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5-Year-Old Severely Mauled in Attack by Five Rottweilers — Time for Vicious Breed Law?

4 comments

A 5-year-old Surry County boy was severely injured near Pilot Mountain when five Rottweilers attacked him Friday afternoon at his home. The boy’s grandfather, Claude Childress, said he suffered bite wounds to his face, neck, shoulders, chest and stomach.

Detectives who responded to the scene said between 20 and 30 Rottweilers live on the property. Fox 8 is reporting that the attack occurred when several of the animals were being fed by an adult.

The young boy was taken to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center where he is in critical condition.

Mr. Childress, who lives next door, said that he never saw the dogs attack anyone before but said he wasn’t comfortable with the Rottweilers.

It seems inevitable that this tragic incident will reignite the debate over whether certain breeds such as Rottweilers and Pitt Bulls are inherently dangerous. In North Carolina we have a version of the so called “one free bite” rule. Under this law a dog is not determined to be a “vicious dog” until it has attacked a person.

Many victims’ advocates and others contend that certain dog breeds are more prone to attack humans and that these breeds should be treated as “vicious dogs” under the law regardless of prior behavior. Owners of vicious dogs are required to take more stringent steps to control their animal and are subject to strict liability when the animal causes injury.

I’d be interested to hear from bite victims, dog owners, injury lawyers and others about this issue. Is it time to enact “vicious breed” laws in North Carolina and other jurisdictions?

4 Comments

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  1. emily says:
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    Here we go again….It goes without saying that the injuries incurred by this child are horrifying. Nobody would disagree. It also appears that the dog owner really had too many dogs to manage them reliably…but they were fenced. In addition, a 5 yr old was evidently NOT TAUGHT to be wary of groups of dogs, and was running around alone in a neighborhood with a bunch of dogs!!! Everybody will want to point fingers at the ‘bad’ dogs, and at the ‘bad’ owner… But every time this happens, I wonder when parents are going to stop assuming that the world is their kids’ very own playground where nothing bad will happen. I mean, you can’t prevent every accident, but if you live near people who have a bunch of dogs, why not remind your kid when they go outside to stay away from them. I believe at 5 years old, a child can understand that animals can be dangerous, just like they can understand that a hot stove or an outlet can be dangerous.

    I own a large dog, and I’ve invested about $2k just in the first year of her life for obedience training and socialization with all sorts of dogs and humans. It’s been no small thing. But that’s MY responsibility as a dog owner. Now, it’s YOUR job to warn YOUR kid that my dog is STILL a dog.

    BTW, golden retrievers and german shepherds are actually the most bite-prone dogs. Not pit bulls and rottweilers. I thought I would point this out in advance of the ‘Have you ever seen a golden retriever bite a kid?’ comments.

  2. Shadadancer says:
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    I know this kid and his family personally and this kid was not running around the neighborhood unattended. He was with his grandmother as she fed the dogs and she turned to get food for them when he climbed over the fence and got inside the pen with these dogs. He had been around these dogs his entire life and as warned NOT to get inside the pen with them over and over again. The grandmother had throat cancer surgery back in June of this year and it left her with a tracheotomy so she could not yell at him. However, she did run and get him out of the pen then got help. This was her first grandson and he has a baby brother which are her only two grandchildren. She would NOT hurt these children on purpose. These children were her, the grandmother and grandfather’s, pride and joy. He was in surgery for 10 long hours and is in serious condition. So please pray for him and his family. They are going through some bad times right now and theie bad times will only get harder for them as the investigation continues.

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    Shadadancer makes a great point. Please remember this young boy in your prayers and ask your congregations to put him and his family on their prayer lists.

  4. Facebook User says:
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    Postal Worker Hospitalized After Dog Attack
    On August 6 2009 a UPS employee was injured in Dade County Florida. The injuries were the result of a pit bull attack that caused significant wounds to the woman’s arms and chest. She may also loose a finger.
    There is more to this story that is relevant to the other aggression issues I talk about. First, pit bulls or Staffordshire Terriers or S/T mixes are banned in Dade County. How do you keep a one hundred pound dog a secret from your community? This was a mature dog. Obviously you wouldn’t walk it, socialize it or train it to be a member of the community for fear of being prosecuted. This is a classic example of how dogs react to not being properly socialized and that breed bans don’t work.
    Second, the “owner” of this dog can’t understand why authorities put the dog down hours after the attack. That was his concern, getting the dog back. No remorse for the victim, no explanation why he was hiding a banned dog and he is now demanding the dog’s remains be returned to him.
    If ever there was a reason for not banning this breed this is it. People who want to own a pit bull are going to, ban or not. The dog then ends up a social miss-fit, never getting a chance to be with other people or dogs. So if the dog escapes or someone wanders into its territory the dog has no idea how to act. Humans become prey. To any unsocialized dog, no matter the breed, people are rabbits.
    Now saying that there should be no breed bans, something has to be done to insure that the people that want to own this breed know what they are getting into. Pit bulls are known to attack when most other breeds will stop at a bite. The severity of a pit bull bite also needs to be taken into consideration. Pit bull’s have a jaw structure that can produce eminence pressure on whatever it grabs onto and their gladiator mentality can also add to the severity of the attack.
    I see it this way. If a gun, or knife is used to assault someone the person in control of that weapon will probably be charged with some type of offence. Why is it not the same with dogs? Would you own a dangerous breed knowing that if your dog attacked unprovoked, you could go to jail? I’m sure you would take every step possible to insure that your pit bull was properly trained and socialized to avoid prosecution. Or it may make you think really hard about owning this breed.

    Bill Allen