Stray Dogs Kill 2 Pets in Anaheim Hills

January 10, 2012—Anaheim Hills, California—In a horrific attack in Anaheim Hills, two stray dogs described as a Mastiff and a Pit Bull mix killed two smaller dogs being walked by their owner, according to ABC News.  Authorities are still searching for the stray dogs and have asked the public for help in identifying them or their owners.

The Anaheim Hills owner of the two pets was walking her dogs around 5:15 a.m. on Willow Woods Drive when she was suddenly charged by two larger dogs.  She tried to defend her animals, screaming for help, but the dogs savaged the two smaller animals before neighbors could intervene.

Neighborhood residents are concerned about the possibility of vicious dogs in the neighborhood, especially around small pets and children.  One neighbor interviewed commented that even coyotes have not been seen to attack in such a bold manner, leading to speculation that the dogs may have been trained to be aggressive, at least toward other animals.

Orange County Animal Care has posted fliers in the neighborhood and continues to search for the missing animals.  Anyone with information on the dogs or their owners is asked to contact O.C. Animal Care immediately.

Vicious Animals Pose Public Safety Hazards

Although dogs have naturally aggressive tendencies toward small animals, most domestic dogs have been trained to desist from an attack if ordered away or are wary of attacking with a human present.  For a domestic dog to attack an animal with such frenzy in the presence of the owner indicates what may be termed “dog aggression,” a tendency that could easily lead to an attack on a small child or helpless individual.

Dog bites account for 850,000 victims per year, including 350,000 who visit emergency rooms, according to Dog Bite Law.  In California, owners are required to keep their animals under control at all times.  If a dog escapes confinement and causes property damage or injury, the victim may have the right to collect damages from the dog’s owner, even if the owner did not intend to allow the dog to roam free.  Similarly, someone who comes onto an owner’s property, unless he or she is committing a crime, may have grounds for a lawsuit against the dog’s owner if bitten, even if the person was not technically invited to the home.  For example, a person going door-to-door to collect for a charity who is bitten by a vicious dog may have the right to collect damages from the dog’s owner.

Liability Issues In Dog Bite Cases

In this case, the owner was apparently not physically injured by the dogs.  While this is fortunate, it does not remove the liability from the dogs’ owner for the mental anguish the victim suffered in losing her small pets.

Dog bite cases may involve several types of damages.  One is physical injury, and victims can usually collect medical bills as well as other expenses related to the treatment of a dog bite.  However, victims may also be entitled to collect damages for mental suffering, pain, and other non-tangible injuries.  A personal injury attorney can explain the types of damages allowed under the law to victims of dog attacks.

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