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Dog Bites, Pit Bulls and Breed-Specific Legislation

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Dog Bites, Pit Bulls and Breed-Specific Legislation

Many breeds of dogs are docile and pose no threat to humans or other animals, but there are a few breeds that are more capable of violence than others. When those breeds attack humans, the results can be fatal. That’s why it’s so important to understand how dog bites are viewed from a legal standpoint, and especially how pit bulls – who are among the most worrisome breed of dog – continue to pose a threat when they are not properly trained or controlled.

Breed Specific Law

Recent Tragic Pit Bull Attack

According to DogsBite.org, an estimated 1,000 people in the U.S. suffer serious dog bite injuries each year, and another 9,500 are hospitalized as the result of dog attacks.

Although most pit bulls are calm and under control, this breed has a higher likelihood of mauling humans than many other types of dogs.

U.S. News reported that a 6-month-old girl was playing in a walker when a 9-year-old pit bull attacked and killed her at her family’s home in Las Vegas. The girl’s mother was at the home during the attack, but was unable to stop the mauling.

The owner of the pit bull, which was identified as a mixed breed, surrendered the dog to local authorities, who were forced to euthanize the animal because it was not eligible for adoption after such a violent attack.

Although no criminal charges were filed, the incident points to the continuing danger of pit bulls, even if they are well-trained.

Breed-Specific Legislation

Many states have passed breed-specific legislation (BSL) to curb dog bites and dog attacks. And while these laws have been criticized by animal rights activists, the intent is to either ban specific dog breeds that have shown the propensity for violence, or regulate the ownership of these breeds.

Although each state has its own specific list of dogs that are deemed potentially dangerous to humans, there are certain breeds that make nearly every list, including:

  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
  • American Bulldogs
  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Chow Chows
  • German Shepherds
  • Doberman Pinschers

In New Jersey, for example, Atlantic City has an ordinance that defines pit bulls as a potentially dangerous dog and requires owners of pit bulls to notify the police department, animal control or the city clerk if that dog escapes owner custody, or if that dog attacks a person or an animal.

Pit bull owners in Atlantic City must also tell anyone interested in buying or taking over ownership of these dogs that they have been “declared potentially dangerous”, and they must inform the Department of Health, police department or animal control when they transfer ownership of that dog, and provide the name, address and phone number of the new owner.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries

Although deaths from dog attacks are rare, dog bites can cause serious injuries such as punctures, fractures, cuts, lacerations and even disfigurement.

Dangerous dog breeds have a natural instinct to attack the most vulnerable areas of a human being, inflicting devastating injuries that can cause long-lasting physical and psychological damage.

How We Can Help You

If you have suffered injuries from an attack by a dog that may be considered a dangerous breed, please contact the team at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. for a free legal consultation. We have experience dealing with dog bite claims. We are ready to provide you with compassionate representation. Call us today at 856-692-6500 and see how we can help you obtain justice and fair compensation.

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