Of course, dogs CAN be provoked, and sometimes it's by innocent children who don't know any better and have no sense of the danger. They just see a furry face that to them seems friendly. Sometimes it's okay. But if that dog has been abused, or hasn't been properly trained or socialized, all hell can break loose. Even breeds not known for being biters can bite.
It is up to the owner of the dog to properly train, maintain and restrain their pets. Too few do—with sometimes-catastrophic results.
Of course, the pit bull is one breed of dog with a reputation for inflicting injuries on people, even other pets. Pit bull breeders, and defenders of the breed, will tell you that while pit bulls are bred for aggression, if properly trained they don't represent the degree of risk most people associate with pit bulls.
Tell that to Carrolle Joey Bales and Thomas Wimberly. Earlier this month they were both drawn into a horrific dog bite injury attack in Indianapolis that would curl your hair.
Imagine were this to have happened to a child.
"I was cutting through where there's a boarded-up house—everybody cuts through—and these dogs come running at me and surround me," she said. "And one jumped up on me and knocked me over, and all I did was kept screaming and screaming."
The three dogs had escaped from a fenced yard and attacked the 42-year-old woman, inflicting on Bales what police later described as "gaping holes" on her arms and legs, according to a report carried in the Indianapolis Star.
If it hadn't been for the intervention by a Good Samaritan, Bales may not have survived.
Thomas Wimberly was in the neighborhood visiting some friends when he heard the commotion and looked up to see the distressed woman on the ground being mauled by three pit bulls, suffering severe dog bite injury as a result. Instinctively the 6-foot-4, 217-pound giant of a man ran over to help, only to have the dogs turn on him.
It took a half-dozen neighbors armed with fence posts and other implements to beat back the three dogs. Once police arrived the city's animal control department was dispatched and the dogs were rounded up and hauled away. They were to have been euthanized.
But the damage had already been done. Bales was treated and released from Methodist Hospital and faces a long convalescence. Immediately after the ordeal she was using a walker to get around and had hoped to graduate to a cane, soon.
Wimberly, the woman's rescuer, was still in Wishard Memorial Hospital five days after the attack. The man suffered more than a dozen puncture wounds, many of them more than an inch deep. One gash was 15 inches long, and small chunks of flesh were seen by one reporter, missing from his forearms.
Wimberly was expecting to move from hospital, to a rehab unit for further treatment. He was told he would be off work for 2 months.
For both, there is also the danger of infection from a dog bite injury. The mouths of dogs are not the cleanest. Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a commensal bacterium from canine oral flora, has been known to cause serious infection in humans.
There was no indication as to the emotional scars the two people would carry, together with the physical, for the remainder of their lives.
As for the owner of the dogs, he was in prison at the time. His mother was caring for them on her son's behalf. Carolyn Boss was cited and faced a maximum fine of $22,800.
READ MORE DOG BITE INJURY LEGAL NEWS
However, what that tells you is that the majority of dog bites are NOT caused by pit bulls. An individual, due to the perceived reputation, would be wary of a pit bull. However bites coming from poodles, or beagles, or any type of dog for that matter not normally associated with biting, would come as a surprise for most.
Such is the jurisdiction of the dog bite lawyer, and the need for anyone suffering a dog bite injury to contact one. A dog bite can carry physical injury, pain and scarring, emotional trauma, infection and loss of income. The dog bite law is there to protect you. An irresponsible dog owner should be made to compensate you for your suffering.