Pit Bull Attack Critically Injures Two Women in Oklahoma

A 78-year-old woman and a 43-year-old woman were mauled by a pit bull as they canvassed a Tulsa neighborhood delivering religious literature. Allegedly, the women knocked on the door of a residence, and when the homeowner answered the door, a 130-pound pit bull charged through the door and attacked the women. Witnesses say that they heard screaming and when they came to investigate, they saw one woman lying motionless on the ground, a second woman under attack by the large dog, and the homeowner screaming hysterically and wielding a bat. A man who worked nearby heard the commotion and went to see what was going on. Upon witnessing the attack, Mike Harrell grabbed his gun, which he is licensed to carry, and started shaking a fence to distract the dog.  The dog charged him, and he closed a gate between himself and the animal. He asked the dog's owner if it was her dog and if it was okay to shoot it, and she said yes. The man shot the dog in the head, killing it. Witnesses say that his actions saved the lives of the women and possibly others in the area. The homeowner had tried to hit the dog with the bat to get it away from the women it was attacking, but only the gunshot stopped the dog. Neighbors say that there has never been an incident with either the homeowner or the dog, and they were shocked by the gruesome attack.  Both women were listed in critical condition at an area hospital, and the elder victim, 78-year-old Irene Parker, underwent a four-hour surgery following the attack. In late February, an Oklahoma teen was criticized for shooting a pit bull on his property with a bow and arrow.  The 18-year-old Tahlequah resident posted the picture to Facebook saying, "For all you Pit lovers out there. Here's what happens when one shows up around my house." The teen said the dog had charged, but others say he was unprovoked in killing the dog. Mike Harrell, who shot the dog in the Tulsa incident, is a professed dog lover, but said when witnessing the attack, the only choice to save human life was to kill the dog. [caption id="attachment_1733" align="alignleft" width="135"]Oklahoma Dog Bite Lawyer Image Credit: DogsBite.org[/caption] Pit bull lovers say that the dogs are misunderstood and are only dangerous when mistreated or provoked; however, the breed is listed as one of the most dangerous dog breeds. According to DogsBite.org, pit bull terriers and rottweilers are the two most deadly breeds.  The organization claims that in the years spanning 2005 to 2012, pit bulls and rottweilers were responsible for 73 percent of fatal dog attacks in the United States. During that time period, pit bull terriers killed 151 people in the U.S., comprising 60 percent of total canine attack deaths. Though pit bulls are responsible for the greatest number of fatal maulings, it is important to remember that any dog can bite. If a dog owner fails to properly restrain his or her animal, then the owner may be held liable for the attack. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, lost wages, psychological counseling, pain and suffering, funeral and burial costs, and other damages associated with a dog bite or attack.