Dog Bites Can Occur When Owners Do Not Obey the Houston Area’s Leash Laws
Interviewer: Where do dog bites or attacks usually occur?
Stephen Boutros: They occur in streets, alleyways, and residential neighborhoods.
Interviewer: What time of day does it happen and who usually is the victim?
Stephen Boutros: The victims are innocent people in the rightful place within their neighborhood. Most of Houston and the surrounding areas have leash laws. Leash laws are put in place as a legal requirement for people to control their animals. But sometimes people walk their dogs freely, without controlling them, without securing them. They become an uncontrolled menace to innocent people within the neighborhood.
Pet Owners Also Have a Responsibility to Secure Their Animals on Their Property
Oftentimes people don’t properly secure their animals within their house or their yard. Animals get loose and people have a legal duty to properly secure their animal within the confines of where it can live, separated from general innocent people within the neighborhood. That’s how the majority of dog bites occur.
The Leash Law Requires Owners to Have Their Animals Secured on a Leash, at All Times
Interviewer: What are some of the particulars for leash laws? Is it that someone who’s walking their dogs, at all time, has to have a leash on the dog? Is that what it is essentially?
Stephen Boutros: Absolutely. You have to have the leash secured on the dog and you have to have a proper grip of the leash. The leash is to control the dog and to limit where it can go.
An Unsecured Dog Is Considered a Menace
It sounds simple but whether it’s laziness or selfishness or people just wanting their dog to have the opportunity to roam freely, whatever it is, if you’re dog isn’t controlled on a leash in public, then he’s a potential danger and menace to innocent people.
What Are the Reasons for Dog Attacks?
Interviewer: Does this happen because the dog is provoked or what’s the reasoning behind it?
Stephen Boutros: Different dogs have been genetically designed throughout history and evolution for different purposes. Dogs have teeth that have been designed for the tearing of flesh and meat. The designs of his teeth are inherently dangerous; they’re designed for tearing flesh.
It Is Thought That Some Breeds Can Be Inherently Dangerous
Some dogs are inherently dangerous breeds. I’ve been handling dog bite cases for seventeen years. Well over fifty percent of the dog bite cases I’ve handled have been attributed to one specific breed, which are pit bulls.
Pit bulls can be inherently dangerous animals. They’re genetically designed to be vicious animals. I believe they are an inherently dangerous animal and it doesn’t matter how you raise it, one day it will comply with its DNA, its instinct and it will viciously attack.
Interviewer: Could it be safe to say that no matter how they were raised, they always have that potential to attack someone?
A Triggering Event Is the Impetus for a Dog Bite
Stephen Boutros: Absolutely. And it’s just a matter of a triggering event. We had a case recently where a young married couple had a pit bull in their home before they had a child. Then they had a child. Babies are on their hands and knees or crawling and the baby crawled near the pit bull’s food after it had been put in to a bowl.
The pit bull viciously attacked this baby. Because it’s a dog and it was just complying with its DNA when it thought that it was being threatened. It thought that its food was being threatened, it attacked viciously.
We see that over and over and over again. Pit bulls aren’t the only vicious dogs, but like I said, they are the most vicious and in my seventeen years of experience, it’s always the same breed, over and over and over again.
It’s often people saying, oh, he was so sweet, he was so nice. Well, no he wasn’t. He was sweet and nice until some triggering mechanism occurred where he showed his true self, again, just complying with his DNA.
Interviewer: What other kinds of breeds usually attack, aside from pit bulls?
Different Breeds Have Been Known to Inflict Bites but Any Breed in Pain or Distress Can Attack
Stephen Boutros: Pit bulls, Rottweiler’s, Australian shepherds, German shepherds, chows are breeds attributed to attacks, as well as Shar Peis.
Interviewer: What about Dobermans?
Stephen Boutros: Maybe it’s because Dobermans aren’t as popular as they once were. But I’ve seen only a couple of Doberman cases in seventeen years. I’ve seen the same number of Doberman cases as I’ve seen Labs.
Labs are sweet dogs, but again, things happen. I had a case involving a Lab a few years ago but this Lab was thirteen years old and was suffering from cancer. The dog was in pain and he was old and he was grumpy. Labs are generally more passive dogs. But if pain and disease and old age are introduced in to a dog, a Lab, it can become grumpy and aggressive, just the same as people.