Escondido Police Shoot and Kill Pit Bull

Earlier today, Escondido police shot and killed one of two pit bulls that had attacked a woman’s dog.

The attack happened near the intersection of West 10th Avenue and South Maple Street in Escondido. Neighbors report seeing the dog being attacked and came to fend off the pit bulls with shovels.

Animal control officers tried to catch the pit bulls, but the animals confronted the officers very aggressively. Police officers arrived later only to find the pit bulls circling the officers. Pepper spray was ineffective and when one of the dogs rushed the police officers, one of the dogs was shot twice and later died.

The second pit bull was taken into custody by animal control and the dog’s owners could be facing criminal charges for the attack.

We hope that these dog owners face the maximum criminal penalty for allowing their obviously dangerous dogs to run around the neighborhood unescorted. Luckily the dog that was attacked is expected to survive. But it could have easily been a person or a child that was attacked. It is unconscionable that these dogs were left unattended on the streets.

If you or a loved one has ever been injured by a dog bite or attack, please contact us so that your rights are immediately protected.

Most Likely Areas For Dog Bites in San Diego; Bites by Breed

A recent news story by NBC 7/39 highlights the areas in San Diego where victims are most likely to be bitten, the breeds most likely to bite, the months in which dog bites are most likely to occur, and the typical age of victims.

Not surprisingly, the months when dog bites are most likely to occur are warm-weather months, the most prevalent being July, when people are outside with their dogs enjoying the weather.

Also, not surprisingly, the highest number of reported dog bites come from pit bulls. Not surprisingly because the breed is very popular amongst owners who are either irresponsible or do not have the experience to control a very physical breed like a pit bull. However, the #2 breed–Labrador Retrievers–is a surprise. This breed is particularly popular amongst owners with young children and is known for its’ great temperament. We suspect the placing is due to the sheer number of the breed in San Diego County. As the news story states, any dog can bite at any time depending on the circumstances.

Our office actually gets more calls for the #4 breed, the chihuahua, than any other breed other than the pit bull. In our experience, the chihuahua is a particularly aggressive breed and will lash out at its’ owners and others. There are probably more bites by chihuahuas than the number reported. The saving grace is that, due to the animal’s size, the damage does not tend to be as serious or life-threatening as when a larger breed bites.

Last, the areas where most dog bites occur and the age of the victims raises a great deal of concern. Most dog bites occur in areas where pit bulls and more menacing dogs are popular. Coupled with the fact that most victims are under 10 years old, and this is a recipe for disaster.

Dog owners must take all steps to protect other members of the public from their animals’ aggressive actions. If you or a loved one has been bitten, knocked down, or otherwise injured by a dog, please contact us for an immediate consultation.

Bad Owners Lead to Ban, Euthanization of Pit Bulls

These are bad times if you are a pit bull, or own one, in Denver.

Scared by the damage that pit bulls can inflict when they attack, the City Council of Aurora approved a ban of new pit bulls within the city limits. Owners of existing pit bulls can keep their pet if the meet new rules, including a special, breed-specific licensing fee of $200, carrying $100,000 of liability insurance, be at least 21 years of age, and post warning signs in the front of their property.

With the exception of the breed-specific licensing fee, none of these requirements are outrageous. They are simply the minimum requirements of being a responsible dog owner–of any breed.

However, the ban is the result of not only urban myths about the breed, but, most importantly, bad owners.

So are pit bulls the product of the breed or bad owners? And who is responsible for the damages they cause–the dog or the owner?

First, let’s deal with the public’s fear of the breed. As many are aware, this muscular breed looks like this:

Pit%20Bull.bmp

Quite menancing looking, huh?

But, if we’re going to condemn the big, muscular, adult version of the breed universally, then we also have to condemn these guys as equally bad:

Not ready to do that? Unfortunately, one of the consequences of Aurora’s ban is that pit bulls of all ages are being sent to the pound.

Even more unfortunate is that this breed has been the victim of poor owners and, in most cases that come into our office, completely irresponsible owners. It seems common sense that dog owners should keep their animals closed in their property, should carry sufficient insurance to pay for damages caused by their animal, and–if there are signs of prior aggressive behavior–place warning signs outside their property.

Yet, I can’t tell you how many times we have received telephone calls from the parents of small children who have been mauled by pit bulls owned by irresponsible owners who (1) let their animal wander the neighborhood unsupervised, (2) do not carry ANY insurance at all, and (3) do not take any extra steps to safeguard others after their animal had shown prior aggression.

Dog bites obviously aren’t limited to pit bulls. We’ve received a greater number of calls from dog bites from smaller dogs (chihuahuas, poodles, etc.) than pit bulls. The difference, though, is that the pit bull owners have been irresponsible almost to a man while the other dog owners possess insurance and supervised their dogs.

This is not an indictment of pit bull owners in total. Just a certain group of owners. The public should hold these owners to a higher standard of responsibility than they hold themselves. The public should also take a little time to find out about these often misunderstood animals.

But they should cut the animals some slack for the shortcomings of their owners.

Dangerous Pit Bull Dog on the Loose in University City Neighborhood of San Diego

Last Friday evening San Diego police warned University City residents of a dangerous pit bull on the loose. The pit bull attacked another dog at the University Gardens neighborhood park on Governor Dr. at around 5:30 p.m.

A San Diego police officer that responded to the dog attack was also attacked by the pit bull. The San Diego officer shot the pit bull, but it then fled into the canyon nearby. A San Diego police helicopter helped officers search for the pit bull and warned University City residents of the dangerous dog on the loose. San Diego police did not find the dog that evening and Animal Control continued the search on Saturday.

Pit Bull, Rottweiler, and Wolf Hybrid Dog Bites are Still Rampant in San Diego

Just take one look at the website DogsBite.org and you will be bombarded with stories about Pit Bull, Rottweiler, and Wolf Hybrid attacks. Just recently, in Texas, two adults got their eyes ripped out by pit bulls in a vicious dog attack.

Many times these dog attacks can be pretty gruesome and one of the scary things is that these attacks happen just as often on both adults and children. The combination of the three breeds amount to

* 77 percent of attacks that cause bodily harm
* 73 percent of dog attacks on children
* 83 percent of attacks on adults
* 70 percent of attacks that result in fatalities
* 77 percent that results in maiming

It is a myth that, in California, a dog owner is only responsible for his dog’s actions if the owner was negligent or irresponsible. In fact, California’s dog bite statute holds owners nearly “strictly liable”–meaning responsible even though they may have acted carefully–for their dog’s actions so long as the victim was legally allowed to be where the dog bite occurred (in other words, not a burglar, etc.).

Now, not all dogs of these breeds are dangerous. But Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Wolf Hybrids all have a higher propensity to be dangerous, which, when coupled with lax, weak, timid, or just irresponsible owners lead to the dogs losing control of their aggressive natures. Regardless, when a dog of any breed attacks, it is not man’s best friend and it is very savage in asserting its’ dominance over its’ victim.

If you or a neighbor have been involved in a dog attack or San Diego dog bite, please contact the San Diego dog bite lawyers to hold their owners accountable for their irresponsibility.

Escondido Dog Bite Attack Leaves Man Seriously Injured

A 56-year old man was badly bitten in a San Diego County dog bite attack on February 16, 2010, by a pair of aggressive dogs, one of which has a history of biting. This dog bite accident took place in a West Escondido gated community.

The victim, Tom Atkinson, said he was finishing a jog on Rock View Glen in the Emerald Heights development when he noticed two loose pit-bull mix dogs growling at a neighbor and his leashed dog. He joined the neighbor and fought off the dogs. However, as Atkinson continued up the street, the dogs turned around and charged. He was bitten several times by the pair of animals, leaving him with one bad bite to the forearm that required stitches to close the wound and another deep bite to the thigh.

One of the dogs was impounded by a San Diego County Animal Control Officer but was later released to the owner, who promised to keep it on a 10-day quarantine. The other dog also was allowed to stay with the owner but was not quarantined. There may be an administrative hearing to determine whether the dogs are potentially dangerous under the law.

Our office wishes for a speedy recovery for Tom Atkinson. We are indeed glad more serious harm was not done! Some of you may know from prior posts that I am not a fan of breed specific dog laws, particularly those that target Rottweilers or Pit Bulls. While these breeds are most commonly involved in dog bite attacks, it is my own belief that these attacks are the fault of poor owners who are attracted to owning these breeds due to their menacing appearance and strong physiques. Certainly, if you own either of these breeds, you must be a strong and dominant owner—more so than if you own another, less physically imposing breed. Dogs are pack animals and will submit to a pack leader that it respects. Respect, for dogs, comes from an owner who has strong mental discipline and will discipline their pet when it gets out of line.

In this case, how could the owners of these dogs allow them to run free in this neighborhood? This is particularly true of the owner of the dog with the prior bite history. This is completely inexcusable. It is bad enough that Mr. Atkinson was attacked and severely wounded. However, what would have happened—as we normally see in these cases—if these dogs would have attacked a child? Typically, the result is massive traumatic injury and perhaps even death for the child who cannot defend itself against such strong animals. Dog owners must always be responsible, but even more so when they own potentially lethal breeds.