Earlier this year 63 year old Pamela Marie Devitt was jogging in Littlerock, California, when she was attacked by “four killer pit bulls” and mauled to death. Another woman attempted to scare off the dogs by driving at them with her car but they attacked the car and began biting the tires. Not until a County Sheriff arrived did the tragic ordeal end.
Her body was dragged 50 yards, her head was scalped and one of her arms had been torn off. She died of her wounds while being transported to the hospital. The dogs were know to be vicious and had launched previous attacks.
After 36 years of representing victims of vicious dogs our firm has experienced a marked increase in the number vicious dog attacks.
Apparently prompted by this recent dog bite death, Mike Antonovich, Supervisor of Los Angeles County’s 5th District successfully spearheaded an effort to tighten the grip on dangerous dogs. A dog’s bite can now subject its owner to a $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail. This new ordinance has expanded the definition of a vicious dog to include those that have bitten or injured an animal.
On the Civil side of the law, owners of dogs that bite and injure people, in addition to the potential fines and jail times, may be subjected to civil prosecution based on statutory law or negligence. They can be held liable for all medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering and any other damages a victim of a dog bite might experience.
Insurance companies are becoming more creative in their efforts to avoid having to pay for such attacks. Every homeowner or apartment owner should check their home insurance policy to see if there are any exclusions of coverage for dangerous dogs. Even some endorsements that are allegedly offered to insure the homeowner, are misleading and offer very little in the way of protection by limiting the amount they will pay, if your dog bites someone, to $5,000 to $10,000.
Check your policies, know what protections you have and protect your friends and neighbors by ensuring that your dog is safely contained. Save your dog’s life and protect others.
The owner of the pit bulls that attacked Ms. Devitt is now being prosecuted for murder.
View Los Angeles County Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dog Ordinance
View other blog posts on vicious dog attacks.
Read More about what you can do if you or a loved one is the victim of a dog attack.