A retired police dog was euthanized recently after it repeatedly bit a young man who tried to offer the dog a bowl of water.
On a Sunday evening in July a 20-year-old man noticed a German shepherd wandering the neighborhood and offered it a drink of water. The dog took a drink from the proffered bowl, then placed both front paws on the man’s chest and bit him. The dog then dragged the man into the street.
Neighbors Come to Young Man’s Aid
Several relatives and friends were nearby and they proceeded to punch and kick at the dog in an attempt to free the victim. According to animal services officials, witnesses were then forced to stab at the dog with steak knives which finally forced it to release its grip.
The victim suffered from multiple bite wounds, but the injuries were not considered life threatening. The German shepherd, however, was euthanized due to the stab wounds.
A microchip confirmed that the dog was a former K9 member of the Los Angeles County law enforcement agency.
Dog’s Owner Unknown
California’s dog bite statute is limited as it is based on the ownership of the dog. In the story above, animal services found the dog lying on the front lawn of a house, but they were unable to confirm whether the resident of the home was actually the owner of the dog.
An individual who is simply keeping the dog but who is not the owner may not be liable under California law. A keeper or handler may be liable, however, if the keeper knows that the dog can be aggressive.
Dog Bites on Californian Property
Another common defense for dog bites is that an individual who was bitten was not welcome on the property and was trespassing. In these instances the owner of the dog may not be liable if it is decided that the victim trespassed on the property when they were attacked.
The victim still may be able to sue for negligence.
Seeking Legal Assistance after a Dog Attack
Some dog attack cases are straightforward while others may be complicated. It can be challenging to prove that the dog owner is at fault and, in some instances, the victim is blamed.
Triebsch & Frampton, APC helps define the law for claimants. We will explore all avenues for compensation available so that you receive the recovery and compensation you deserve for your injuries.
To speak with one of our experienced “dog bite” attorneys, contact us today to schedule a free consultation at (209) 667-2300.