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?