Dogs are often referred to as man's best friend. Many of them are kind, lovable animals who are very friendly. However, they are still animals and it is the responsibility of a dog owner to make sure their pet is safe and does not end up seriously injuring another person.
Unfortunately, dog bites are very common in New York. Dogs are either let loose or improperly trained all too often, which can put unsuspecting people in danger of getting bitten and hurt. Depending on a number of factors, it is generally possible to hold a dog owner liable for the medical costs associated with a dog bite, in addition to other damages that may happen if an owner knew or should have known about a dog's dangerous propensities.
Whether or not a dog owner was aware that his dog was dangerous remains to be seen after the dog recently attacked a 6-year-old girl in the Bronx. According to reports, a video surveillance camera was able to capture the terrifying event and shows the young girl walking on the sidewalk with her grandmother. Out of nowhere, the dog bolts across the street and lunges straight for the little girl. Witnesses say the dog had the girl in its teeth and was dragging her around on the sidewalk. Eventually, bystanders were able to free the girl from the dog and she was taken to the hospital.
Luckily, her injuries from the attack were not serious but included puncture wounds on her right arm and leg from the dog's teeth. It is not known at this point if the young girl's family will hold the dog owner responsible for the medical costs, which they have a right to do. They may also decide to hold the owner responsible for other costs that were incurred as a result of the attack. Much of this could depend on whether the owner knew or should have known than the dog was capable of such a violent attack.
For now, the dog remains in the possession of the owner who was cited for not keeping his dog on a leash.
Source: NBC New York, "Video Shows Dog Violently Attacking Girl, 6," Ida Siegal, March 13, 2013