Dog owners must be held responsible for the full extent of the damages their dogs cause. This is especially so if they know their animals can be dangerous and can seriously injure or even kill someone. Take the recent case of a Westminster woman whose pit-bull, Maggie, attacked a veteran mail carrier causing severe injuries to his face and emotional well being.
David Carroll, who has been a mail carrier for the last 16 years, was the latest unsuspecting victim of one of Sherri Moody’s dogs. Carroll reported that he was delivering mail on his regular route in Westminster when, without warning or a sound, he was attacked from behind and knocked to the ground. Before he knew what was happening he was fighting for his life with a pit-bull on top of him biting and tearing at his face and head. Carroll says that if not for a passerby that jumped in to help, he may not have survived the attack. He said he felt the pit-bull was trying to tear him apart and kill him.
Carroll has a nasty wound from his left eyelid to the side of his nose, up across his eye brow to his forehead and across the middle of his forehead to above his right eye. A triple peanut shell shaped chunk of skin is missing from his forehead. Bite marks are clearly visible just above his nose. The stitches are so obvious and grotesque that he looks like he is auditioning for the part of Lurch in the Munsters.
Mrs. Shirley Carroll, David’s wife, reports that he isn’t sleeping since the attack. She said that in the moments of sleep he does get he constantly has nightmares. He is continually agitated and on edge since coming home from the hospital she said. She is most concerned for his emotional well being.
David Carroll says any time he lays down he sees the dog on top of him, feels the panic he felt and relives the pit-bull attacking him. Based upon the look of the injuries it will take substantial plastic surgery to clean up the physical scars. Based upon his emotional state, he is going need therapy as well.
Carroll said this attack was not totally unforeseen. He has been fearful of the dog for some time. He leaves notes for other mail carriers that deliver to Carroll’s Westminster route when he is off, warning them of this pit-bull.
According to an article in The Orange County Register, this is not the first time one of Moody’s dogs has attacked someone. A month ago, her pit-bull mix, Brutus, was euthanized pursuant to a court order after the animal bit a visitor to Moody’s home. That woman reportedly had to undergo plastic surgery to repair the injuries.
Moody fought the euthanization order in the courts and lost. She questioned her dog ever biting anyone. Brutus was put down. Maggie, the pit-bull that attacked Carroll, is the mother of Brutus. Officials have ordered that Maggie be euthanized as well. It is not known at this time if Moody will fight the euthanization of her pit-bull.
It has been reported to Carroll that Moody claimed that a “ghost” must have let her pit-bull out the day of his attack. According to neighbors, it is not unusual for Moody’s dog to be loose on the neighborhood’s streets.
As for this particular Orange County dog owner, police officials have said they will hold her “responsible for this attack for the fullest extent of the law,” according to news reports. Dangerous dogs cause tremendous trauma to our postal workers physically and emotionally. They pose hazards not only to postal workers, but to neighbors, community members and innocent children who often become hapless dog attack victims.
One of the officers quoted in the story calls Moody a “very reckless dog owner.” I cannot agree more. After having one pit-bull euthanized for attacking someone, this woman’s other pit-bull is loose on the street without restraint or limitation. Apparently, Moody is denying any liability, instead placing the blame on a “ghost” who let her dog out of her yard. Must have been the ghost of Brutus.
Here is a statistic for Moody and other pit-bull and Rottweiler owners from the same Register article:
“A study of 300 fatal dog attacks in the U.S. over a 20-year period found that fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem. Pit bulls and Rottweilers – and mixes – were responsible for about half the fatal attacks.”
This is the second attack of a mail carrier by a pit-bull in three weeks in Southern California. A similar attack sent a Torrance postal worker to the ICU for weeks! At last report there had been no decision after a hearing on euthanizing the attacking pit-bull.
According to the United States Postal Service, last year alone, 3,184 mail carriers across the country were bitten by dogs. Orange County-Long beach, Calif. area postal employees suffered the most dog bites with 96 followed by Houston with 94, Sacramento with 82 and Los Angeles with 77.
Yes, I have met with the Carrolls and they have retained my law firm to represent them for the Orange County dog bite case. I had started writing this blog article before I was retained. After hearing the Carrolls’ story first hand, seeing David’s wounds and sensing what this event has done to their lives, I am honored to be representing them and seeing to it that justice is done, the wrongdoer held accountable and a Westminster neighborhood is made safer for us all.