Wisconsin readers may have heard news coverage of a horrific dog attack that has claimed the life of a young child. The case has shocked one Wisconsin community, and has raised a great deal of debate surrounding how best to prevent future attacks leading to injury or death. There are no words to express the pain and grief that the child’s family is currently weathering, although it is hoped that they know that they are in the thoughts of many as they try to come to terms with their loss.
The attack took place at the home of the 14-month-old boy’s babysitter. Reports indicate that the toddler was attacked by two pit bulls in the home. Although the sitter called 911 for emergency assistance, the child died within hours of the attack. It is unclear whether the dogs were owned by the sitter, or if they had been near the child previously.
The story has led many to question whether steps should be taken to prevent such attacks from taking place in the future. Many believe that certain breeds of dog are simply inclined to attack more often than others. The Centers for Disease Control conducted a study in 2000 that asserted that pit bulls and dogs descended from a pit bull lineage were responsible for as many as 32 percent of human deaths from dog bite over a period of 20 years.
For this Wisconsin family, as with any instance in which an animal attack leads to injury or death, there are paths to legal recourse. When a dog owner does not take the proper measures to prevent their animal from attacking, the owner is liable for the actions of their pet. In many cases, aggressive breeds of dogs and young children simply should not interact, especially when the animal has exhibited aggressive tendencies in the past. As this case moves through the investigation, additional details may be released that could help the family of this little boy pursue a wrongful death suit against the responsible party.
Source: weau.com, “Fatal WI dog attack sparks pit bull debate,” March 7, 2013