Waco Dog Bite Lawyer | Waco Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Waco Dog Attack Attorney
McLennan County Dog Bite Accident Attorney
Dangerous Dog Facts:
- An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year;
- Approximately 334,000 people are admitted to US emergency rooms annually with dog bite-associated injuries, and another 466,000 are seen in other medical settings;
- An unknown number of other people who have been bitten do not sustain injuries deemed serious enough to require medical attention;
- Almost half of all persons bitten are children younger than 12 years old; and
- People more than 70 years old comprise 10% of those bitten and 20% of those killed.
According to Zoonosis Control Division of the Texas Department of Health, domesticated dogs comprise most the dog bites in any given year. Even more shocking, Texas was the leader in dog bite fatalities in 2007, with seven fatalities stemming from dog bites that year alone. There is a regional Zoonosis office in Waco located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 2408 South 37th Street, Temple, Texas 76504, (254) 778-6744 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Waco Definitely Can Reduce Waco Dog Bites
As so many things in life, dog bites can be reduced by what happens in the home. A dog is not always the one to blame in the instance of a dog attack or dog bite injury. Many owners use their dogs for illegal dog fights and these dogs are victimized every bit as much as the victims of their attacks, and they too are often severely injured or even killed in dog fighting rings as they fight for their lives. Negligent and abusive dog owners should be held liable for their actions. A decision to be a responsible dog is a personal decision and one that requires responsibility. There are many places in and around Waco, Texas to have your dog trained for obedience. Dog owners are also able to take their dog to an area designated for dogs to play. Dog parks are there so that the owner can take their dog to an area where they can run around and play in an fenced-in and safe place. Dog parks are a responsible place to take your pet to ensure that when they are running off their leash that they will not run away from you and/or cause harm to a person or another animal. Some Dog Training Facilities and Dog Park locations in the General Waco Area include:
4600 Franklin Avenue
Waco, TX 76710
Petco Animal Supplies
2404 West Loop 340
Waco, TX 76711
Angel Paws Grooming Salon
210 East Crest Drive
Waco, TX 76705
Purple Palace Pets
Barking Oaks Pet Resort
4153 Shallow Ford West Road
Temple, TX 76502
5301 Bosque Boulevard 300
Waco, TX 76710
Dogs should be trained and any sense of aggressive behavior exhibited by a dog should be immediately attended to by the pet owner in order to avoid a future incident. What it boils down to is that if you or a loved one have been bitten, attacked, maimed, or killed by a dog or other animal, you should be entitled to some degree of compensation from the animal’s owner or handler. Contact one of the experienced Waco dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Texas’s “One Bite” Rule & Dog Bite Claims Based on Negligence
Texas follows the arcane “one bite rule.” This means that a pet owner is liable when:
- the owner knew that the dog had bitten someone before or had a “dangerous propensity” for biting;
- the bite was caused by the negligence of the person handling the dog;
- the bite was caused by a violation of a leash law, prohibition against dogs trespassing or running at large, or a similar animal control law; or,
- the bite injury was caused intentionally by the owner or person handling the dog.
When it cannot be proved that the dog’s owner or handler knew of the dog’s propensity to bite, negligence can form the basis of a claim. An example of a negligence-based claim could occur when the owner of a dog whose breed is notorious for its violent propensities — such as a pit bull, Rottweiler, or German Shepherd — allows their dog to run loose in a children’s park or other public area without supervision. The dog’s owner will be held liable based on negligence if the dog bites a child in the park.
However, a person does not have to be the dog’s owner to be held liable for a bite victim’s injuries. A child bitten at a day care facility for dogs could, through the child’s parents, make a claim against the pet care center, even though the dog was owned by a third party who was absent at the time of the bite. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you should contact a Waco dog bite attorney to pursue your personal injury claims. Even if the dog has no prior history of aggression and has never bitten anyone before, Texas’s “one bite rule” may allow a Waco dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Waco Negligence Per Se Dog Bite Lawyer
When a statute or ordinance is violated and the violation leads to an injury, this is called negligence per se.
Negligence per se is frequently found in cases of dog bites, dog maulings, and dog attacks, often resulting from a violation of:
- leash laws;
- dog trespass laws; or,
- no “free-run” laws.
Usually, these types of dog control laws and ordinances are only found in large Texas cities; however, Waco has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Waco requires that all dogs over four months of age be licensed with the city officials. If you or a loved one has been bitten or mauled by a dog running loose in violation of the law of Waco or McLennan County, you should contact a local Waco dog bite attorney immediately.
Lillian’s Law (H.B. 1355)
The so-called “Lillian Stiles Law,” sponsored by Senator Eliot Shapleigh and passed in 2007, increases the jail time for owners who fail to secure their dogs in a reasonable manner, resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another. Under the law, a dog owner will be charged with a third-degree felony if their dog causes serious bodily injury to a victim during an unprovoked attack. A third-degree felony is punishable by 2-10 years of prison time as well as a potential fine of up to $10,000. If the victim dies from an unprovoked dog attack, H.B. 1355 would impose a charge of second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Click here for more information on the passage of Lillian’s Law,
Texas still allows a dog to be chained up, which is not only bad policy, but also dangerous to children and others who are routinely attacked by dogs that have been chained. Lillian’s law helps protect Waco residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Waco dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Waco dog bite lawyer today.
Some of Texas' Laws on Dog Bites
Some of the laws are found in the Texas Health & Safety Code, Title 10, Chapter 822 Regulation of Animals:
- Subchapter A General Provisions; Dogs That Attack Persons or Are a Danger to Persons;
Subchapter D Dangerous Dogs;
- 822.041. Definitions;
- 822.042. Requirements for Owner of Dangerous Dog;
- 822.0421. Determination That Dog is Dangerous;
- 822.0422. Reporting of Incident in Certain Counties and Municipalities;
- 822.0423. Hearing;
- 822.043. Registration;
- 822.044. Attack by Dangerous Dog;
- 822.045. Violations;
- 822.046. Defense; and
822.047. Local Regulation of Dangerous Dogs
Sec. 5-1. - Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Abuse shall mean to mistreat through intent or neglect any animal in a manner that causes or is likely to cause stress or physical injury or as otherwise stated in this chapter.
Animal shall mean any living creature other than a Homo sapiens. Unless indicated otherwise, the term shall include livestock, fowl, reptiles, amphibians, and wildlife, as well as dogs, cats and other creatures commonly owned as pets.
Animal control officer or animal control office shall mean the officer or office of the city primarily responsible for the enforcement of regulations regarding animals.
Animal shelter shall mean a facility designated by the city council to be used for the impoundment of animals taken up by the animal control officers.
Animal welfare group shall mean an association or nonprofit corporation which has as one of its purposes the providing for the welfare and/or protection of animals of any kind.
Authority shall mean the local rabies control authority as defined in this section.
Brand shall mean a mark made on the skin of any animal which indicates the ownership of the animal; typically used with livestock.
Cat shall mean the male and the female of any domesticated member of the feline species of animals.
Circus shall mean a commercial variety show featuring animal acts for the public.
Day shall mean a workday and shall exclude Saturday, Sunday and city holidays.
Distance between structures, where a minimum setback or distance between any enclosure for an animal from a residence is required, shall mean the most direct line distance between the two structures, unless otherwise provided.
Dog shall mean the male and the female of any domesticated member of the canine species of animal.
Fish shall mean any of the cold-blooded animals that extract oxygen from water through the use of gills.
Fowl shall include all birds, e.g., chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, guineas, geese, ducks, peafowl and other domestic feathered creatures and nondomestic feathered creatures, regardless of age or sex.
Governmental entity shall mean an agency or political subdivision of the state or an agency or department of the federal government.
Harbor shall mean to feed, provide shelter, or otherwise maintain an animal for three or more days.
Livestock shall include, regardless of age, sex or breed, horses and all equine species, including mules, donkeys and jackasses; cows and all bovine species; sheep and all ovine species; llamas; goats and all caprine species; and pigs and all swine species.
Local rabies control authority shall mean the senior animal control officer, or an officer he designates to act in his place when he is temporarily unable to act for any reason.
Marine animal shall mean any animal, other than a mammal or bird, that lives in a marine environment.
Neutered shall mean any animal, male or female, rendered incapable of breeding or being bred, i.e., castration in the male and spaying or ovariectomy in the female.
Owner shall mean any person who has purchased or who owns, keeps, maintains, harbors or has care, custody or control of one or more animals.
Performing animals shall mean any spectacle, display, act or event in which animals perform.
Premise shall mean a definite portion of real estate or land, together with any appurtenances or buildings.
Poison shall mean a substance having an inherent harmful property which renders it, when taken into the system, capable of destroying animal life.
Residence shall mean any place of human habitation at any time, day or night, including, but not limited to, any single or multifamily dwelling, church, school, convalescent center or nursing home.
Restrained shall mean any animal secured by a leash of some sort or confined within the property limits of its owner.
Tag shall mean a vaccination tag attached to a collar as required by this chapter or some other permanent identifying device attached to a collar or to an animal.
Tattoo shall mean a permanent mark which is made on the skin of an animal by puncturing the skin and inserting indelible color, and which is used to show ownership.
Vaccination shall mean an injection of a rabies vaccine which is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Biologics Division, state veterinarian and administered by a licensed veterinarian or at an approved antirabies clinic.
Veterinarian shall mean any person duly licensed to practice veterinary medicine by the state board of veterinary examiners, or who is exempt from such licensing.
Wild animal or wildlife shall mean any nondomestic creature (mammal, amphibian, reptile or fowl) which is of a species which is wild by nature, which can normally be found in a wild state, and which is not naturally tame or gentle, or which, because of its size, vicious nature and other characteristics, constitutes a danger to human life or property. Such creatures shall include, but are not limited to, all animals prohibited by the state or federal law and shall include, but are not limited to, the following animals:
(1) Class mammalia: Order Carnivora, family felidae (such as lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards and cougars) except commonly accepted domesticated cats and hybrids involving same; family Canidae (such as wolves, coyotes and fox) except
domesticated dogs and hybrids involving same; family Mustelidae (such as weasels, martins, fishers, skunks, wolverines, mink and badgers) except ferrets; family Procyonidae (such as raccoons); family Ursidae (such as bears); order
Primata (such as monkeys and chimpanzees); and order Chiroptera (such as bats).
(2) Poisonous reptiles, cobras and their allies (Elapidae, Hydrophiidae); vipers and their allies (Crotiladae, Viperidae); Boonslang and Kirtland's tree snakes; Gila monsters (Helodermatidae); and crocodiles, alligators and their allies (order
(3) Brown recluse (Loxosceles) and black widow (Lactrodectus) spiders.
Zoological park or zoo shall mean any facility, other than a pet shop or kennel, displaying or exhibiting one or more species of animals, operated by a person or under the auspices of a governmental entity.(Ord. No. 1999-30, § 1, 8-17-99)
Cross reference— Definitions and rules of construction generally, § 1-2.
Sec. 5-2. - Purpose.
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to provide a safe and healthy environment within the city for both animals and people. While a person may own and keep animals within the city, the conduct of those animals and the conditions that the animals are kept in should be safe and healthy and should not infringe on the surrounding homes and their inhabitants.(Ord. No. 1999-30, § 1, 8-17-99)
Sec. 5-3. - Enforcement.
(a) The provisions of this chapter may be enforced by animal control officers, police officers, park rangers and such other persons as are designated by the city.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with, obstruct, resist or oppose any animal control officer or other person authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter while such person is apprehending an animal or performing any other
duties. It shall be unlawful to take or attempt to take any animal from any animal control officer or from any vehicle used by the officer to transport any animal or to take or attempt to take any animal from the animal shelter or other kennel or
confinement area used to impound an animal.
(c) In all instances of a violation of any provision of this chapter, whether the animal is impounded or not, the owner or keeper of such animal may be cited by an officer who has the authority to enforce this chapter for any violation of this chapter.
(d) In the enforcement of this chapter, animal control officers and police officers shall have the authority to shoot any animal to protect themselves, to protect a third person or to protect another animal from attack or threat of imminent injury or to
prevent such animal from enduring further pain or suffering as a result of disease or injury. They shall also have the authority to tranquilize or trap any animal, fowl, livestock or wildlife.
(e) Unless specifically provided in this chapter, an offense under this chapter shall not require a culpable mental state. It is the intent of this chapter to impose strict liability for violation of the requirements of this chapter.
(Ord. No. 1999-30, § 1, 8-17-99)
Sec. 5-4. - Powers and duties of citizens.
Any person who finds an animal which he does not own on property that he owns or exercises control over or on public property may take control of said animal if it is running at large (as provided in section 5-92) and may deliver the animal to an animal control officer, the animal shelter, or an animal emergency medical facility. If the animal is not delivered to an animal control officer, the animal shelter, or an animal emergency medical facility, the person must report that he had taken control of the animal to an animal control officer or the animal shelter within 72 hours. If animal is wearing a tag of any kind or has a tattoo, brand, or other identifying mark, that information shall be included in the report to the animal control officer or animal shelter.(Ord. No. 1999-30, § 1, 8-17-99)
Secs. 5-5—5-30. - Reserved.
Family Bystander Mental Anguish Claims
Texas recognizes the right of bystanders to recover damages for mental anguish caused by witnessing an accident, with the following limitations: the bystander must be a parent or child of the victim and the victim must have been killed or severely injured in the animal attack or mauling. Therefore, if you have witnessed a close family member mauled or bitten by a dog, you may want to pursue legal action on behalf of the injury victim as well as your own claims for witnessing such a horrific event. Contact a Waco dog bite lawyer today to discuss bystander and mental anguish claims.
Negligence Based on Failure to Stop an Attack
A Texas dog owner owes a duty to attempt to stop his dog from attacking a person after the attack has begun. This is a civil duty, meaning that the Waco dog bite victim can sue for monetary damages if the dog owner does not attempt to stop the attack.
If you or a loved one have been bitten or mauled by a dangerous dog in Waco or McLennan County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Waco dog bite injury lawyers listed on this page.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog?
- Make every attempt to keep the animal in sight, find its owner, and obtain the owner’s contact information, preferably verified by their photo ID.
- Immediately wash the wound out with soap and warm water.
- Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shots.
- Seek the help of a physician or visit a local hospital.
- Report the bite to the Waco Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of a Waco dog bite attorney, if necessary, and maintain copies of all medical records and other relevant evidence.
For more information on dog bites and their victims, visit DogsBite.org
Dog Bite Reporting:
If you would like to report a Waco area or McLennan County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Waco Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Waco SPCA. The Waco SPCA may be reached at:
If you would like to report an instance of animal cruelty to the Waco click here, and follow the recommended procedures.
Contact one of the experienced Waco dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Waco and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Central Texas, including Waco, Albany, Anson, Avoca, Baird, Belle Plain, Big Spring, Breckenridge, Buffalo Gap, Clyde, Colorado City, Dyess AFB, Eastland, Eula, Goldsboro, Hamlin, Haskell, Hawley, Hawley - Noodle, Impact, Lawn, Lueders, Maryneal, McCaulley, Merkel, Moran, Nolan, Novice, Nugent, Ovalo, Potosi, Roby, Rotan, Roscoe, Snyder, Stamford, Sweetwater, Trent, Tuscola, Tye, Winters, Wylie and other communities in McLennan County and Jones County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced McLennan County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.