Following various complaints and attacks within the community, a Sellersburg, Indiana, owner of three pit bulls faces eight misdemeanors charges including various violations of Sellersburg Town Ordinances. Of the attacks, the first occurring in June was the most serious as it resulted in a 58-year-old man who lived in the same neighborhood as the pit bulls to be taken to the hospital for stitches and treatment for other serious injuries. Police who arrived on the scene of the June incident reported that the 58-year-old man suffered severe puncture wounds and lacerations in his left arm as he was trying to remove one of the pit bulls he was attacked by while mowing his lawn which was adjacent to the dog owner’s property. Following the June incident, earlier this month reports of all three dogs running at large were made to the Sellersburg Police. As a result of the unleashed and unrestrained dogs, a 14 year-old-boy was chased and was able to escape into his home, while another woman was forced to crouch behind the bushes to prevent from being attacked by the pit bulls. On the same day as the second incident, approximately 10 minutes later, a third report was made by a 79-year-old woman who stated that the three dogs, while on the loose, ran onto to her driveway and bit her left thigh, for which she was taken to Floyd Memorial Hospital to receive stitches. Following the initial attack one of the pit bulls was quarantined by an animal shelter for 10 days, before being returned, however, on August 11, 2016, a warrant was issued to Sellersburg Police who took all three dogs into custody pending further decision by a Clark County Judge.
Owning a pet comes with a certain amount of risk for which an owner has a duty to reasonably protect others from such as attacks or other injuries. Due to the numerous attacks and serious injuries sustained at least by one victim, the Sellersburg dog owner could be subject to civil liability, in addition to criminal penalties, to each person injured by his dogs. Additionally, due to town or city ordinances put in place to protect individuals from being attacked by dogs or other animals, such statutes may be sufficient to prove negligence on the part of animal owners. Therefore, it’s important to understand local laws and legal duties as a pet owner before you purchase or adopt an animal, and if you or someone you know is attacked by an animal or has suffered otherwise due to the negligence of another, please contact the experienced legal professionals at Schiller Law at 888-578-3100 or online at IndyInjured.com.