A young boy from Sarasota was taken to All Children’s Hospital by airlift after a 6-year-old pit bull mix bit him. It was reported that the boy suffered numerous facial injuries, and the dog was impounded by Sarasota County Animal Services for safety reasons. The authorities have reports of the animal biting previous children, but a neighbor says that the dog had never shown aggressive behavior in the past, although records indicate differently.
According to reports, the boy who received the bite was staying at the same house as the dog. The neighbor also reported that the dog got along with her and other dogs, but the dog’s owner did not comment on the incident.
The Sarasota Sheriff’s Office has reports of three previous bites by the animal. The dog reportedly bit a 9-year-old on the knee in 2009 when she knocked on the door of the dog’s house, and the girl went to the hospital for puncture wounds. In 2012, the dog was sleeping in his bed when a 13-year-old girl startled and woke him. The animal bit a 5-year-old boy on the hand in 2013, but no citation was given in this instance. His owner received a citation after the first incident, but no action was taken in 2012 because the dog was disturbed in his environment.
While dogs may get scared and could attack for many reasons, the owner’s negligence is not a factor under Florida dog bite law. Dog owners are liable for the actions of their dogs under a strict liability standard, which means one does not need to prove that the owner was or should have been aware of the animal’s aggressive tendencies when seeking compensation for injuries. In such a case, an owner can be held liable for damages associated with the victim’s injuries.
Source: 10 News, “Toddler airlifted to hospital after dog attack”, Isabel Mascareñas, Jan. 9, 2015