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Fatal Dog Bites in Arizona

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Arizona law provides for strict liability against dog owners in the event that their animals bite or attack others. This means that the owners are legally responsible for any injuries or deaths caused by their dogs, regardless of where the attacks took place.

Fatal Arizona Dog Attacks

Tragically, some dog attacks do turn fatal, and right here in our Arizona community as well.  For example, on June 9, 2017, 1 year-old Marcos Raya, Jr. was attacked and killed by his grandmother's Rottweiler dog in Phoenix. While the grandmother was doing chores, the dog entered the home and attacked the baby boy.  "It was a brutal attack by the animal," stated Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade.  The dog was still attacking the child when officers arrived on the scene.  Only after a sergeant shot and wounded the dog were they able to stop the attack, but it was too late to save the child.  Although Marcos was transported to a local children's trauma center, he was in extremely critical condition and passed away shortly thereafter.

On December 20, 2017, a 69-year old woman died after being attacked by a dog at Canine Country Club & Feline Inn in Phoenix. The woman's name was not released.  She was a volunteer at the kennel through Akita Advocates and was attacked by an Akita.  The attack victim passed away after she had been taken to the hospital.  Maricopa County Animal Care and Control officials stated that the dog would be euthanized.

A Dog Bite Can Still Be Fatal, Even If It's Not the Result of An Attack

Even if a dog is not intentionally attacking a person, its bite can still potentially cause serious health conditions and even death.  For example, an Arizona woman passed away in August 2017 after catching tularemia from her dog. Tularemia is a disease caused by bacteria which naturally infects rabbit and rodents.  The dog in question became infected after chewing on the carcass of a rabbit who was carrying the disease.  The bacteria were then transmitted to the woman through the dog's saliva.

As we see from this last tragic example, a dog bite can contain hazardous and potentially fatal germs and bacteria.  And a dog owner, under Arizona's strict liability laws, will be held legally responsible if a bite victim becomes infected in this way, even if the dog was not attacking and was just being "playful."

It is also advisable to not come into contact with a dog's saliva.  Some dog owners like to share food or exchange kisses with their pets.  Sharing affection with your pets is great but you should do so in a way that does not jeopardize your own health.  Similarly, you should not let anyone kiss your dogs or come in contact with their saliva, as you could be held legally responsible if they become infected.

As you can see, not all injuries from dog bites are a result of an attack.  Often, dogs may bite because they are just being playful or clumsy, but that does not make the consequences of the bite any less serious.  Small children and infants are often victims of dog bites, and in one instance a baby died after being bitten on his head by the family Labrador-Shepherd mix. The coroner in that case believed that the dog was only trying to pick the baby up.  But the result was no less devastating.

What Should You Do After A Dog Bite or Attack Incident?

First, you should obtain medical treatment for you or your loved ones right away.  Your safety comes first.  Then you should obtain the assistance of competent attorneys who are well-experienced in dealing with injuries and even deaths caused by dogs.  For these legal needs, you need look no further than dog bite attorneys at West Longenbaugh Zickerman PLLC.  Contact us today for a free consultation.  And remember, if anyone asks you to speak about the incident, including but limited to other attorneys and insurance companies, have them contact your attorneys.

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310 S. Williams Blvd
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