Friday, January 25, 2008
UPDATE 1/29/08: It is reported that Memphis officials can prosecute the dog owner for poor fencing. View the City of Memphis Ordinance. The TV news footage shows the fence, which was meant to keep the dog enclosed, barely adequate. Furthermore, it is not new information that pit bulls can scale fences 6 feet high and beyond.
1/25/08: Pit Bull Jumps Fence, Attacks Child
Memphis, TN - A five-year-old boy who was attacked and dragged down the street by a pit bull is recovering, but still needs help to do everyday chores. Police shot and killed the dog after it jumped the fence and attacked him last Thursday. His mother believes it is a miracle he's alive. "For me, it's amazing nothing happened around his neck because he would have died," she said. "If my son died, I'd die. I couldn't live with that."
The physical scars Juan suffered from the attack are clearly visible. Now he and his mother, Eulalia, are trying to work through the emotional scars. She was at work, with no access to a phone, when the attack happened. She didn't find out about it until returning from work. Her fears were not alleviated to learn that the owner wasn't charged. Apparently in Memphis, as long as the dog is fenced the owner is not liable if the dog escapes it.
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| 1/26/2008 8:34 AM |
Maybe there was no criminal liability, based on local laws, but there definitely could be some civil liability. The family may feel intimidated by the dogs owner, or be unsure of what their rights are due to the language barrier. The "owner" of the dog may be a teenager, or be otherwise judgement proof.
I'd like to see some of these civil cases pursued...I'd like to see some dog owners lose their homes after the settlement. I think a few real world cases where owners were held liable for the expenses of the victim would make these dogs a lot less popular.