City Liable For Mauling By a Pit Bull
The day before toddler Makailah Barnett was mauled, the mother had received a pit bull from a police officer. Last week a Bronx jury placed the injury blame squarely on the pit bull and the city of New York. The verdict may pave the way for the family to receive millions of dollars in damages.
Peculiar circumstances surround the officer's decision to give the dog to the toddler's mother, Shannon Smith. That day, the police had found the dog abandoned near the police station and took it into the precinct office. Ms. Smith was there at the same time. She and the officer struck up a conversation about the dog and she ended up taking it home.
The officer violated multiple laws by his actions including: not holding the dog for at least 5 days to give owners a chance to recover their pet and not taking the dog to city animal control. Ms. Smith's legal complaint asks for 10 million dollars. The jury has yet to fix damages.
In a Different Civil Suit
A Virginia family is suing Spotsylvania County for 5 million dollars after Dorothy Sullivan, 86, was mauled to death by pit bulls. Apparently the county's animal control knew the dogs were dangerous and did not take proper action.
What About Jennifer Lowe?
Last month in Knox County Tennessee, Jennifer Lowe was attacked and killed by a friend's two pit bulls while she was in his home. Prior to the mauling, animal control officers had visited the home 5 times, and both dogs had been deemed "dangerous." The owner, Charles Smallwood, was required to have the dogs muzzled if the dogs were "off-property." Because Jennifer was on-property at the time of the attack, Smallwood faces no criminal penalty.