A 2-year-old boy was killed by his family’s dog when he was playing in the backyard of his Modesto home. According to a news report in The Modesto Bee, the boy was in the backyard of his home in the 1900 block of Pine Street when the dog, a mastiff/pit bull mix, attacked him. Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department officials said they are not sure whether the boy was alone in the backyard and what the dog and the boy were doing in the moments before the attack. The child was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A neighbor on the street where the family lives said the dog was aggressive and often snapped through the fence the properties share. The neighbor said he had to put up a board to repair the fence where the dog had pushed through a few weeks ago. He said the dog nearly bit his grandmother who is still fearful of it. The dog has been taken by local animal control officials to be quarantined and will likely be put down. Officials are still investigating the incident.
Dog Attack Injuries and Fatalities
According to Dogbites.org, dog bites occur every 75 seconds in the United States. Each day, more than 1,000 citizens need emergency medical care to treat these injuries. The victims’ advocacy group counted 36 dog bite fatalities in the United States in 2018. Pit bulls contributed to about 72 percent or 26 of these deaths despite making up only about 7 percent of the nation’s dog population. In 2018, nearly 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs. Statistics also show that there was an 86 percent increase in dog bite-related hospitalization stays between 1993 and 2008 in the United States.
Young children, especially children under 5, tend to suffer the most devastating and horrific injuries in dog attacks. Because they are so little and vulnerable, young children become helpless prey for attacking, vicious dogs. It is very important that parents and caregivers take several steps to prevent situations that can quickly escalate and become dangerous for children. The most important step parents can take to protect young children is to make sure they are always supervised around dogs.
Liability Issues in Dog Attacks
California has a strict liability statute when it comes to dog attacks, which means they are financial responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their pets. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, be it in a public place or on private property, you may be able to seek financial compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California dog bite lawyer will be able to provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.