One Massachusetts town has decided to take action against a dog that has injured people on two separate occasions. The dog bite incidents occurred in the town of Hull and resulted in two people seeking treatment at the hospital. Members of the town board recently ruled to impose restrictions on the dog and declare him a public danger.
The couple that owns the house where the 4-year-old bulldog stays are now required to keep the dog contained within a locked fence and muzzle it when out in public. The dog does not belong to the couple, but stays there when their daughter comes to visit. The restrictions also include notifying the local authorities when the dog is visiting and putting up a ‘beware of dog’ sign.
During one incident in April, a man claims that he was bitten when the bulldog attacked his Labrador in front of the couple’s house. At the time, the bulldog had just been let out of their car and was not on a leash. The following month, a woman was walking past the couple’s house when she says that the bulldog lunged through the fence and grabbed her shirt. The dog then escaped through a gate that was left unlocked and came after her. The woman was bitten on the hip.
While the restrictions will hopefully prevent this dog from attacking anyone else in the future, the couple may still face repercussions from the two recent attacks. Under Massachusetts law, the dog bite victims may be able to seek compensation in civil court for their injuries. Successfully litigating such a case may result in damages being awarded for physical pain and emotional distress, but it can also serve as a punitive measure against the couple to ensure that they will follow all restrictions to the letter to avoid any more incidents.
The Patriot-Ledger, “Hull board orders bulldog fenced in, muzzled after attacks,” Neal Simpson, July 24, 2013