Invited Onto the Dog Owner's Property
Oroville, CA - An Oroville woman was seriously injured by two pit bulls after being invited into the dog owner's yard. Craig Erickson of Butte County Environmental Health Department, who oversees animal control, said the woman was invited onto the property to use the phone. He said the victim's injuries "were severe in nature." He described the dogs as a neutered male and female pit bull.
Wanda Michelle Lawver, 34, said she had gone to the house to use the telephone. The dogs had been fighting, but a man she knew inside the yard said the dogs wouldn't hurt her. But when she opened the gate and stepped inside the yard, the dogs charged her. She ran outside the yard, and the dogs followed, pulling her down and attacking her on the sidewalk in front of the house.
Lawver said she screamed for help, but the man just stood there. She didn't know if he was scared, didn't know what to do, or why he didn't help. She threw up her arms to protect herself, and the dogs bit her arms, legs and the right side of her body. She said she was terrified and screamed, but no one helped her. She said, "I thought I was going to die right there on the sidewalk."
After an ambulance arrived, she was taken to the hospital. Later, she recounted the attack from her hospital bed with a blank expression on her face that hid her trauma. Her former mother-in-law, Roma Loseth, said she had a tube in her side to drain one wound, and her hands were swollen, so she had trouble using them to eat. "They chewed her from her head to her toes," Loseth said.
She was released from the hospital two days later. We hope she has contacted a lawyer. California is a strict liability state, which favors victims.
3342. (a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
09/19/08: San Antonio Woman Severely Mauled by Two Pit Bulls
04/23/08: Pit Bull Attacks Child and Mom After Knock on Door