Two Laguna Hills residents were attacked and bitten by three bullmastiffs on December 18, 2008 after the dogs got out of their fenced yard, according to this ABC News report. The large dogs weighing between 100 to 150 pounds got out of their yard, made their way up Terra Bella Street and attacked Ed Barnard, who was standing near his truck. The dogs bit Barnard in the thigh, but he was able to get away. The dangerous dogs then attacked their second victim, a woman in her 60s.
Neighbor Jim Warren, who helped free the woman from the pack of dogs, said he ran to help her when he saw “three huge dogs pulling this gal from the sidewalk to the middle of the street”. He said he saw the dogs mauling the woman. He then jumped on the dogs and got some help from another neighbor who picked up a shovel and hit the dogs over the head until they let the woman go. Barnard described the dogs as having a “pack mentality.” Two dogs followed the bigger dog in the pack and did everything that dog did, he said. Fortunately, the woman’s injuries were not life-threatening. The three dogs were apparently euthanized at the request of the dogs’ owner.
I’m relieved that this Orange County dog attack victim and the other victims who were preyed on by these bullmastiffs are not seriously hurt and are recovering from their injuries. I’m sure the woman must be undergoing intense emotional trauma at this point. I wish her the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
It is interesting to see some of the comments on ABC’s Web site. The first comment is from someone who seems to be a resident in that neighborhood who says the mastiff jumped the owner’s fence to the neighbor’s yard approximately a week before this horrific attack. When the neighbor confronted the owner about it, the dog owner brushed it off saying that he would do something about it when someone gets attacked or bitten, the commenter states.
I would certainly like to see this dog attack victim compensated for her serious injuries – both physical and emotional. I would also like to see the dog owner punished for his negligence and his seemingly callous disregard for the safety and well-being of his neighbors. This story is yet another example of how dogs can get a lot more vicious when they move around and attack in packs. This woman is lucky that this did not turn out to be a fatal attack. Had the two neighbors not come to her rescue, I shudder to think what may have become of this poor victim!
I’d urge the victim in this case to retain the services of an experienced Orange County dog bite attorney, who will go after the negligent dog owner and help secure the compensation she rightfully deserves. The money will not only help cover her medical expenses, but it will serve as a lesson to other dog owners in Orange County.