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Florida Dog Attack Results in $13,000 Vet Bill for Couple

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on January 20, 2013

A Leesburg couple has paid at least $13,200 in veterinarian bills after one of their cocker spaniels was attacked by a pit bull on Dec. 8. That day, the couple and their two spaniels, Jada and Trapper, were lounging on the patio of their home on Lake Griffin when a 100-pound brindle pit bull owned by a neighbor came into the yard and attacked Jada, who weighs 25 pounds. Another neighbor spotted the pit bull loose in the neighborhood and running “like it was on a mission.” The neighbor knew that the couple and their two dogs were outside and unaware of the approaching pit bull. She tried to call the couple to warn them but was unable to reach them before the pit bull arrived on the patio.

As the pit bull approached the patio, the spaniels began barking, and the larger dog attacked Trapper. One of the property owners, a 57-year-old man, was able to wrestle one spaniel away from the pit bull and tried to get between the pit bull and Jada, the other spaniel. He lost his balance as he scooped up the second dog and fell, allowing the pit bull to grab Jada by the abdomen and begin shaking the dog violently from side to side. The owner then began wrestling with the pit bull in an unsuccessful attempt to free his dog.

"I wrassled with that dog for about 15 minutes," the owner said.

He tried to pry the pit bull’s jaws open with his hands but was unable to get the pit bull to release the spaniel. He finally began punching the pit bull in the face again and again to save his dog.

"Finally, the dog relaxed a little bit and decided to let go of her," he said.

Shortly thereafter, the pit bull’s owner, who had reportedly been watching the struggle from a distance, came over, gained control over his pit bull and took it away. The owners of the injured spaniel rushed her to an emergency veterinary clinic, where her condition was stabilized. Early the next morning, the owners learn that their dog’s chest cavity had been punctured in the attack and that she would need to be transferred to the animal clinic at the University of Florida or she would die from her injuries.

Marjorie Boyd, the director of the Lake County Animal Control Department, told reporters that she wanted to cite the owners of the pit bull and make them appear before a special master. However, the couple declined to press charges. They had to return to their home in Indiana to attend a business matter and did not want to have to pay the additional costs of returning to Florida to attend the court proceedings. The man was bitten eight times by the pit bull while he was attempting to save his dogs, but his wounds did not require treatment in an emergency room.

Many Floridians are not so lucky and suffer serious, disfiguring wounds in dog bite attacks. When this occurs, they are entitled to seek damages against negligent dog owners to help pay medical bills and compensate them for pain and suffering and other damages. The owners of dogs that are attacked on their property by dangerous dogs may also be entitled to seek damages to pay vet bills and other costs. When dog bite attacks occur in Central Florida, many people consult with an experienced Orlando dog bite attorney such as James O. Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham is one of the area’s most experienced Orlando personal injury lawyers. He has served Floridians since 1977 and has a proven record of success in dog bite cases. Call him today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule your free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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