Though many people consider their pets like part of the family, animals can still attack and hurt people or other animals. The most common example is when someone's dog attacks and seriously injures someone, which could lead to a needed premises liability claim. Some residents in certain areas of Texas are complaining that they aren't always told about potentially dangerous dogs that may pose a threat to the public. They want lawmakers to step up efforts to inform the public of the possible risks.
Many cities maintain a registry to document where potentially dangerous dogs live, but only some cities make it accessible online to anyone, while others keep it private or do not have it available to search on the internet. One special interest group found that a third of cities wouldn't share the information, even with an open records request. In Texas, a "dangerous dog" is essentially one that attacks a person, or acts as though it may attack, in a way that causes a physical injury, provided the dog wasn't in an enclosure. Some people worry that not knowing where these dangerous dogs live may put them, their loved ones and their pets at risk.
One woman who lives in a city that doesn't keep a registry claims that her dog was killed by two neighborhood dogs that had a history of aggression. According to her, the dogs were given back to their owner because the owner claimed that no one witnessed the attack. She says one of the dogs was found with dried blood on it shortly after the attack when city representatives caught them. She and others like her worry that their cities aren't doing enough to keep people safe.
No matter what Texas lawmakers decide, this only shows how important it is for people to know their rights in these types of cases. An attack by a dog may warrant a premises liability claim, which could result in monetary damages. These damages could be used to help cover outstanding medical bills or other incurred costs. An attorney with experience in these types of claims can be a valuable ally in these circumstances.