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Pet Owners Arrested in Connection with Vicious Dog Attack in Barstow


Police have arrested the owners of two dogs that were involved in a dog bite incident in Barstow, which left a 52-year-old woman seriously injured. The victim was walking down Riverside Drive on December 29, 2010 when a Rottweiler and a Rottweiler-pit bull mix lunged at her and bit her on her legs, arms and chest. Neighbor Laura Hamilton saw the dog attack and came to the woman’s rescue. She was able to scare the dogs off and rescue the victim with a pickup truck.

Police say that the woman would have died, had Hamilton not rescued her in a timely manner. Police shot the two dogs when they lunged at officers as well. One of the dogs died and another ran away. The severely injured victim is still recovering. The dog owners, 55-year-old Ronald Ferrell and 38-year-old April Hearn, are facing felony charges.

My heart goes out to this injured dog attack victim. Such vicious dog attacks can certainly lead to serious injury or death. I hope this woman’s injuries were not catastrophic. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Dog Bite Statistics

Based on this news report, the attack involved a Rottweiler and a pit bull mix. According to, a web site for dog attack victims nationwide, of the 88 fatal dog attacks in the United States in a three-year period between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, 59 percent or 52 incidents involved pit bulls followed by Rottweilers (14 percent), American bulldog and Husky (5 percent each). This dog bite fatality finding is consistent with an earlier report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which states that pit bulls and Rottweilers together account for 60 percent of fatal dog attacks.

Liability Issues in Dog Attacks

I’m relieved to hear that these apparently negligent dog owners have been identified and charged. A number of police departments have begun criminally charging negligent dog owners especially in dog bite incidents that involve serious injuries or fatalities. I’m truly glad that the dog owners are being held accountable here.

Negligent dog owners can also be held civilly liable. California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, hospitalization, cosmetic surgery and even psychological counseling that may be necessary after a horrific dog attack. Victims would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, who will fight to protect their rights and make sure that the negligent dog owners are held financially responsible for the damages.

Seriously injured in a San Bernardino County accident? Want to know if you have a case? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation for your injuries? Want justice? Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else?

Call your best friends in the legal industry after a Barstow dog attack. Call 800-259-6373. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.

Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys San Bernardino dog bite lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your case by attorneys who have represented over 6,000 clients since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a friendly law firm in a comfortable environment.

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