Dangerous Dog Ordinance Deemed Unconstitutional

December 06, 2011

A dangerous dog ordinance in Pierce County, Washington, was ruled unconstitutional by a state appeals court this week.

According to the court opinion, the law, which is designed to protect the public from harm, deprives dog owners of their constitutional due process rights.

The law allowed the county to charge a fee to dog owners who requested a hearing to challenge their dogs' designation as "dangerous."

The court ruled that the fees are unconstitutional because dog owners who cannot afford to pay may be deprived of their due process right to challenge the designation of their dogs as dangerous.

County Auditor Julie Anderson said the county has stopped collecting fees from dog owners seeking a hearing and will refund fees to those who have already paid them but are still awaiting a hearing.

Anderson said the county plans to appeal the ruling.


Toddler Mauled to Death by Pit Bulls

October 03, 2011

A Connecticut toddler died on Friday after being attacked by pit bulls in an apartment in West Haven, police said.

The 18-month-old child was laying on the floor in a bedroom of the third-floor apartment, when three pit bulls locked in another room escaped and attached the child.

The toddler was pronounced dead by doctors at a local hospital later that night.

All three dogs were euthanized, although t is unclear whether they were all involved in the attack.


VA Man Killed by Pit Bull

June 16, 2011

A man found dead in his Spotsylvania, Virginia, home on Saturday was mauled to death by his pet pit bull, medical examiners say.

The son of David Quyon Haigler, 38, called police at 6 p.m. after discovering his fathers body.

Police found Haigler's 6-year-old pit bull running loose in the home, which initially prevented officers from entering the home. Another pit bull was chained up in another part of Haigler's home.

Haigler had par marks on his body and defensive wounds on his hands and arms, according to the autopsy report.

The pit bulls are being detained at a county animal shelter and may be put to death pending the outcome of the investigation.


Florida Man Loses Arm in Dog Attack

June 13, 2011

A man in Florida lost his arm despite undergoing hours of surgery after dogs attacked him in his back yard on Friday, Gainesville police officials said.

Dogs belonging to a neighbor jumped a fence and attacked 74-year-old Roy McSweeney, who also sustained bite wounds to his face during the attack.

The dogs - pit bulls and pit bull mixes - belonged to Deanna Blitch, a neighbor who refused to comment on Friday's attack.

McSweeney's arm was ripped completely off by the dogs during the attack.

The dogs were tested for rabies and euthanized by Gainesville authorities.


Michigan Pit Bull Ban Stalled

June 10, 2011

A statewide ban on the breeding and sale of pit bulls has stalled in the Michigan legislature, a committee chairman says.

Rep. Hugh Crawford, chairman of the Regulatory Reform Committee, said the committee has stalled the measure to ban the breed, which was introduced by Rep. Tim Bledsoe after a constituent's niece was attacked by a pit bull.

The legislation would prohibit the sale of pit bulls, require existing pit bulls to be neutered, and forbid all ownership of the breed within 10 years.

A spokesman for the Michigan Humane Society said the organization opposes blanket bans on breeds of dogs, saying pit bulls are as docile as any other breed, and become dangerous only from owner neglect and cruelty.


Police Kill Bulldog After Attack on School Bus

May 19, 2011

Police in Maryland were forced to shoot and kill an American bulldog after it followed a group of children onto a school bus and attacked them, police officials said.

The 120-pound dog followed the students onto the Prince George's County school bus in Clinton on Wednesday and began attacking them without provocation.

The school bus driver began striking the dog while it was biting one child's leg in an attempt to free the child from the dog's grip.

Four students from Fort Washington Forest Elementary School suffered bites and scratches in the attack.

Police were unable to restrain the dog and were forced to shoot and kill it at the scene. The dog is being tested for rabies and other diseases.


New Mexico Woman Mauled to Death by Pit Bulls

April 26, 2011

A New Mexico woman was mauled to death by four pit bull mix dogs while taking a walk on Sunday afternoon, police said.

According to witnesses, 48-year-old Margaret Salcedo of Truth or Consequences was attacked by the four dogs, who were running through the neighborhood after getting loose from a nearby home.

Salcedo tried to call 911 on her cell phone at the beginning of the attack, which lasted about three minutes, but she dropped the phone when one of the dogs bit her arm. Police responded to a 911 call placed by a neighbor.

One of the dogs was shot when it charged an officer. The other three dogs ran off. The district attorney is investigating whether the owners of the dogs should be charged in connection with Salcedo's death.

Police said that Salcedo was conscious at the scene of the attack, but died later at the hospital.


Couple Sues Vet After Dog Mauling at Clinic

March 18, 2011

An Aurora, Illinois, couple is suing a veterinary clinic after their Pomeranian was mauled to death by a mastiff at the clinic.

Michael and Heather Mengarelli brought their 5-pound pooch, Dolce, to the Orchard Road Animal Hospital for a holiday open house on December 2.

The lawsuit claims that the veterinary staff failed to maintain order, and that some of the dogs became agitated.

That's when Dolce was attacked by a 152-pound mastiff owned by Angela Marquardt, also named in the lawsuit.

The Mengarelli's dog died shortly after the attack.

The couple is seeking $50,000 in damages and an unspecified amount for emotional distress.


Colorado City Considers Amending Pit Bull Ban

March 15, 2011

The city of Aurora, Colorado, is considering amending its pit bull ban to comply with a federal ruling that says service dogs may be of any breed, city officials said.

The city has formed a committee that will examine ways to eliminate or amend the current ban on pit bulls which violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

One Aurora resident, Allen Grider, a retired Marine who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, has filed suit against the city after his pit-bull mix was taken from him in November 2009.

The committee meets on Thursday to discuss amending the law to allow pit bulls to be used as service animals within city limits.


Man Holds Daughter Down During Pit Bull Attack

February 08, 2011

A Florida man is facing battery charges after he allegedly held his daughter down while she was attacked by a pit bull.

Police arrested 49-year-old Julian Saunders, of Summerfield, Florida, on Monday after his 19-year-old daughter and his ex-wife suffered multiple bites in an attack by Saunders' pit bull.

Al-licia Saunders said that she had been fighting with her father when he pinned her on the ground while his pit bull bit her arm at least five times.

Her mother was bitten twice when she attempted to stop the attack.

The dog will not be euthanized by the county, according to Marion County Animal Control officials.


Man Bitten by Pet Snake in Critical Condition

February 01, 2011

A New Jersey man is in critical condition after being bitten by his pet snake, according to animal control officials.

The 25-year-old man purchased the albino monocled cobra, along with a diamondback rattlesnake and a copperhead snake, in Pennsylvania on Monday, believing that the snakes had been altered to have their venom sacks removed.

The cobra bit him on Monday evening, and his wife called 911 shortly after, when he began to experience respiratory difficulties.

All three snakes were removed from the man's home that night by animal control officers. They are temporarily in the custody of a local pound until fish and wildlife officials take them away.

The man is fortunate to be alive, according to an animal control officer, who said that cobra bites are most often fatal.


Pit Bull Owner Charged in Death of Girl

January 28, 2011

A man whose pit bulls attacked and killed a 5-year-old girl has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, authorities said.

Police arrested Michael Brandon Gordon, 23, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, on Wednesday involving an incident two weeks ago in which Gordon's pit bulls attacked and killed 5-year-old Makayla Woodard in her own yard. Gordon has been released on $20,000 bail.

Woodard's great-grandmother, who tried to rescue the child, was also bitten in the attack.

One of the pit bulls was shot by police at the scene of the attack, and the other was killed about 2 hours later when it was discovered running through the neighborhood.

The dogs were often seen wandering through the neighborhood, according to neighbors, but neither had ever behaved aggressively in the past. One neighbor said that the dogs appeared underfed and may have been abused.

Gordon, who was not home at the time of the attack, has a long criminal history. He served eight months in prison in 2009-2010 following a conviction for breaking and entering.


3 Month Old Killed by Family Dog

December 22, 2010

A 3-month-old baby girl was killed by her family's pet Rottweiler, according to police reports.

Alva Vaughn of Houston, Texas, was bathing one of her nine dogs in the bathroom, when one of the family's four Rottweilers got into the house and attacked the baby in the living room.

Vaughn heard the attack and rushed to the living room to find her daughter lying motionless on the floor. Her head and hands had been mangled in the attack.

The Vaughns may face charges under a Texas law that holds dog owners criminally responsible for attacks that result in death.

The family owned four Rottweilers and five mixed-breed dogs.

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