Thursday, April 15, 2010

$149 Dollars for 100 Stitches

That is the citation fee issued to a woman whose Great Dane shook an 11-yr-old like a rag doll, leaving him with wounds requiring 100-stitches to close.

She plead no contest to keeping a dog in an annoying manner.

I know this is legal lingo, but seriously? Carrying around a healthy little dog is keeping a dog in an annoying manner. A dog who causes 100-stitches in injury is a smidgen more than annoying.

The child has since recovered. He was bitten during a privately funded dog-walk. His own dog had gotten loose and he was chasing after him. At some point, he tripped and fell. He either fell into the dog's gaping maw or fell into the dog, causing him to unleash the hound of hell onto the boy's face.

I do not find a biting dog to be repulsive. Dogs use their teeth in a variety of manners. It is one way in which they communicate. But I do find it discomfiting that the dog did not just bite once and release, thus removing the "threat" - he clamped down and shook. Perhaps, to the dog, his response was appropriate to what he felt was a very, serious threat. Of course to the child...he was lucky the dog's bite didn't kill him. Dogs are generally safe carnivores (or toothy omnivores). It is, to me, surprising they do not bite us more often.

Still, a $0.67 cent/stitch fine seems a little on the low side.


Jennie Bailey said...

You're right, the penalty is on the low side. It should have cost this woman so much more. I'm glad that it cost HER, though, and not the dog. If this was a pit bull, it would be dead. Who knows? It seems that Great Dane bites are on the rise. Perhaps in another decade, Dane owners will be fighting to save their dogs like we fight to save ours.

monkey see said...

I don't think clamping down and shaking necessarily indicates the dog thought the child was especially threatening, I think it may indicate that the dog reacted as if the child was prey.