A Gilbert boy lost his life after being mauled by three pit bull dogs owned by his babysitter recently. He was just two years old.
Police have reported that a 28-year-old woman was watching the boy and his four siblings in her home as she had done on previous occasions. The woman began babysitting for the family about 10 years ago and knew the children, though most of the time she watched the kids in the family’s home. All five of the children reportedly had special needs and were adopted by a couple who wanted to provide them with a good home.
The children were in the babysitter’s home when something happened and the babysitter’s dogs began to attack. There were four pit bull mixes in the house and three of them began to maul the two-year-old boy who was unable to defend himself. The babysitter attempted to break up the attack and was seriously injured herself during the fight. She called 911 for help and responding officers performed CPR on the young child but unfortunately his injuries were too severe and he died.
The babysitter underwent surgery to repair her injuries and when she awoke, she consented to have the three dogs that attacked the child euthanized. The fourth dog was not involved and is currently being held by Animal Control but will be returned to the woman upon her release from the hospital.
This is a tragic example of dogs turning on small children when there is no indication that the dogs had been aggressive in the past. But the past behavior of a dog is never a guarantee of how the dog will act in the future.
Arizona law makes dog owners responsible for the injuries caused by their dogs regardless of where an attack occurs and whether the dog has been aggressive in the past. This means that even if a dog bites someone once, the owner of that dog can be immediately liable to the victim. This can include financial liability for any medical bills incurred or in the tragic case where a victim is killed, the loss of a loved one’s life as provided to surviving family members.
Approximately 40 percent of all serious dog attacks are against children aged 14 and under, meaning that dogs regularly cause injuries to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Despite this, many dog owners continue to fail to properly restrain and/or control their dogs, leading to a situation where a dog is unsupervised around a small child. Most dogs are nice, friendly, and caring around children but it only takes a second for a dog to turn against a child and attack.
If you or your child has been a victim, call the Phoenix dog bite injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free telephone consultation regarding your case. We are standing by now at (602) 819-5191 or toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER and we want to speak with you. At Abels & Annes, P.C., there is never a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf so call us today and let us help you get a recovery you deserve.
Prior Blog Entries:
Father of Arizona Cardinal Killed in Car Crash on the Way to See Game, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 23, 2013.
Red Light Crash Causes Pedestrian’s Death, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 16, 2013.
Dogs euthanized after killing 2-year-old boy, Fox 10 News, published September 24, 2013.
Photo Credit: ltshears, stock.xchng.