Sunday, June 8, 2008
Hoquiam, WA - Police say a 33-year-old man was mauled by three dogs at a neighbor's house and had to be taken to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center for treatment of severe injuries. Sgt. Steve Fretts says Chris Cummings' nose was almost torn off in the Saturday afternoon pack attack at the home.
Cummings went to the house, where he regularly mows the lawn, and entered a gated area of the yard. He knocked on the door to schedule a time to do yard work, but the residents weren't home. Fretts says a German shepherd mix, a pit bull mix and a terrier mix at the house then attacked Cummings after he tried to leave the yard. It's a fairly easy guess as to which dog injured his nose.
Fretts says Cummings managed to escape the yard and shut the gate behind him before running home, where his mother drove him to Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen for severe injuries to his face, arms and torso. Cummings then was taken by ambulance to Harborview Medical Center, where he was listed in satisfactory condition today by a nursing supervisor.
The three dogs that attacked Cummings are in custody at the Hoquiam Police Department. A fourth dog in the gated area, a pomeranian, remains at the owner's home. The fourth dog was not believed to have participated in the attack. All four animals must be quarantined for 10 days. A hearing on the attack on Cummings will be held Tuesday in Hoquiam Municipal Court.
Washington State is a "strict-liability" state. Dog owners are required to pay damages under all circumstances after a dog bite. The question is, do they always have the means to pay? In this instance, it appears the dog owners are homeowners. But only 1-2 insurance providers cover pit bulls in Washington. Let's hope the owners of these dogs had a valid policy.
The hearing must be about the fate of the dogs. The attack happened on-property and under a "pack attack" mentality. It will be interesting to see what the judge determines.
03/08/08: Pit Bull Will Have His Day in Court After Biting Victim
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