On Tuesday, Helena and Neal Karnani were walking their two-year-old Labrador/pit-bull near to a Palm Coast Apartment complex when the dog managed to break free from their control and begin running through the apartment complex’s parking lot. According to the Karnani’s statements, their dog, named Wilson, was a large and fast animal who became increasingly agitated and loped away from its owners. The Karnani’s attempted to catch the animal, but their efforts led to nothing as Wilson became increasingly confident that they were not up to the task.
Around this time, Wilson spotted the 79-year-old James Bennett who was out walking his seven-year-old service dog, a Yorkshire Terrier named Gidget. Wilson charged Bennett and Gidget, attacking them viciously. Bennett attempted to stave off the raging animal, and lifted Gidget to protect her from the much larger Wilson. Undeterred, Wilson savaged Bennett’s arm and knocked him to the ground, forcing him to drop Gidget. Gidget attempted to run away, but Wilson chased after her, continuing to attack her on the back and neck, until the Karnani’s were finally able to make their way over to the scene and re-attach their dog to its leash.
James Bennet was rushed to the Florida Hospital Flagler where the deep lacerations along his arm were treated. Sandra Bennett, the wife of James, reportedly suffered an anxiety attack at the scene of the incident and fainted. Wilson’s attack, however, was primarily felt by the six-pound Gidget, who was ultimately unable to withstand the degree of violence inflicted upon her. She died at the scene.
After the incident, The Karnani’s handed Wilson over to the Flagler Humane Society. It is believed that the animal will soon be euthanized, although it is not clear when this process will take place.
Attacks such as this, when a supposedly domesticated animal rushes and mutilates a stranger, killing another, clearly harmless animal, in the process, are hard to fathom. Easy as it is to blame the animals, the real responsibility lies with the owners who have a legal obligation to control their pet at all times. Failure to do so can result in incidents such as the one above.
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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