Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pitbulls Attack 71-Year Old Man

In Encino, a 71-year old man was brutally attacked by two pit bulls while he was walking along Burbank Boulevard.

The old man got knocked by the pitbulls and tried to defend himself by raising his hands against the dogs but instead got multiple bite marks on his arms.

Nearby motorists came to the man’s aid and scared off the dogs. Some drivers used their car horns and one even nudged one of the dogs with his car bumper. The old man was rushed to the hospital and was reported to be in a stable condition.

According to the police, the dogs have escaped from the backyard of a nearby home being watched over by a house sitter while the owners were away.

Animal services are now investigating the attack and the owners may face criminal or civil action. The dogs may also either be impounded or quarantined.

Under the law in California, dog attacks fall under the strict liability doctrine – this means that the dog owner will be held liable for any damage inflicted by his dog even he wasn’t negligent or if his dog has no attack history.

But given the attack incident in Encino, the 71-year old man may file a claim for damages against the pet owner on the basis of the negligence.

Negligence can be proven on the part of the dog owner if he is:

• Mishandling a dog
• Ineffectively controlling or failing to control a dog
• Putting a dog in a situation that can possibly cause injuries
• Violating animal control laws (Leash Laws)

Under the law, the owner has the duty to exercise reasonable care and due diligence to prevent his pet from harming people or property (i.e. other pets).

If his dog has an aggressive nature (i.e. pitbulls), putting a leash on the pet as well as securing the dog in a backyard or having a fence will keep the dog from wrecking havoc in the community.