Tuesday, June 23, 2009
UPDATE 06/23/09: Following Luna's death, Representative Ricky Hardy proposed House Bill 155. Under the Luna McDaniel Act, a dog owner could more easily be charged with negligent homicide if a human being died in the attack. If convicted, a person could face a sentence of no more than five years and a fine up to $5,000 or both. The Louisiana legislature since passed the bill unanimously.
The City of Ville Platte, which already had an ordinance that declared pit bulls "vicious," increased its penalties after Luna's death. It also made owners carry more liability insurance, and gave officers the right to immediately impound a dog without a hearing if the animal was deemed "vicious." Strong urging on the part of McDaniel's family helped pass both state and local legislation, showing the important role a victim's family can play in advancing new laws.
05/25/09: Trial Set for Owner of Pit Bulls
The day after Luna McDaniel died, charges against the pit bull owner, Theo Doucet, were increased to negligent homicide. According to the Advocate newspaper, Doucet is scheduled for trial June 4, 2009. Following Luna's death, the McDaniel's family helped support House Bill 155, statewide legislation that would allow prosecutors to charge all dog owners with negligent homicide after a fatal attack, as well as stricter local laws within the City of Ville Platte.
09/09/08: Ville Platte Woman Dies
Ville Platte, LA - A commenter reported last week that Luna had died from injuries suffered in the attack (Please see our original post). Of her many injuries, she suffered a leg amputation, severe arm injury and both of her ears were badly damaged. Today KATC.com, a local news source, confirms Luna's death. 83-year old Luna McDaniel died September 4th, 2008. The devastating attack occurred August 24th while she was taking an innocent morning walk.
One of the three pit bulls was shot dead on the scene by a police officer. The surviving two dogs were later euthanized. The owner of the dogs was given nine citations for 1.) allowing the dogs to run at large 2.) improper confinement and 3.) having no liability insurance (each charge was multiplied by 3 due to 3 dogs). Six of these charges were possible, the latter two, because the City of Ville Platte declares pit bulls as "vicious" and requires owners to adhere to additional rules.
06/24/09: Louisiana State Dog Attack Law (HB 155) Wins Final Legislative Approval
09/04/08: 83-Year Old Woman Attacked by Pit Bulls in Ville Platte
08/08/08: 70-Year Old Man Mauled by Pit Bulls in New York