Base canine instincts can manifest even in the tamest of dogs. Recently, NYDailyNews.com reported that an 85-pound Argentine mastiff dog that was saved from an icy lake was impounded just a day after its dramatic rescue for biting a Colorado television news presenter on her face while a live segment was in progress.
Our dog bite lawyers at Pintas & Mullins would like to warn the public that no one can predict when such an incident will happen. If a dog in a violent state bites someone, the victim may be left with lifelong emotional and physical scars, which can be very traumatic.
The newscaster was conducting an interview about the dog's rescue after it fell into a frosty lake while chasing a coyote. The live program intended to reunite the firefighter who rescued the mastiff and the dog's owner.
Firefighters, animal control and paramedics were all called to the station following the attack. A spokeswoman for the Colorado Environmental Health Department revealed that the 39-year-old owner of the animal was cited with failure to have the animal on a leash, permitting a dog to bite, and failure to have the dog properly vaccinated. She also said the dog was being quarantined till a judge could carry out a hearing on the charges and determine the dog's fate.
The TV anchor is reported to be in a satisfactory condition, though she had to undergo reconstructive surgery on her lip. In the hospital she was being assessed by a trauma team and visiting with family.
In related news, a recent article in Las Vegas Review-Journal revealed that Las Vegas police were compelled to fire at one of their own dogs, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, after it bit an officer in the course of a foot pursuit.
The police dog was in serious but stable condition following emergency surgery.
A LVPD spokesman said that the incident occurred when police arrived at a site to investigate reports of a threatening man with a knife. The police saw the suspect moving from house to house and trying to get into at least one front door.
A physical conflict ensued between the officers and the 18-year-old suspect, but the officers were not able to immediately arrest him. A police helicopter finally discovered the man in a nearby backyard. Police soon surrounded the are and sent in the dog. What followed was another physical confrontation, this time between the man and the dog.
He once again succeeded in escaping from the police and jumped over a wall. As the canine pursued the man over the wall, he came into contact with an officer, bit his foot and held onto it, not responding to his handler's commands. A taser was used with no effect.
Eventually, the dog's handler was able to summon him away. When the dog appeared to be again turning back to the injured officer, the officer's partner fired a single shot at the animal with his handgun.
Police dogs are trained to bite and attack if necessary; occasionally, the dogs will bite the wrong person, injuring officers or bystanders. As long as neither the dog nor the victim have any lasting side effects, the dogs are able to quickly return to the K-9 unit.
In 2009, a Northern California police officer who was responding to a burglary fired at and killed a police canine after it bit him. The dog allegedly did not let go when commanded by its handler, so the officer fired three fatal. The canine, a Belgian Malinois, had been with the department for three years before the incident.
If you are the victim of a dog attack, you have important legal rights and may be eligible for compensation. Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free legal consultation.