Thursday, September 25, 2008
Atlanta, GE - Harris recalls the day his 8-year-old chow was attacked by an American Bulldog at the dog park. The dog "snapped and he went into full attack mode," Harris said. "His canine teeth had ripped Digby from the top of his back all the way to his stomach. We were just pulling the dogs apart and the more we pulled, the more my dog was screaming."
Harris rushed Digby to the vet hospital where his wound was cleaned and stapled shut. But Harris said the next several days were agonizing for both he and his dog. "Every time he would exhale, he would cry,” said Harris. Twelve days later, Digby died from bacterial build up in his blood tracing back to the bulldog. All Jeff has left is a memorial for Digby in his home, which is now silent without his partner.
Harris wants to sue the bulldog’s owners because of the pain and suffering both he and Digby endured. But in Georgia and other states, animals are considered property and a court may only award a plaintiff the worth of that property. In this case, Harris rescued Digby and paid $20 for him. The video stated that Jeff might seek reimbursement for the veterinary bills and other nonpunative damages.
Jeff said, "I think there needs to be some kind of law or legislation, something so that the owner’s of the dog that was attacked have some type or recourse." There is a push in Georgia and other states to change the laws so that punitive damages, such as pain and suffering, would apply. As it is, there are a number of cases nationwide where courts have awarded pet owners punitive damages.
What to Do if Your Dog is Injured or Killed
Widely respected dog bite attorney Kenneth Phillips has a downloadable self-help book for Jeff's situation. The cost of the book is $9.95. Phillips writes on his website: "What To Do If Your Dog Is Injured Or Killed will enable you to get compensated for veterinarian bills, emotional distress, and anything else that you are legally entitled to receive." DogsBite.org has not reviewed this book.
Pictured: Jeff Harris, former dog owner.
09/08/08: New Law Prevents Criminal Charges in Attack on Cairn Terrier
08/29/08: Owner of Mauled Yorkie Sues Pit Bull Owner for $250,000
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| 9/25/2008 7:33 PM |
I am sickened by this story and saddened for Mr. Harris and the loss of his beloved pet. SHAME, SHAME (!!) that the owner of the pit bull has not stepped up to the plate and offered to make amends (and shame on the GA judicial system. It repeatedly fails the innocent and enables the criminals..and this WAS criminal!) Pit bull owner is a coward! The manner is which this precious dog was killed must have horrifying and the sense of helplessness, haunting for Jeff. He must be dealing with both grief and outrage. My heart goes out to him. I agree with the previous post that if a pet (family member) can be skinned alive in broad daylight with no consequence, trouble is sure to follow.
| 9/26/2008 3:07 AM |
The breeders and owners of these dog aggressive breeds have already calculated theat neighborhood dogs are expendable. It's legalized animal cruelty.
Yet, the humane organizations ruthlessly pursue humans guilty of abusing their precious pit bulls.
They don't bat an eye when a bullie breed kills someone's dog.
| 9/26/2008 8:37 AM |
Animal protection society always have a problem: how can you protect both the lamb and the lion? If you protect the lamb, the lion will starve, if you protect the lion the lamb is eaten.
To me it is clear that animal protection societies have choosen to protect the lion. All other dogs are collateral damage of their choice to protect pitbulls.
| 9/26/2008 7:03 PM |
If this was a responsible pit bull owner who was knowledgable in their breed, they would have known not to take a pit bull to a dog park in the first place. And yet we can't ban pit bulls from dog parks, we must rely on owners to be knowledgable.
| 9/27/2008 5:20 AM |
Some nutters know they shouldn't take them where other dogs are present, but are so consumed by Pit advocating that they've calculated it as worth the risk. Just look at the FABB incident a few weeks ago...
They can always use the "it's just dogs being dogs" excuse when there is an incident.
| 10/05/2008 7:03 AM |
There has to be laws against this. I too witnessed my little maltese baby mauled to death by a pit bull next door who jumped the fence. The dogs have repeatedly gotten in our yard over the years and we have pleaded with them to find a way to keep them put up. They continue to breed these animals and do nothing. I do not think I will ever lose the vicious and senseless memory of this. He was my baby and there needs to be laws for this. I cannot believe when you have a fenced in back yard that you have to be on guard to let your precious ones play. I am seeking advice on how to go about changing the law/creating a law for this. It is unthinkable to put a price on our companion's life. In my opinion, there is no price. It is awful, just awful! My heart is breaking and has been since 10/1/08 and it breaks for all who have endured this pain.
| 11/11/2008 12:24 AM |
Georgia law isn't just deficient when it comes to protecting and compensating pet owners when vicious dogs attack, but people as well. Georgia has the highest rate of vicious dog maulings and deaths in the nation. Why? Because they have pathetic laws that protect criminals rather than victims. As a victim of an attack, I am also looking for ways to get GA law changed, but when you have local mayors and other officials involved in dog fighting rings, that's a hard thing to do.