Image via KIROTV.com
A nine-year-old Seattle girl suffered serious facial injuries after being attacked by pit bull dogs while visiting at a friend’s house in South Seattle on Friday evening.
According to KIROTV.com, nine-year-old Daniella Valdez and her eight-year-old sister were invited to play at a friend’s house in South Seattle Friday night. The friend’s mother reportedly told the girls to go play in the front yard, where the family’s pit bull dogs were left unchained.
That’s when the dogs rushed through the porch screen door reportedly attacked Daniella unprovoked. The owner was eventually able to pull the dogs off of Daniella, but not before she suffered serious bite wounds to her face, neck, arm and back.
“The owner kept apologizing and kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’ And he had this big cut on his leg,” Denise Canebett, Daniella’s older sister, told KIRO reporters after the incident.
Animal Control’s Policy Regarding Dangerous Dogs in Seattle
Seattle police have opened an investigation into the incident, and a spokesperson said that a final decision on what ultimately happens to the dogs would be left up to animal control.
Animal control is not permitted to share details about an open investigation, but told reporters that they are required to check an animal’s vaccination records and discuss quarantine protocol whenever an animal causes an open wound to a person.
Often times, animal control agencies will take preventative measures and, in extreme cases, may even go as far as to euthanize a dog or dogs which cause serious injury to a person. One important factor in determining the dogs’ fate will likely be whether or not there is any record of them causing serious injury to another person in the past.
Dog bite victims may pursue a personal injury claim for damages in order to recover the compensation that they may have lost due to medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages, among other types of economic and non-economic damages.
Typically, these claims are filed against the homeowner’s insurance policy that was purchased by the homeowner. However, because each dog bite case is different, it is usually in the best interests of victims to consult with a qualified attorney who has experience handling dog bite claims.
For more information about the City of Seattle's animal control policies and procedures, please visit their website.