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Criminal Charges Expected For Evansville Dog Owner

Jason Reese

Evansville Police say a 9-year-old boy will require facial reconstruction surgery after a pit bull bit him on the face, taking off most of the boy’s right cheek. Police continued to say the dog was let out by a family member and did not obey commands to come back.

Animal Control has taken possession of the dog and cited the owner who is expected to face criminal charges. The owner told police that the dog ran at the child while he was playing and was bit because he screamed.

Indiana law states that the responsibility of a dog bite injury falls on the pet owner or the custodian. However, that does not mean a victim will be immediately granted compensation. Unless the victim is carrying out an official duty, like a Postal Worker, when the law expressly makes the owner of the dog liable, Indiana dog bite liability rests on proving negligence, and the “one bite rule.”

The “one bite rule” gives dogs a “free bite.” It is only when the dog bites a second time, that claims for liability stand. The responsibility to prove negligence sits with the victim.

The claim for damages may vary depending on many factors.

  • The dog straying outside the property unless under reasonable control of a person counts as Class C infraction and establishes negligence.
  • A landowner can be held liable only when he or she had actual knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities.
  • A person supervising a child may actually be held liable rather than the pet owner, if the dog bites the child.


The American Veterinary Medical Association

[AVMA] says each year, dogs bite more than 4.5 million people in the U.S.. Children are the most common victims of dog bites and more likely to be severely injured or even die. As many as 31 dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2016 in the U.S. Despite being regulated in over 900 U.S. cities, pit bull breeds were to blame for 71 percent of these deaths.

AVMA provides some basics of responsible dog ownership and dog bite prevention:

  • Carefully select your dog. Puppies should not be obtained on impulse.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Don’t put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
  • Train your dog. The basic commands “sit,” “stay,” “no,” and “come” help dogs understand what is expected of them and can be incorporated into fun activities that build a bond of trust between pets and people.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
  • Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog and to show others that you are in control of your dog.
  • Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and veterinary care are also important because how your dog feels affects how it behaves.
  • Neuter or spay your dog.

If you or one of your loved ones suffered an injury as the result of a dog bite or animal attack, give our personal injury attorneys a call and let them get you on the road to recovery. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today (888) 204-8440for your FREE consultation!


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