Many Arizona residents choose to take in animals in hopes of giving them a safe and stable home. Yet, sometimes these animals are too damaged to be safe. In other instances, the animal’s new owners fail to discipline or abuse the animal, causing it to develop aggressive tendencies. Under these circumstances, an animal, such as a dog, can pose a serious safety threat to all those who come into close proximity of it.
That was the case for a Phoenix-area animal control officer who was attacked by a Rottweiler last month. The officer was dispatched to a residence to impound the dog in accordance with a court order, but upon arrival the dog’s owner merely opened the door to the residence without restraining the animal. The dog then attacked the animal control officer, digging its teeth into his arm. Although the animal control officer was able to get away after an initial bite, the dog lunged again, biting the officer a second time in the same area.
The dog was shot and killed by police officers who were present at the scene, but significant damage had already been done. The animal control officer suffered some loss of use of his arm, and has already undergone three surgical operations. Even though he only has 80 percent usage of his injured arm, the animal control officer hopes to return to work soon.
Sadly, in this instance the dog’s owner made no attempt to restrain the dangerous animal and protect it from attacking others. This is unacceptable, and the law recognizes that in the way that it imposes strict liability in these instances. Those who have been injured in an animal attack may want to get more information about their legal options.