"Not Very Social Dog" Used in Petting Zoo
Valencia, CA - Disneyland is being sued after a "not very social" dog was placed in its petting zoo and subsequently mauled a 2-year-old girl leaving her permanently scarred. The suit alleges that Disneyland adopted the 6-year-old red-and-black-haired German shepherd-labrador mix named Hemmingway from the Orange County Animal Shelter, where facility workers said he was "not very social" and had a history of aggression.
Why did Orange County Animal Shelter adopt this dog out?
Apparently, nobody knew anything about the dog when he came into the shelter, and he wouldn't let anyone near him for five days. A shelter veterinarian even noted that he couldn't pet the dog. A month later, on Sept. 23, 2006, a Disney employee adopted Hemmingway. The company placed the leashed dog on a box in the Big Thunder petting zoo and assigned an employee with no animal training to watch over him while children played with him.
On the afternoon of Oct. 3, 2006, Lena Dickerson, her parents and two siblings walked up to Hemmingway. Anna, her 9-year-old sister, began petting the dog's head, her 5-year-old brother Eli stroked his back and Lena, 2 at the time, stroked near his rear. When it came time to leave, Lena leaned in to say goodbye and the dog lunged at her, knocking Eli in the chest and biting Lena's face several times.
Lena is now 4, and the family is seeking unspecified punitive damages as well as reimbursement for their medical cost and trauma imposed by the incident.
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