The Phillips & Associates Oklahoma Law Blog


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By Dustin Phillips on
April 10, 2013
February 5, 2020

Late last month, our personal injury attorneys brought you the story of two women who were critically injured when they were attacked by a pit bull in Oklahoma City. The pit bull only stopped the attack when a bystander shot the dog. We also discussed a teen boy who received death threats after posting a picture of a dead pit bull on social media sites, saying that he shot the animal with a bow and arrow when it wandered onto his property and charged him. The teen received death threats for the animal's killing, with angry dog lovers saying there is no evidence that the dog attacked.In that article, we discussed how "dangerous dog breeds" include pit bulls, rottweilers, and other large dogs, but cautioned that any dog is capable of biting. However, the size of a dog may certainly be indicative of the severity of injuries sustained in a dog bite or attack.For one Detroit man, JoJo the chihuahua, weighing in at less than seven pounds, seemed to be a serious threat requiring fatal force. According to reports, JoJo's 14-year-old owner was letting her 1-year-old puppy run loose when a neighbor came outside. Allegedly, the man told the teen girl to take her dog inside. When she didn't, she claims the man went inside to get a pistol, came out and said, "I'm going to handle him myself." He then shot the miniature dog, killing it.Some reports say that the man was walking away when the dog barked at him, so he turned around and shot it. Others say that the dog was a continued menace in the neighborhood, running loose and harassing residents.Although it seems like a clear case of overkill, the man told police that he felt "threatened" because the dog was not on a leash, and that he acted in self defense. Police agreed that he acted within his rights because the dog was unleashed on a public sidewalk, and no charges were filed.Although few would agree that lethal force was necessary against such a tiny menace, the incident serves as a reminder about local leash laws and pet owner liability in the case of a dog bite or animal attack. Oklahoma dog bite law enforces strict liability:§4-42.1. The owner or owners of any dog shall be liable for damages to the full amount of any damages sustained when his dog, without provocation, bites or injures any person while such person is in or on a place where he has a lawful right to be. §4-42.2. For the purpose of this act a person shall be considered to be lawfully upon the private property of the owner of a dog when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state, or by the laws of the United States, or the postal regulations of the United States, or when reading meters, or making repairs to any public utility or service located on said premises, or when working on said property at the request of the owner or any tenant having a lease upon any portion of said property, or when on such property upon the invitation, either� expressed or implied, of the owner or lessee of such property. The term "public place" shall, for the purpose of this act, mean and include any and all public buildings, parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities, and any and all places of business, amusement or entertainment which are privately owned, wherein merchandise, property, services, entertainment or facilities are offered for sale, hire, lease, or use.If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog or other domestic animal, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.


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