Protecting YOURSELF from Injury in Animal-on-Animal Attacks

The Chicago Dog Bite Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. represent clients in a wide range of dog-related incidents, including those in which a person sustained injury while trying to prevent or intercept an animal-on-animal attack. Any animal lover would agree that ensuring the safety of their beloved pets, which are often considered to be members of the family, is an important concern. However, it is also necessary to consider your own safety, particularly when a dog owned by another bites, attacks, or attempts to attack your own dog or cat. Prompted by a recent dog attack in a Chicagoland suburb, we feel compelled to remind dog owners of the risk for injury or fatality caused as a result of intercepting a potential or presently occurring attack on your animal.

In September, a McHenry man and his wife, Steven and Annette Cuda, were both injured while attempting to save their 6-month-old golden retriever puppy, Addie, from being mauled by two pit bulls. According to reports, the two dogs either escaped or were allowed to roam from the owner’s premises, and subsequently charged at the retriever as Mr. Cuda was taking Addie on an evening walk. Mrs. Cuda, who was driving home at the time of the attack, heard her husband yelling around the corner, and joined her husband in an attempt to stop the attack.

In the aftermath of the incident, three victims required emergency medical treatment. Both of Addie’s owners sustained injuries to their hands, and Mr. Cuda reports that he separated his shoulder, when he tripped over one of the pit bulls during the attack. In addition, Addie sustained multiple dog bite related puncture wounds, and has already undergone two surgeries. Mr. Cuda described the attack as the most terrifying thing he has ever gone through, further stating that “the more my dog screamed or cried, the more vicious the pit bulls became.”

According to local authorities, this attack is the third dog-related incident involving the pit bulls’ owner, which police have responded to in recent years, including prior citations for aggression in 2012, as well as one for running at large in 2011. Unfortunately authorities were unable to confirm whether previous violations involved the same dogs that attacked Addie and her owners. However, given the pending litigation on this matter, we expect that the injury attorney handling the matter will be able to determine the nature of prior incidents through evidence, such as statements and testimony provided from neighbors in the community.

At least one neighbor reports knowledge of the pit bulls being loose immediately prior to the incident, and we imagine that other witnesses may come forth or be revealed, whether through the Animal Control’s dangerous dog investigation, or the pending lawsuit. As dog bite injury lawyers, we feel that reporting dangerous and vicious dogs, or any other violations of local ordinances or state laws pertaining the control and regulation of animals, can greatly contribute to the reduction of attacks.

Fortunately the injuries suffered by the Cudas were not life-threatening in this particular attack. However, pet owners are reminded of the dangerous consequences that can occur while trying to rescue your animal from a dog attack. In short, protecting your own dog is certainly important, but in doing so, you must also protect yourself from injury. In addition to initial injuries sustained due to an attack, there are also concerns of medical complications, such as infection, that can occur during or following a dog bite injury.

If you, a loved one, and/or your dog were injured or harmed following an attack by a dog owned by another person, it is important to know that you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our experienced team of trial attorneys have obtained favorable results in numerous dog bite injury cases, and want to do the same for you. We offer FREE consultation in all personal injury matters. Contact Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. by calling 773-516-4100, or by using the online form provided on this page.