In our previous post, we began looking at criminal charges that have been filed against a Pensacola man whose two bulldogs attacked and killed a 7-year-old boy. The owner is now facing manslaughter charges, but it isn’t clear whether any civil charges will be filed in connection with the incident.
As we noted, Florida law does limit which dogs can be declared dangerous and under what circumstances they may be declared such. In this case, the two bulldogs had behaved aggressively toward a neighbor’s grandfather in the week preceding the mauling, but aggression is usually not enough to declare a dog dangerous. A dog may be declared dangerous if it is involved in an unprovoked attack that kills or injures a human or pet, in which case Animal Control officials can seize the animal for a period of time.
So what will happen to the dogs in this case? As of now, the animals may never make it to the Bay County Animal Control’s list of dangerous dogs, as they are set to be destroyed unless an appeal on the dangerous dog designation.
Of the 14 dogs currently on the county’s dangerous dog list, nine are pit bulls or pit bull mixes and another is a bulldog. One is a German Sheppard, another a Rottweiler and another a Great Pyrenees. The attacks in which these dogs were involved resulted in thousands of dollars in medical costs to their human and animal victims.
Those who suffer the lost of a loved one because of a dog attack need to know that the law is on their side, that there is the possibility of relief. While pursuing legal action may not bring a loved one back, it can help bring some measure of justice out of the situation.
Source: News Herald, “Manslaughter charge filed in dog mauling death,” Chris Olwell, April 8 2013