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Dog bite incident prompts consideration of pit bull ban

On behalf of Terence Gross of Gross & Schuster, P.A. posted in Animal Bites on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

Many of us love our canine pets, and our canines love us. When a dog becomes a liability, though, the relationship can change. Some dogs, of course, are more capable of doing harm than others. Some of the more dangerous breeds are Pit bulls and Staffordshire terriers, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers, Chow chows, Great Danes, Perro de Presa Canarios, Akitas, Alaskan malamutes, German shephers, Siberian huskies, and wolf hybrids.

It is particularly Pit bulls which are known for causing serious injury and damage, though any dog can be dangerous given the right—or wrong—circumstances. Highlighting the kind of damage Pit bulls can do is a recent dog attack which left an eight-year-old boy with lacerations that will causing scarring for life. The boy’s father, in response, has requested that Palm Beach County Commissioner Mayor Priscilla Taylor push a ban of the breed from the County.

Under Florida law, municipalities are unable to enact legislation aimed at specific breeds, so it isn’t clear how far the request—to which Priscilla is sympathetic—will go. This kind of debate is not confined to Florida, of course. Other states have grappled with the issue, some banning measures targeting specific breeds and others allowing them.

From a personal injury perspective, those who are harmed by an uncontrolled dog deserve to be compensated for injuries and losses. Owners of such dogs need to be held accountable. One can recover not only under state statute, but also under the theory of negligence and other applicable theories. It is best to work with an experienced attorney when pursuing such litigation to ensure one receives the best possible advocacy.

Source:, “Should Florida ban pit bulls?” June 29,k 2014.

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