4/25/12 GREAT NEWS: WE SETTLED THIS LAWSUIT IN MEDIATION TODAY AND WE ARE VERY HAPPY WITH THE SETTLEMENT AMOUNT!
(Warning: Photos are graphic.)
Jonesie walks on the very edge of a sidewalk, wakes up screaming some nights and suffers from the effects of post-traumatic stress. You see, on August 1, 2009 Jonesie was attacked by a dog. He received three puncture wounds and a lifetime of psychological scars.
My boys had been passing out flyers in our neighborhood trying to drum up a few spare bucks by mowing lawns, cleaning up leaves and such. When Jonesie ran up to one house a dog popped out from under a bush, chased him, knocked him to the ground and bit him twice. Luckily my middle son got him off or that dog, a 115-lb Chesapeake Bay retriever, would have killed him. No doubt.
How can I be so sure the dog would have killed him? This dog has a lengthy rap sheet. Jonesie was the fourth attack. Yes, I said F-O-U-R-T-H! The first attack was on another dog four years ago. The second was on a trash guy. I’ll just say the man is missing pieces of his body and can no longer have children. The third was an elderly man who was attacked while walking down the street. The owners paid him not to file a report because they were on probation from the previous incident. And the fourth was my 42-lb six year old.
IF ONLY he had filed that report.
Three things: First, I don’t know how the dog was still in its owner’s care after the trash guy incident. Second, on the day that Jonesie was attacked the dog was on a 50 foot chain in front of the house while the owner was inside the house. Third, after Jonesie was bitten the dog’s owner came outside and proceeded to scream at my kids for being on her property. She NEVER attended to Jonesie.
A neighbor who was witness to the entire incident called 911 and rescued my kids from the crazy lady until I could get there from work. Animal control agents seized the dog that day because she was not willing to give up the dog. Animal control agents were not leaving without him. It is bitter sweet to say the dog was put down after 10 days in quarantine. I don’t wish for any dog to be put down under normal circumstances. In this circumstance, the dog’s owners were clearly unfit and the dog was vicious.
I understand being attached to an animal, but when you know you have a dangerous animal (because you are on probation for it) you MUST take precautions to assure that the animal is not in a position to attack again. This woman, who clearly lacked any shred of common sense, did the very opposite. She left her vicious dog unattended on a leash where he had access to get outside every reach of their yard to attack any passer-by on her property or not.
The dog owners were ticketed. Again. On three counts. And their dog was removed from their home that day. We had to take them to court to have medical expenses reimbursed because they refused to pay. They argued in court but I was not giving one penny to the assholes who never once asked if my kid was okay. Who yelled at my kids WHILE my son was bleeding. And never said a word to me. Ever.
In court I was advised to “meet in the middle”, but if you don’t know me by now I am the wrong momma bear to mess with and I was not about to give them one more piece of my son. No way! After being advised that it would behoove them to pay, they agreed to pay. They got off easy.
I am reminded just how easy they got off every time we leave our neighborhood and pass “the house”. Jonesie ALWAYS comments, but that is better than the panic attack that used to ensue. I am reminded when we go for a walk in our neighborhood because he walks on the very edge of the sidewalk. I am reminded when he wakes up screaming in the night, even if he has no memory of waking. And I am reminded every time I open a Sponge Bob Band-Aid or smell Neosporin.
Today Jonesie is making strides although panic and hysteria are never far off.