California liability laws state that pet owners are ultimately responsible for the actions of their pet. It is the owner’s job to ensure that their animal is properly trained and vaccinated so that it does not pose a threat to other people. If an individual is injured during an animal attack, the victim can file injury compensation charges against the animal’s owner.
A recent San Diego incident reminded residents just how dangerous aggressive animals can be, especially when they are not under the complete control of their owner. A North County woman was walking her dog-a Wire Fox Terrier-outside a Vista shopping center when a pit bull attacked the terrier, latching its teeth into the victim’s head.
The woman was, thankfully, not injured in the incident, but the pit bull’s sudden and dangerous attack seriously injured the other dog and terrified bystanders. Eyewitnesses interviewed by San Diego’s 10News after the attack expressed their clear belief that the dog posed a serious risk to others, which is perhaps why they were so astounded to see police officers return the animal to its owner instead of taking it to the pound.
According to reports, deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s office-despite hearing descriptions of the dog’s behavior-gave the animal back to its owner, a homeless woman who was living out of her car. The owner reportedly claimed that she planned to put the animal down, but became elusive when questioned about the procedure.
Later, San Diego deputies told 10News that they notified the Humane Society to come pick up the pit bull, but Humane Society workers deny ever having received such a call. In this case, San Diego law enforcement officials missed an important opportunity to remove a dangerous animal from city streets. Hopefully, this pit bull will not find another victim before it can be caught.
Source: 10News, “North County Woman’s Dog Attacked by Pit Bull.” 18 February 2011.