Duluth Lawyers: When Pit Bulls Attack

Duluth Personal Injury Attorney

On Christmas Eve a Kentucky woman was fatally mauled by two pit bulls on her own property. Her husband was seriously injured in the attack. On November 21, 2017 in Lowell, Massachusetts a 7 year old boy was killed by a pair of pit bulls after he wandered into their enclosure, prompting lawmakers to propose a city-wide ban on pit bulls. Pit bull proponents will say “it is not the dog that is at fault, it is the way they were trained.” If your loved one is killed or injured by a pit bull it doesn’t really matter how the dog became the vicious attacker that he is, the damage has already been done. Unfortunately, we are hearing more and more about this breed of dog being involved in fatalities all over America, in spite of the obvious efforts being made to limit their ownership.

In 2009, the military banned pit bulls from all military bases and housing facilities, defining pit bulls (and a few other breeds) as “dangerous dogs.” According to Life Science News, “Pit bulls consistently rank at the top of the list for dog attacks, and by a wide margin.”

“Pit bull” is a general term which is affiliated with a American Staffordshire terrier, an American Pit Bull Terrier, and a Staffordshire bull terrier, or a Pit bull could be a unique mixture of these breeds. These are dogs who were originally bred for hunting large animals and fighting other dogs. They have characteristics such as strong jaws that make them capable of inflicting a lot of damage. The concentrated strength these dogs possess have rendered them the number one most muscular of all the dog breeds.

The Making of a Killer

Pit bulls frequently attack without warning. Remember the pit bull that we are familiar with in America is a product of hundreds of years of breeding that created a fearless powerful dog who rarely warns of their intentions to attack. This trait made them excellent hunters in the 1800’s. Humans can never predict with certainty what is going through a dog’s mind. Letting your child play with an animal of such strength and tenacity is akin to letting your child play with a chimpanzee. We read again and again about the unpredictability of these dogs and so often the owners state that; “he/she has never shown any signs of aggression before.” We must always assume that any unknown dog is a threat, especially around small children.

When a Dog Attacks Without Warning

With your running shoes on you step out your door for an afternoon jog when suddenly you spot a dog coming towards you and he does not look happy. As you stand there in your tennis shoes and jogging shorts you are suddenly aware of how much of your bare skin is showing and you realize that you have only seconds to react appropriately. What do you do now?

Plan A

  • Avoid the temptation to run.
  • Stay as calm as possible with hands down and fists clenched.
  • Don’t yell or kick the dog.
  • Stand sideways and remain rigid.
  • Do not make eye contact with the dog.
  • Give the dog your hat, towel or anything you might be carrying. Try to distract him, or toss something to see if he will chase it.
  • If you get an opportunity, slowly move away from the dog sideways without turning your back on him. If this passive strategy is not working and the dog remains a threat, go to Plan B.

Plan B

  • Face the dog and give him a stern command to “back off.”
  • If the dog attacks you must use force to fight the dog off, hit or kick the dog in the throat, nose, or head to attempt to stun the dog. If you are on the ground with the dog use your body weight to put pressure on his throat or bones.
  • Use a knife or weapon if you have one. This could be a fight for your life.
  • Protect your face, neck, and throat.
  • Scream to get the attention of passers by.

Be Prepared

Whenever you go out jogging, to parks, or play outside in outdoor recreation areas it is highly recommended that you carry bear or pepper spray and make sure it is easily accessible. Bear spray will work well to stop a bear, a dog or a human aggressor. When you are camping in the woods or if you are in an area where bears roam about, bear spray could literally save your life. It can be carried in a hip or chest holster for easy access. Most holsters allow the spray to be fired immediately from the holster without having to remove the can.

In Minnesota, dog owners are responsible to keep their dogs under control. Dog bites can cause serious damage and are often fatal. If you are bitten by a dog:

  • Wash the wound and see your doctor or go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.
  • Notify the police and animal control.
  • Take detailed photos of your wounds and the area where you were attacked.
  • Call an experienced personal injury attorney. Medical bills, follow up care and time off work should not be your financial responsibility if you were attacked by an animal through no fault of your own.

Call Stephens Law P.A. Today

Pit bulls are not the only dogs that bite people, however they cause some of the most serious injuries when they do attack. If you or a loved one was injured by a vicious animal contact our office today for a free consultation. We offer evening and weekend appointments for your convenience. Our toll free number is 877-310-4219.