Another Atlanta Pit Bull Attack Causes Facial Injuries


May 23, 2011

In yet another pit bull attack, a young boy from southwest Atlanta had to be taken to the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Monday for lacerations to his face.

He was with his father, and they had just pulled into the driveway of their home. When the boy got out of the car, he started yelling, "dog! dog!" Then a brown pit bull jumped on him and started biting his face. The father managed to pull the dog off his son and hold onto it until animal control arrived. The dog was a stray from the neighborhood.

The Pit Bull

The pit bull breed is actually a combination of dog breeds including the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and the American bulldog. They can all vary a bit in looks and typically can weigh anywhere from 35 to 100 plus pounds.

There is no question that this dog breed has a propensity for aggression. There is ongoing debate about whether the aggressive behavior of these dogs is innate to the breed or the fault of irresponsible dog owners. This breed was developed for dog fighting, which is a sport that was started over a 1000 years ago. The fact that they are aggressive, have a very high pain tolerance, and have a different bite style than other dogs, can primarily be attributed to the purpose for which they were bred.

Unfortunately, pit bulls are still being bred as fighting dogs, albeit illegally, and they have become the dog of choice among criminals and gang members. Drug dealers and other violent offenders use them as guard dogs and they also still use them in the blood sport of dog fighting.

The Bite

The selective breeding for fighting has led to the pit bull having a jaw that almost "locks on" when it bites down on something. Once they bite down, they also will "hold and shake" whatever is in their mouth. This type of bite causes severe bone and muscle damage which can leave a person with permanent and/or disfiguring damage.

Pit bulls do not give up that easily either. In order to get them to open their mouth after they bite down on something, it is often necessary to use what is called a "break stick" and pry their mouth open with it. It has often been necessary for police officers to shoot these dogs in the line of duty when they are deemed to be dangerous.

These dogs should not be left alone with children, elderly people or other pets. If you or anyone you love has been attacked and injured by a pit bull, we invite you to contact our experienced Georgia dog bite attorneys. We have handled dog bite cases all over Georgia and advise our clients of their legal rights.

Owners and Responsibility

The pit bull breed is highly aggressive toward other dogs. They shouldn't be left alone with other family pets either because there is a chance that they will kill them. This type of animal aggression is very dangerous and can translate into human aggression. In 2009, a woman was walking her two poodles when they were attacked by a pit bull, which then turned on her and caused her death.

Regulations are going to get stricter and stricter around pit bull ownership and breeding. These dogs have exhibited a propensity for violent and aggressive behavior. Under inexperienced ownership, they can present a danger to society. The dogs are suffering as well. In 2009, out of the 1,663,167 shelter dogs that were going to be euthanized, pit bulls accounted for 58% of euthanized dogs according to the magazine Animal People. This is not fair to the dogs and not fair to the owners. No one wants to see animals put down. Some cities and military bases have already adopted pit bull specific laws:

  • Mandatory pit bull sterilization
  • Mandatory pit bull liability insurance (which can be challenging because many insurance companies won't write policies for homeowners who have a pit bull, as well as some other breeds that have a high propensity for violence).
  • Special containment rules
  • In the future, we may see bans on future breeding of pit bulls

Owners of these types of dogs need to be aware that they can be held liable if their dog causes injury to someone. Depending on the circumstances a dog bite victim can sue on the basis of negligence or strict liability in a civil court. In some states, owners will actually face criminal charges if their dog kills a child or an elderly person.

A bite victim should seek medical attention as soon as possible if he or she has been attacked and bitten by a pit bull. It is also important to try and identify the owner of the dog and file a police report regarding the attack. If the owner was negligent, then you may be able to seek damages for your injuries.

Due to the nuances of the law involving animal bites, it is important for animal bite victims to hire an attorney that has experience with these legal issues to protect their rights. Montlick and Associates has the knowledge and experience that you need. We have an experienced qualified staff that is ready to fight for our clients’ rights. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our Georgia dog bite attorneys have been assisting families who have been injured by dog bites for over 27 years. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller and rural towns in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat. No matter where you are, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

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.