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| Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

This article revisits a terrible and traumatic incident in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (NC) on January 19th, 2009, when two vicious Pit Bulls were running loose and severely attacked an older Labrador Retriever in it’s own home. The two dogs mauled the Lab causing severe injury and death. The two Pitt Bulls chased the Labrador into its own house through the pet door where they continued the bloody assault on the dog. Pit Bulls are known to cause serious injuries, involving kids and adults-and the bites can easily leave permanent scarring.

This incident involved an attack on a Labrador, but it could have been a child instead.

Kent, the owner of the Labrador (Jazz), is working to change the current laws on the books. Initially, the Pitt Bulls were returned to their owner, Niki Canady directly after the attack because North Carolina laws decline to allow authorities to keep the animals if their owner demands the dog back. Once clued in, Kent went directly to authorities and demanded to have the dogs detained.

Kent doesn’t think that there should be a complete ban on the breed, but he does want people to know that Pitt Bulls can be extremely dangerous. “Some things have changed, once police pick up an animal, they can now hold it. That’s a good change, since my wife found out they were released, I thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown,” he said.

Although rare, attacks on children or adults by dog incites even more fear, as one can easily ask, “What if that were a small child, or an elderly person injured, or any person for that matter?” As personal injury attorneys representing Northeast North Carolina including Corolla, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Manteo, we want you to be safe.

As cited on Wikipedia, unsupervised children are arguably the most critical factor in fatal dog attacks on children. There are a number of reasons why unsupervised children are especially vulnerable to a fatal or serious injury dog bite/attack:

· Dogs are much less likely to attack a child in the presence of an adult, particularly in the presence of the owner.

· In the event that a dog does attack a child in the presence of an adult, the intervention of the adult often prevents the attack from becoming a fatality.

· Children, because of their small size, are usually not able to stop an attack until help arrives. Many adults survived severe dog attacks simply by virtue of the fact that they were able to fight off and fend the dogs off to some degree until assistance arrived.

· Children often engage in dangerous behavior (approaching too close to a chained dog or trying to hug/kiss an unfamiliar animal) that a supervising adult would have not done.

The age-group with the second-highest amount of fatalities due to a dog attack are 2-year-old children. Over 88% of these fatalities occurred when the 2-year-old child was left unsupervised with a dog(s) or the child wandered off to the location of the dog.

No matter what happens in the end the Kents have been so traumatized by this vicious dog attack that they have decided to hire a real estate agent and would like to move to the mountains.

Our injury law firm maintains a NE NC office in Elizabeth City, and our main law office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Four of our law firm’s injury lawyers are licensed to practice law in North Carolina, Virginia, and beyond. For over a decade we have been helping North Carolina residents, and those suffering injuries or wrongful death in NC. We have represented numerous personal injury cases and know how to maximize the compensation payable due to negligence of an irresponsible pet owner.

Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia, with offices in northeast NC and Virginia Beach (VA), practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is:, the firm edits three injury law blogs: Virginia Beach Injuryboard & Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects.

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