A new Texas dog bite law was put to good use recently when the owners of four dangerous killer dogs were sentenced to seven years in prison. Back in May, their four pit bulls were found surrounding the dead body of a 7-year-old boy in a ditch near the couple's house. Two of the dogs were killed by police at the scene; the other two were taken away by animal control at the reluctance of the owners.
The new Texas law states that unsecured dogs that attack are the responsibility of their owners, holding the owners liable if the dogs injure or kill a person.
In this case, a Texas jury found the couple guilty of the second-degree felony (a dog attack resulting in a death), which means a maximum of 20 years in jail. Since this sentence was for less than 10 years, the two were each up for $150,000 bail, but neither has posted it yet.
About two weeks ago, a Rotweiller attack in Fort Worth prompted me to examine the law surrounding dangerous dogs. Under the new (and much stronger) dog laws, owners of “dangerous dogs” are required to carry liability insurance for their dogs, keep rabies and other vaccines current, make sure their dogs are secure at all times and pay an annual fee for keeping a dog designated as “dangerous.”
I applaud our state legislature for strengthening these dog laws. The change came at the urging of the family of an elderly lady who was killed in a dog attack as she was gardening over the Thanksgiving holiday back in 2005. The new law has been referenced to as “Lillian's Law” after this lady.
I represent people who have suffered personal injuries as a result of a dog bite or attack. Should you have any questions about a dog attack, please give me a call at 817-294-1900.
Dog attacks are always preventable, which is what makes the resulting deaths so tragic. So if you're going to own an aggressive-by-nature dog, please, do everyone else around you a favor and keep it secure.