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Spaulding Pit Bull Attack Causes Serious Facial Injuries to 5-Year-Old

January 23, 2013

A recent tragic pit bull attack of a 5-year-old Spaulding County girl provides a reminder of the unique danger posed by pit bulls and other aggressive dog breeds. The girl was injured when the pit bull latched onto her face and refused to release her face from its jaws.

The girl was attacked in the enclosed backyard of her grandmother who frantically tried to pry the dog loose according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The pit bull only let go of the young girl after being shot by the animal control officer to prevent the dog from doing more damage.

In the wake of this vicious dog attack, the girl remained hospitalized for several days and currently is being treated for severe facial trauma. The dog's remains were tested for rabies. While no information was yet available about whether the girl would need extensive facial reconstructive surgery, this is often the case after suffering severe mauling and bite injuries during attacks involving pit bulls and other vicious dogs. Dog bites to the face are one of the most common forms of serious dog bite injuries; over 44,000 dog bite victims suffer facial injuries annually.

These incidents often occur during normal social play in familiar environments. Over sixty percent of dog bites occur close to the home of the dog owner or victim, and more than three-quarters of all dog bites are from dogs that are known to the victim.

This is why many states impose strict liability for dog bite injuries, though Georgia follows the "One Bite Rule." Despite the terminology, this rule does not require a dog to have previously bitten someone to justify placing liability on the dog owner. If the owner should be aware of prior aggressive behavior, this may be sufficient to impose liability under the one bite rule. Because the dog was enclosed in a backyard, the girl's family generally would have to establish negligence if the dog has never exhibited any prior behavior to put the owner on notice the dog is vicious.

Although a dog's breed does not automatically mean the dog is dangerous, there is a significant body of evidence that suggest that pit bulls are far more likely to be involved in a dog mauling attack that results in severe injury. While training a dog for security or fighting may be responsible for the aggressive tendencies of some dogs, there is no question that statistically certain breeds are more likely to be involved in canine attacks that result in serious injury. According to a report published in Animal People, a study of dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada over nearly three decades revealed that over two-thirds of fatal dog attacks involved pit bulls or rottweilers. It is also the case that pit bulls were involved in twice as many fatal attacks as rottweilers.

Our Georgia dog attack lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.