Articles Posted in Animal and Dog Bites

Three pit bull terriers have been placed under quarantine after a Pittsfield, Massachusetts dog attack that sent a 9-year-old boy to the hospital. Perrin and his mother Jessyca Petell were entering their multi-family residence on Monday night when the dogs ran at him in a common area. The pit bulls belong to another resident.

Perrin sustained 35 nail and teeth puncture wounds to his face, head, and arms, and a portion of his scalp (about 3-inches by 3-inches in size) was torn off. Per state law, Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn declared the dogs vicious and said they must be “disposed of.” The pit bulls’ owner has 10 days to appeal.

Massachusetts Dog Attacks

Kourtney Lebon and Kimberley Frye are seeking Massachusetts injury damages from the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office. The two women claim that the sheriff’s K-9 attacked them without provocation and they are claiming excessive use of police force. They also contend that Deputy Sheriff (Patrick) Martin and the two Falmouth cops who were with him did not act immediately to stop the dog attack.

The Massachusetts dog attack occurred on June 9, 2008 after Frye and Lebon and ran into the woods following a multiple stabbing incident occurred at a graduation party they had just attended. It was while they were in the woods that Frye says that the sheriff’s dog attacked her, biting her buttocks. Lebon, who had run away and climbed a tree to avoid getting bitten, claims she too was attacked by the police dog after the officers had persuaded her to come down. She was injured on her left leg.

Lebon and Frye were then handcuffed and held until an ambulance arrived. They were never charged in the stabbing.

Frye and Lebon, who are seeking at least $300,000 in Falmouth personal injury damages, say that their Massachusetts dog bite injuries has resulted in emotional damage and permanent scarring.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Excessive use of police force can be grounds for a Boston injury lawsuit. Police are never supposed to use more force than necessary when detaining or questioning anyone. This includes making sure that a K-9 doesn’t cause unnecessary injury to anyone. Dog bites can be painful, scarring and traumatic. It the responsibility of a dog’s owner/handler keep an animal in check so that it doesn’t hurt people. K-9 handlers are not exempt from this responsibility.

Suit alleges excessive force by sheriff’s K-9, Cape Cod Times, May 25, 2011

Related Web Resource:
Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office

Dog Bite Prevention, CDC

More Blog Posts:
Haverhill Dog Attack: Grandmother and Her Friend are Injured as Two German Shepherds Try to Charge 1-Year-Old in Stroller, Boston Injury Lawyer, May 4, 2011
Massachusetts Dog Attack Involving Two Bulldogs Injures 10-Year-Old Girl, Boston Injury Lawyer, June 10, 2011
Boston Personal Injury Lawsuit Accuses Police Motorcyclist of Assault and Battery in ’07 Marathon Pedestrian Accident, Boston Injury Lawyer, February 15, 2011 Continue reading

Two woman sustained leg and arm injuries in a Haverhill, Massachusetts dog attack involving two German Shepherds last month. Laurie Adams, a 49-year-old Haverhill woman, and her friend got hurt on April 15 as they protected Adams’ granddaughter Avery from the animals.

Adams says the animals bit them and then ran off before returning to attack them again. She called 911 for help, and fire, police, and animal control crews came to their rescue.

The owner of the German Shepherds was out of town at the time and a friend was taking care of the animals. They were running free in a yard when they saw Adams, her granddaughter, and friend and ran across the street toward them.

In Brookline, Selectmen are considering a plan that would allow Brookline residents to unleash their dogs in 14 local parks for $50 per year, per dog. Persons who do not live in Brookline would have to pay $100 a year.

The Park and Recreation Commission of Brookline is asking for the fee to fund a park ranger position and to pay for oversight of the Green Dog Program, Brookline’s off-leash initiative that allows dog owners to unleash their dogs during certain hours and in certain areas.

Some dog owners are opposing the fee, complaining that dog owners shouldn’t have to pay a fee to unleash their dogs in public parks because other people don’t have to pay fees to engage in unorganized activities in the parks. Others seem to be neutral or happy to pay the fee to help fund the ranger.

The fee has been considered since 2008, but officials have held off until now. The fees are expected to bring about $30,000 into the town. The Green Dog Program costs about $55,000 per year.

Fee or no fee, dog owners need to be careful about unleashing their dogs in public parks. If the dog injures another person or causes damage, then the owner will be strictly liable (unless the injured person was teasing or abusing the dog or trespassing) under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140 § 155. Even when an owner is confident that their dog has a good disposition and will not bite or harm another person, it’s important to remember that dogs are animals and can snap. About 800,000 people in the United States require medical attention for dog bites every year, most of them children. So, whether these Brookline residents will have to pay fees or not, they should keep this in mind when they enjoy off-leash time with their dogs.

Source: The Boston Globe, Brookline eyes $50 fee to let dogs off the leash
Continue reading

According to University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers, children, especially those who are unsupervised while playing with or touching dogs, are at risk of suffering dog bite injuries. Just recently, a 10-year-old girl was attacked by two American bulldogs in a neighbor’s yard during a Massachusetts dog attack. The girl had to receive medical care for her several dog bites. The animals’ owners plan to euthanize them.

More findings from the researchers, who studied 537 children treated for facial dog bites:
• In almost 90% of dog bite cases studied, the child knew the animal.
• 51% of cases involved a family pet.
• 15% of dog bite cases studied involved a neighbor’s dog.
• 13% involved a friend’s dog.
• 10% involved a relative’s dog.
• A dog that bites someone once is at greater risk of attacking again; usually the second time will be more vicious.
• A child has a 50% chance of being bitten by a dog; 80% of those injuries will be to the head and neck.
• Adolescents have a greater chance than young kids of being bitten by an unknown dog.
• 22% of the dog bite victims had to receive in-patient treatment.

Our Boston dog bite accident lawyers
are all too familiar with the type of injuries that can be sustained by children that have been injured in a Massachusetts dog attack. Some dog bite injuries can leave permanent physical and/or psychological scars that may impact a victim for life.

Children, of course, are not the only ones who can sustain serious injuries from a dog mauling. Recently, 41-year-old Karen Stewart had to be placed in a drug-induced coma after a bulldog mix bit her more than 20 times. She was brought to a Boston hospital for treatment of her injuries. The authorities have charged the animal’s owner with keeping a dangerous dog.

Bulldogs attack 10-year-old girl in Massachusetts, Bangor Daily News, November 25, 2010
Maine dog attack victim put into induced coma,, November 16, 2010
Unsupervised Kids at Risk for Dog Bites, Web MD, November 11, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Dog Bites, Nolo
Facial Dog Bite Injuries in Children Affect the Eyes More Often Than Previously Reported, Medscape Today, October 29, 2010 Continue reading

The Insurance Information Institute says that US home insurers spent 6.4% more on dog bite costs last year than they did in 2008. Dog bite injuries cost $412 million in 2009-up from $387.2 million the year before-with the average claim costing over $24,000. The number of dog bite claims also went up by 4.8% to 16,586 injury claims.

With more than 4.7 million people becoming dog bite victims every year in the US-close to 900,000 of them will require medical attention-dog bites make up one-third of homeowners’ insurance liability claims. Property and casualty insurer Liberty Mutual Group says that over 50% of dog attacks takes place on the pet owner’s property.

In Massachusetts, dog bite victims may be able to hold the dog’s owner liable for Boston personal injury. This is a strict liability state, which means the pet owner does not have to be negligent to be held financially responsible. Also, the dog doesn’t even need to have attacked anyone else in the past for the owner to be held liable. You will, however, have to prove that you or your loved one (as the injured party) did not provoke the dog and did not trespass on the grounds where the Massachusetts dog attack took place.

Dog Bite Facts
• Dog bite victims are twice as likely to be male than female.
• Dog bites are a leading cause of child injuries.
• 10-20% of dog bite victims were strangers to their animal attackers.
• Younger dogs and male dogs are more likely to bite than older and female canines.
• Chow Chows and German Shepherds are the pure bred dogs most often involved in dog bite accidents.
• Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are the breeds most involved in fatal dog attacks.
• Mixed breed dogs are more likely to attack than pure bread dogs.
• On average, a dog bite victim will spend about 3.6 days in the hospital.

Dog-Bite Costs for Home Insurers Rise to $412 Million, Bloomberg Businessweek, August 18, 2010
Insurance Information Institute

Related Web Resources:
Preventing Dog Bites, State Farm

Preventing and Avoiding Dog Bites, Continue reading

Police are investigating a New Bedford dog attack on Friday that left a 22-year-old UMass Dartmouth student with serious injuries. WPRI reports that the man was walking close to Country and Robeson Streets in the evening when three pit bulls came out of a residence and mauled him.

According to witnesses, they jumped on the man, biting him all over his body. A number of people tried to rescue him, while drivers blasted their horns to scare the dogs away.

The student was transported to Saint Luke’s Hospital for treatment. He will likely have to undergo facial reconstructive surgery.

In other recent Massachusetts dog bite news, Lex Lizotte, a 5-year-old boy and his babysitter Karen Bruno O’Leary, 38,were injured when her bulldog attacked them in Lakeville. O’Leary reportedly held her dog, which kept biting her, until police arrived. They shot the animal nine times. Neighbors have said that dog has never a problem in the past.

Lizotte had to be flown to Boston Children’s Hospital where he underwent four hours of surgery for treatment of his injuries. O’Leary sustained serious facial and arm injuries from the Massachusetts dog attack.

Boston Dog Attacks
Dog owners can be held liable for dog bite injuries sustained by a victim. Common dog bite injuries include bite marks, open wounds, puncture wounds, rabies, nerve damage, organ damage, facial injuries, infection, and disfigurement. These injuries can be extremely painful, disfiguring, and traumatic. They may require costly surgeries to remedy and victims can be left scarred and disfigured for life. Kids and the elderly are especially susceptible to serious Massachusetts dog bite injuries. A person who is attacked by a dog may developed a fear of dogs, which can impede his/her ability to live a normal life. A dog owner does not have to be negligent in order be held liable for your Massachusetts dog bite injuries.

3 pit bulls attack man in New Bedford, WHDH, July 12, 2010
Lakeville boy, 5, survives vicious mauling, Boston Herald, June 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Animal and Dog Bites, Justia
Dog Bite Prevention, CDC Continue reading

A 77-year-old Wollaston, Massachusetts woman sustained serious bite injuries when she was attacked by an English bulldog outside her home. The dog, which will be put down, belongs to a neighbor. This was the second time the animal had bitten the elderly victim.

Lee Salvucci bitten on her arms and left leg during the dog mauling. Her backyard is next to the dog owner’s yard and there is no fence separating the two properties. The dog, named Cooper, managed to attack Salvucci after chewing through its leash.

Salvucci was doing yard work when the Massachusetts dog attack happened. A neighbor helped fend the animal away.

The 77-year-old dog bite victim has called the attack “traumatic.” There was blood all over her following the dog attack. She had just been to the hospital a couple of weeks ago after Cooper attacked her the first time.

A neighbor reports that Salvucci will likely require skin grafts for her dog bite injuries.

Neighbors say dog owner Eric Penzo has received a number of complaints about Cooper walking through Salvucci’s yard.

Dog attacks can be very traumatic for the victim and the injuries can be painful and scarring, possibly even causing nerve damage, infection, skin abscess, lymphangitis, impetigo, cellulites, bacterial tenosynovitis, rabies, physical disability, disfigurement, or death.

In Massachusetts, dog owners are held strictly liable for any injuries inflicted by a dog, regardless of whether or not any actual negligence was involved. However, the dog bite victim must prove that he or she did not provoke the animal and was not trespassing on the owner’s property.

Elderly dog attack victim recounts horror, Boston Herald, November 12, 2009
Bulldog Attacks Woman, 77, Twice, WCVB, November 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Who Is Liable: Owners and Keepers,
Dog Bite Prevention, CDC Continue reading

A 3-year-old boy who was seriously injured during a Worcester, Massachusetts dog attack is reportedly so traumatized by what happened that he doesn’t want to go home. Bartolo Colon was bitten on the face by a neighbor’s pit bull on Saturday after midnight.

Colon has cuts on his face and had to get over 100 stitches. His eyes are still swollen.

The pit bull is 11-months-old and weights 85 pounds. There are no records that the dog’s shots were updated and his owners may not have obtained a dog license for him. On Saturday, animal control officers took him away.

The brother of the dog’s owner says the pit bull is normally not aggressive at all and likes kids. Colon’s mother Andrea, however, says she has complained to the landlord of the apartment building several times about the animal. In the meantime, her son is staying at his grandmother’s house.

According to, pit bull-like dogs were accountable for the deaths of 52 Americans between 2006 and 2008. They also were responsible for 59% of all deadly dog attacks. Pit bulls are also involved in most off-property dog maulings that result in human fatalities. reports that from January to June 2009 318 dog attack incidents involving pit bulls and their mixes occurred resulting in 388 bite victims.

Dog mauling incidents can be traumatic, painful, and lead to lasting physical and emotional scars for the victim. Fortunately, Massachusetts has laws holding dog owners strictly liable for injuries inflicted by their dogs. In some cases, a premise owner that may not be the dog owner but who allowed the animal onto the property can also liable for premises liability.

Dog bite victims may incur costly medical expenses from reconstructive surgeries, plastic surgeries, therapy, and other treatments.

Boy traumatized by dog ,, September 28, 2009
Mid Year Results: U.S. Pit Bull Attacks 2009,
Related Web Resources:
General Laws of Massachusetts

Top Ten (10) Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
Continue reading

In Mattapan, Massachusetts, an off-duty Boston police dog attacked a woman who was walking her Chihuahua-like pet on Wednesday. The Boston dog bite incident occurred when the police dog ran away from its handler and went after the tinier dog.

As the little dog’s 60-year-old owner tried to protect it, the Boston police dog bit her in the stomach, face, and leg. She was taken by ambulance to Boston Medical Center where she was treated for superficial wounds and her leg was stitched up.

Boston Police Superintendent William Evans says they will look into why the police dog got loose.

Dog Bites
Dog attack injuries can be serious injuries-depending on the size of the dog and type of bite inflicted on the victim. Common kinds of Massachusetts dog attack injuries include:

• Puncture wounds • Cuts • Abrasions • Tissue injuries • Sprains • Rabies or other infections • Crush injuries • Fractured bones • Facial injuries • Sprains • Permanent disfigurement • Facial disfigurement
• Scarring • Deformity • Death
A dog attack can be very traumatic for the victim, who may become afraid of dogs or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms may include nervousness, depression, and seemingly irrationally fears. A dog bite victim may become scared to leave the house for fear of becoming the victim of another dog attack.

While some dog bite injuries are surface wounds, a dog mauling can also lead to serious, painful, and/or disfiguring injuries that can take a long time to recover from and may require extensive, expensive medical care. Some dog bite scars may be permanent and could seriously impair a person’s self-esteem, social life, and personality.

The state of Massachusetts has strict liability laws when it comes to holding a dog owner liable for injuries sustained by a victim during a Boston dog attack.

Police dog attacks woman in Mattapan,, July 22, 2009
K-9 attacks Mattapan woman, Boston Herald, July 22, 2009

Related Web Resources:
So Your Child Wants a Dog, CDC
Liability for damage caused by dog; minors; presumption and burden of proof, Massachusetts General Laws Continue reading

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