Dog attacks often result from irresponsible behavior on the part of the dog owners. However, sometimes the victim and his parents also bear part of the blame.
There is an example in the news this week. Twenty-five-year-old Jessica Chavous, of Augusta, Georgia, is behind bars, charged with negligence after her son was mauled by a neighbor's dogs. Her 2-year-old son, Damien, is in critical condition. Several weeks ago, police warned her because her young son was standing by the side of the road, on supervised.
The neighbor who owned the dogs is Shirley Barnes, a resident of Augusta and Belvedere, Georgia. Ms. Barnes is one of those people who collects dogs; animal control officers took 24 dogs from her home is Belvedere last month, and there were 5 that attacked Damien in Augusta. (Click here to read the article.)
This mauling seems to be an example of what is sometimes referred to as a "perfect storm." On the one hand we have a person who collects dogs. This is regarded as being a mental illness under some circumstances. A person with too many dogs is like someone with too many children: they can't take care of all of them.
On the other hand, we have a mother with a track record of not taking care of her child.
I have had several cases where the insurance company for the dog owner said that the parents of the young dog bite victim should bear part or all of the blame for the accident. Since these were my own cases, I already knew that the accusations were false. In one such case, we are about to file suit against the defense attorneys for the insurance company and the insurance company itself, because they made the accusations in court and, after a big fight, the court through out their false defense.
I feel very strongly that defense lawyers and insurance companies who lie to keep from paying a dog bite claim are just as bad has people who lie in an attempt to get money from an insurance company. All such liars need to be exposed and prosecuted, because they waste time and taxpayer money, and what they are doing is unethical and immoral.
By the same token, when truly irresponsible people cause injury to themselves or their children, blame needs to be put squarely on their shoulders.