A golden retriever reportedly bit a 4-year-old girl at a McDonald’s restaurant in Madeira Beach recently, causing her to suffer a lip injury. The dog bite occurred during the breakfast rush after the child reportedly approached the dog, which was owned by a married couple who were at the restaurant. The couple apparently knew the child’s grandparents.
After the dog bit the child, her 48-year-old grandfather took a pocketknife and jabbed it twice into the dog’s neck, injuring it. This caused the dog to quickly flee to a nearby rowboat latched to a dock adjacent to the outdoor seats of the McDonald’s restaurant. It was subsequently subdued and captured, according to TBN Weekly.
The child was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment of her injuries, which were characterized as non-life-threatening. Medical personnel at the hospital indicated that she may require future reconstructive surgery on her lip. County animal services personnel reportedly took charge of the dog after fire rescue workers treated its injuries on the scene.
An investigation of the entire incident was underway by county deputy sheriffs and county animal services personnel. The restaurant barred the dog owners and their dog from returning to the premises.
Dog bites can be the basis for personal injury lawsuits against the animal owner, with people often seeking to recover damages for medical treatment, permanent injuries, and pain and suffering. Under Florida law, the owner of a dog who bites someone in a public place, or on private property where they have a right to be, is liable for the damage caused, and it is not necessary to show that the animal was previously known to be vicious.
Source: TBN Weekly, “Dog stabbed after biting 4-year-old child,” Nov. 22, 2011