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Rescuing a fully grown dog is a noble thing to do

Rescuing a fully grown dog is a noble thing to do when a person or family decides to add a dog to their family. However, it is important to know the dog’s temperament prior to bringing him home. In one case that occurred on September 8, 1958, a family had rescued a grown Dalmatian and taken him into their home. On the first day that they brought the dog home, he bit the mother of the home on her arm. The family dismissed this incident because they felt that the dog only bit her because he was being fed by a strange person. This was a mistake on their part in reference to dog behavior. It was a clear demonstration that the dog would likely pose a problem for them in the future. However, this family chose to ignore the incident and even continued to put the food down, unwittingly rewarding the dog for biting the mother.

In the next few years, the dog managed to bite almost every member of the family at least once. The family continued to make excuses for this inappropriate behavior because they said in court that they were just nips that did not break the skin. The trial court determined correctly that any reasonable person would have viewed these nips as a propensity for this dog to bite a person. Dogs are generally less likely to bite a member of their own family than they are to bite a stranger. Any dog that will bite or nip their own family will most likely bite a stranger. Making excuses for a dog biting anyone is misguided at best. A dog that bites will only cause problems for any family who takes him in. While adopting a full grown dog may seem like a good thing at the time, if the dog is a biter, it can only lead to someone becoming injured and possibly disfigured for life. Containing a vicious animal is critical to protecting both the animal and anyone with whom it may come in contact. Making excuses does not help the dog before or after the fact. Once a dog has bitten someone, it is less likely to be reserved about biting again. In the case of this dog, he had even bitten a friend of the youngest child in the family when the child came over to play. The family made excuses for the dog again by claiming that the young child was a stranger to the dog. No steps were taken to restrict the dog’s access to visitors and the fence that the dog was contained in when in the yard was directly adjacent to the public sidewalk.

On the date in question, an eleven year old boy was in front of this family’s house playing with a hoola hoop and one of his friends. The Dalmatian came out to them on the public sidewalk and attacked the boy. The boy was bitten on the stomach and right leg. He went to the hospital to get treatment for his injuries. His father filed a lawsuit on his behalf and requested summary judgment on the issue of liability and that the case go directly to a jury for an assessment of damages. The court agreed. There is clearly no reason to attempt to determine if the owners of this dog had prior knowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite a person. The dog had bitten everyone in his family. The attack took place on a public sidewalk and not inside the yard or on the property of the owner of the dog. The dog’s owner failed to contain the dog in a manner that would protect innocent citizens from being bitten by him.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, New York dog bite attorneys can evaluate your case on its own merit. We are located in convenient offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area. A New York personal injury lawyer is important to determine the right course of action for you and your family.

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