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Elderly woman killed in unprovoked pit-bull attack

Although dog attacks can leave victims with serious and permanent injuries, most otherwise-healthy adults are likely to survive an attack. But when vicious dogs or other animals maul children or the elderly, the attacks can be, and often are, fatal.

California has among the highest annual rate of dog bites, as measured by homeowner insurance claims. But vicious dogs can be found anywhere, and their victims are often just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A recent and tragic example comes from Ohio. According to news sources, a 71-year-old woman drove to her son's house to pick up her grandchild when she was mauled by a pit bull. The attack lasted some 10 minutes, and despite a neighbor shooting the dog during the mauling, the victim nonetheless died as a result of her injuries. Police later fatally shot the dog.

Neighbors say that the dog lives on the property where the woman was attacked and was usually chained up in the backyard. While the victim's son is presumably the dog's owner, this couldn't be confirmed immediately.

Although the vicious dog in this case was a pit bull (and pit bulls have a reputation for being aggressive), animal attacks are not about breed. No matter what kind of dog or other animal a person has, it is the owner's responsibility to socialize the animal properly and to ensure that it is always restrained. Dog owners who encourage aggressive behavior or fail to keep their pets fenced and leashed are liable for any and all injuries caused by that dog.

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