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17 thoughts on “Paula Ybarra, Dog Attack Victim, Wins Settlement from Minneapolis

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  1. Did you read this in the comments?

    “Animal Control is a Joke…
    …in Minneapolis. After our redneck neighbors left a gate open and their precious pitbull , who would never hurt a flea, latched onto my dog and nearly killed him I wound up in “doggie court”. The city declared the dog dangerous, then a bleeding heart “dog judge” overturned it with a gentle slap on the wrist and a promise to fix the gate. The city again declared the dog dangerous after further investigation due to the severity of the wounds, and guess what? Another “dog judge” trial later, and the decision was overturned yet again. This animal still remains in our Northeast Mpls neighborhood and terrorizes anyone that comes near it, much to the delight of its tough-guy wannabe owner. This dog was rescued from a Pitbull shelter and should have been put down long ago. The irresponsible owners claim the dog was “confused and scared” after moving two blocks away, and the city bought that garbage hook, line and sinker. The other frightened neighbors even went as far as to sign a petition calling for removal of the dog, but it was roundly ignored by the city, who instead felt sorry for the owners and their clearly vicious pitbull.

    We need to get the names of the judges right out in black and white who let these dangerous dogs back into public to maim and kill.

    These judges need to be held responsible for the death and harm.
    And we need to start keeping track of communities with dangerous dog judges.

    Did you notice that the dog came from a pit bull shelter?

    It is time to start hitting these “shelters” and rescues with lawsuits. They are directly causing harm by releasing these dogs.

  2. Last year New York City paid out $5Million when a police officer pick up a pit off the street, gave it to a family and the dog turned out to be a freddy kreuger.

    Recently, a Florida school district paid out $1.8 million when a student was disfigured by a pit on school grounds.

    The cost to taxpayers keeps rising…

  3. Here’s a problem in Minneapolis

    JUDGES adjudicating dog related cases that themselves have aggressive dogs and dog problems

    This Judge Kevin Burke

    Wonder if this judge is a breeder? The breeders are quite opposed to dangerous dog laws and constantly fight to weaken them, and give dogs extra “chances”

  4. You could add another zero to that settlement amount and it would not be enough!

    oh yeah, and the name of that judge is Cherie Graves!

  5. For the city not to have fought this in Court, there must have been a massive, indefensible Animal Control breakdown leading to this mauling…This is a collossal precedent as typically A/C breakdowns are rarely investigated nor are the offending agencies held accountable.

    More please!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The individual Animal Control officers responsible for leaving that dog there to attack again should also be sued

    Am I right in assuming that the AC people that failed so massively are still on the payroll there? Ready to do it again? What controls have been put in place

  7. Legally, it’s tough to say. In the Spotsville case, the county/government could not be sued but the “individual negligent” AC officers could be. These officers, I assume, broke policy in their actions of the dogs that killed Dorothy Sullivan.

  8. I’d like to alert dogsbite readers to another growing trend in the “pit bull rescue” community….the placing of former fighting dogs as pets by claiming they were “bait dogs”. There is a growing trend of “rescue angels” explaining away dog-aggression and obvious scarring and injuries, by claiming the dog was used as a bait dog. Potential adopters are led to believe that the dog the shelter workers are trying to “sell” them was “forced” to fight, and was a victim, not an aggressor.

    The ridiculousness of these claims is not immediately obvious to potential adopters; how would shelter workers know the dog was a bait dog and not simply the loser in an organized dog fight? The answer is, they don’t. It is unlikely that a real bait dog would have survived….claiming every scarred up pit bull was a victim and not a willing opponent makes it easier to adopt out dangerous pit bulls….by preying upon the tender hearts of animal lovers who don’t understand the true nature of the fighting breeds.

    Please share this warning with others in the dog-loving community……encouraging the placement of highly dog aggressive pit bulls in our communities puts all of our companion animals in danger.

  9. March 10, 2009 UPDATE:
    No new information has been discovered regarding the lawsuit against Thomas Mohrbacker. Various rumors are floating about, including that Mohrbacker committed suicide, but these rumors remain unverified. What we do know is the following:

    Paul Ybarra was attacked by Mohrbacker's dogs March 26, 2007. She was nearly killed in the attack. The 160-pound American bulldog named Bo Bo cut a hole in her windpipe damaging a major artery and her voice box. Merlin, a 65-pound pit bull, was also in the room at the time of the attack.

    Prior to the attack (December 2006), Bo Bo bit the shoulder of a child. Several months after the attack on Ybarra (May 2007), Mohrbacker was arrested for missing a court appearance. Mohrbacker was charged with three misdemeanors for not registering his dogs as dangerous after the incident in December and for their role in the mauling of Paula Ybarra in March.

    In May of 2008, Ybarra sued Animal Control and Mohrbacker after incurring more than $225,000 worth of medical treatment. Ybarra was forced to sell her home to pay her medical bills. Up until this time, Ybarra had not publicly blamed Mohrbacker for the attack.

    In November 2008, Ybarra was awarded a settlement by the City of Minneapolis ($367,000). The 2009 "spring" trial against Mohrbacker is apparently still pending.

  10. The StarTribune recently reported the suicide (June 1, 2009):

    "The push for compliance grew out of incidents like the one that changed Ybarra's life and has claimed several others. She was attacked by a pit bull and bulldog at a northeast Minneapolis home, and she nearly died from throat injuries. The dogs were destroyed. The incident claimed a final life this year, when owner Thomas Mohrbacker, who was sued by Ybarra, killed himself.

    The episode cost the city $367,000 — the amount it paid to settle Ybarra's claim that the city should have confiscated the dangerous dogs before they had a chance to attack her. The city was already moving to toughen its restrictions when the attack happened. Afterward, it installed Dan Niziolek as animal control manager."

  11. Oh gosh — so good to hear from you! The 10-year anniversary is a big one! We are so glad that you are both doing well. Your mother is so courageous! We wish all of you many blessings in your future.

  12. In 12 days it will be the 10 year anniversary of my moms attack. I am now fourteen and Adrianna is 19. We're doing good.

  13. You have to stop thinking that way — it is not true at all. You were not to blame in anyway. The people who were to blame were sued and your mother's legal case prevailed.

  14. Sunday will mark 10 years of my moms attack. And although me, my mother and my sisters are okay we still miss Tom very very much. He was like an uncle to us. We'll be going back to the house it happened at just like we did every year.

  15. No matter how old I get I will always blame myself for this. Always. I may have been 4 but still. It's my fault.

  16. Thomas had serious problems that is why he committed suicide. Yes, his dogs had been declared dangerous, so he had full knowledge of this. This is why he and the city were sued — that is how our legal system works. Responsible parties pay compensation to victims. Your mother had very expensive medical bills the responsible parties had to help pay. Your mother could have died from her injuries. No one said anything about deliberate intention on the part of Thomas.

    Also, you did not fall down, as a 4 year old, you were knocked to the ground by a 150 pound dog. I understand that the 10 year anniversary is painful and difficult. But none of this was your fault or your mother's fault. You need to stop blaming yourself.

  17. Thomas was not to blame. Even though he knew his dogs were dangerous we'd known him for years and they'd known us for years. He didn't expect them to do it. February 17, 2009 he killed himself. I never met him properly. And I will never see him again. All because I fell

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