NORTH COUNTY TIMES Staff Writer Michael Williams reported that a Point Loma woman, Carrie McKinney, will loose custody of her infant son as a result of him being mauled on by two pit bulls on April 3, 2010. According to police, the dogs attacked the infant when he was left alone in a carrier at a friend’s apartment in Murrieta. The dogs bit the boys scrotum, after which he underwent surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center. According to Dr. Lance Brown, if the child were castrated he would require reconstructive surgery, and a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy. “While such an injury is not life-threatening, it is massively life-altering,” he stated. The two dogs were quarantined at the regional animal shelter in Lake Elsinore and then euthanized.
California Civil Code 3342 imposes strict liability on the owner of a dog who injures another. Most personal injury matters require a negligent, or intentional act to establish liability. In cases where there is a dog attack, the owner is liable whether or not they knew the dog was dangerous. In this particular incident the dog owner was not identified; however, if ascertained, hopefully he or she will have liability insurance to compensate the victim. In addition, the owner of the apartment building could be held responsible if they had knowledge of the dogs dangerous propensities.
With the increasing number of dogs in our community, dog attacks are a common occurrence. As a dog owner myself I am aware of the need to monitor pets at all times. At any time even the most tame animal can injure a person, or another animal. Dog attacks can cause serious emotional, or physical injury that can last a lifetime. Having the counsel of a experienced personal injury attorney is crucial