Plea deal in dog bite case would require euthanasia

Firm News On Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Connecticut dog bite cases, authorities sometimes require that the dog that made the attack be put down because it is too dangerous. In a dog bite case from another state, the decision to euthanize a dog that bit four people during a fight will be up to its owner. Unless he chooses to go to trial, the man will essentially have to decide between prison and euthanizing his dog.

That is one of the stipulations of a plea deal prosecutors have offered to the defendant, 28. Under the terms of the deal, the defendant would get a sentence of probation instead of incarceration, which he could receive at trial. In exchange, he would agree to let the state put down the dog and not own any other animals for as long as his probation runs.

The dog bite attack occurred on Sep. 23. The defendant and another man got into a fight at the defendant’s home after leaving a bar early that morning. As they fought, the defendant’s dog got involved and bit both the defendant and the other man several times. The second man suffered several deep bite wounds in his arm. Two other people at the scene were also bitten. According to authorities, the defendant told his dog to “Get ’em, get em!”

Some circumstances in the case which are in dispute could determine whether the dog should be labeled legally dangerous, which could result in his extermination. The defendant says he asked the victim to leave his house and the man refused, causing the fight. Under the laws of that state, a dog is not legally dangerous if it attacks a person “knowingly trespassing on the property of the animal’s owner” or acting to protect its owner from an assault.

The defendant had not apparently made a decision about the plea offer as of Dec. 10.

Source: MLive, “Bay County pit bull owner faces tough choice: Put dog down or face felony trial,” Cole Waterman, Dec. 10, 2012

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