Two Buena Park men are recovering after they were bitten by a pit-bull while taking a walk in the gated community of College Park, according to a news article in The Orange County Register. Larry Zimmerman, 43, and his Siberian husky were the first to be attacked by the pit-bull. Then the dog attacked Zimmerman’s neighbor James Kim, 59 and his wife who were taking an evening walk down the street, the newspaper reported.
Zimmerman suffered bites on both of his legs and his left arm while Kim got five stitches in his chest. Zimmerman told the newspaper that he is a dog-lover himself but cannot understand why dog owners cannot control their dogs. As personal injury attorneys who have represented victims of dog attacks, we understand Mr. Zimmerman’s point of view.
We are ardent supporters of cities and county agencies holding dog owners responsible for their negligence. In this case, this pit-bull and another boxer which was apparently not involved in the attacks, were running loose attacking these unsuspecting residents who were doing nothing more than taking a relaxing evening stroll. What a rude shock for them!
The owner of the pit-bull reportedly turned the dog over to authorities. The dog will likely be quarantined for 10 days and then put down, but no one knows why it was running loose in the first place. If dog owners cannot control their dogs, they must not own dogs or at least keep them confined in an area where they won’t harm the public. Orange County cities are somewhat behind when it comes to dangerous dog laws. The county needs to update its vicious dog laws to reflect what’s going on in our communities.
Dog attack victims suffer not only physical trauma from their injuries, but also emotional distress and psychological damage. Even grown men or adults tend to suffer panic attacks, paranoia and nightmares following a dog attack. Can you imagine what it could do to a young child or an infant – if the child is lucky enough to survive the attack?
Dog owners must also be required to carry insurance. When their animal gets out of control and injures an unsuspecting member of the community, who do you think should pay for the damages? The negligent dog owner or the injured victim? If dog owners want to own pets – especially dangerous breeds such as pit-bulls and rottweilers – they should carry liability insurance and take every precaution in the first place to make sure that their dog does not get out and injure members of the community.