Man Shoots Pit Bulls after They Attack Horse and Rider

by Bisnar Chase on March 1, 2013

A man shot at two pit bulls killing one of them as the dogs were attacking a woman and the horse she was riding. According to an NBC News report, the incident occurred on February 23, 2013 on an equestrian trail in San Dimas.


The rider, 47-year-old Yvette Picconi, was riding her horse, Mecca, on a trail near the San Dimas Equestrian Center when the dogs got loose from either a residence or a pit bull dog rescue facility, officials said. Picconi suffered minor injuries, but her horse suffered a 10-inch gash on its leg.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials say that a neighbor who witnessed the pit bull attack tried to fight off the pit bulls by using a flashlight. The man called for help when one of the dogs latched on to the horse and locked down on its leg. A relative of the neighbor, identified as 24-year-old John Eichler, then used a rifle to shoot the dog, killing it.

Police say Eichler had to shoot the dog several times to get him to stop. Police say the man’s quick action saved the horse and its owner. The other dog was taken by animal control officers who are still in the process of determining if the dogs’ owners will face charges. It is not clear if they came from a home or a pit bull rescue in the neighborhood, officials said.

Dog Bite Law in California

Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages they cause. In addition to facing possible criminal charges or citations, dog owners can also be held civilly liable.

California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

Rights of Dog Bite Victims

Injured dog bite victims can seek compensation to cover damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. As described in this article, almost all victims of dog attacks suffer significant emotional anguish not only during and long after the incident.

Victims of dog attacks would be well advised to contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will advise them about obtaining compensation for their losses.

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