A 12-year-old girl was the victim of a vicious pit bull attack on April 10, 2014. The girl was sitting on a friend’s porch on Summit Ave. in Portsmouth, Virginia, when the pit bull got out of the house and charged her. It dragged her to the ground by her hair, and when she tried to get away the dog bit her side and attacked her ear.

Luckily, a neighbor freed the girl from the pit bull’s jaws and took her to her mother. The mother rushed her daughter to the hospital, where she received 32 stitches on her back and ear. She is awaiting plastic surgery to try to repair part of her ear the dog tore off. The pit bull has been quarantined by animal control.

The girl’s mother said that now that her daughter’s physical injuries are healing, she is shifting her attention to her daughter’s emotional injury.

Experiencing a dog attack is terrifying for anyone, especially a child. I send this girl and her family my deepest sympathies as her physical and emotional injuries continue to heal.

For the sake of public health and safety, owners must keep their dog vaccinated and under control at all times. Above all, a responsible person does not keep a dog he or she knows is vicious. Unfortunately, news outlets frequently report similar stories of unprovoked dog attacks, and the victim is often a child. In fact, dog bites are one of the main causes for children’s emergency room visits. While pit bulls are the breed most associated with dog attacks, it is important to remember that any breed of dog can be dangerous.

Emergency room medical bills can be staggering, and if a victim needs continuing treatment – as this girl does – that just adds to the cost. The negligent dog owner’s insurance may cover the cost of the victim’s injuries, especially if the dog has a history of being violent. Additionally, many states, including Virginia, have a “dangerous dog” law that requires certain aggressive dogs to be part of a dangerous dog registry. For more information, see this article on how courts handle dog bites and attacks.

Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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