On August 31, 2007, 6-year-old Scott Warren of Dallas was killed by his family’s pet pit bull. The boy’s parents described the dog as having never given any signs of being vicious. The child died one day before the effective date of a new law that could have resulted in his parents going to jail for 20 years. See my posts about the new Texas law, below, and also see my Texas page, which has extended analysis of this new law.
With 7 canine homicides so far this year, Texas continues to lead the USA. Texas has been the location of 7 out of the nation’s 20 deaths, an entirely disproportionate and disgraceful statistic.
Generally, the 18 one-bite states, and the 5 states that have dog bite statutes which substantially incorporate the one-bite rule, have been the location of 16 of the USA’s canine-inflicted homicides this year. In the other 27 states, there have been only 4 deaths caused by dogs.
Clearly, the one-bite states need to enact strict liability dog bite statutes. I have developed model dog bite laws which will be on the Dog Bite Law website in the next couple of weeks. (To learn what type of law applies in your state, seeLegal Rights of Dog Bite Victims in the USA, and to read about the individual canine homicides during the past year, see the Canine Homicides section of Dangerous and Vicious Dogs.)