A charge of keeping a nuisance animal is being faced by the owner of a pit bull who bit a woman in Norfolk, Virginia (VA). The attack occurred near the intersection of 18th Bay and Pleasant Avenue in the Ocean View section of the city on the morning of November 7, 2014.
According to WAVY-TV 10, the dog had gotten loose from its yard and its owner was unaware that the dog was wandering the neighborhood. The television station also noted that Norfolk Animal Control officers had received several reports about the dog in previous years.
The wounds suffered by the victim were not life-threatening. The dog bit her on one calf, opening a cut that required stitches to stop the bleeding. The animal also had up-to-date rabies shots, but it was captured and held for observation as a precaution.
As dog bite stories go, this incident in Norfolk was fairly minor. Deadly pit bull attacks often make national headlines, and any canine is capable of injuring a person severely. Dog owners have legal responsibilities to vaccinate, train and restrain their animals so those potential tragedies do not occur. Beyond those statutory obligations, dog owners owe it to their neighbors to ensure their pets are well-behaved and kept in control.
My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I wish the woman set upon by the pit bull a full and rapid recovery. We also hope the person who keeps the dog lives up to the responsibilities of pet ownership.