Hampton, VA Children Attacked, Injured by Dog

Two young Hampton, Virginia (VA), children are recovering from injuries after a dog bit them on November 26, 2011. According to WAVY-TV 10, the kids were playing with the unleashed pet when, for unknown reasons, the animal attacked. The younger of the children, a 6-year-old, required hospital treatment for bites to both arms.

The dog was apparently so vicious that an adult who came the children's aid found it necessary to hit the animal in the head with a bat to get it to retreat and stop attacking.

Dog attacks children in Hampton, VA: wavy.com

The kids' physical injuries don't appear too serious, but a detail of the story that really jumped out at me is this: "The owner was charged with failure to provide adequate care, failure to vaccinate the dog for rabies, not having a city dog license and dog attacking while at large." Which is all to stay that the dog's owner let the animal run loose and at risk for a disease that can kill it and any person it bites.

People who have pets, especially dogs, have legal and civil responsibilities for controlling their animals. Again focusing on dogs, this means the pet owner should have a fenced yard, keep their dog on a leash when they go for a walk and make sure their dog has all its vaccinations. Failing to meet those responsibilities can make a pet owner liable for injuries or deaths their dog causes.

Hampton Animal Control authorities have taken custody of the dog that bit the children during Thanksgiving weekend and are observing it for rabies symptoms and other signs of aggression. It is not unusual in cases like this for the dog to be put down regardless of the findings, for people bitten to begin precautionary treatment for rabies -- a particularly uncomfortable series of injections -- and for the owner to pay criminal fines.

For the sake of their animals, their neighbors and themselves, all dog owners should do what they can to prevent dog bites.

Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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