27 June 2016

Who Is At Fault?

by Jan Grape

A judge ruled this week that the six dogs that mauled and killed a woman near Austin, TX this past week will be euthanized.

A thirty-six year old woman was attempting to serve Court papers, on June 15th, at a northern Travis County home when she was attacked by six dogs. The attack resulted in her death.

The woman's family and the dog's owners were present at the hearing.

She didn't deserve to die and these dogs don't have a license to kill, the Judge said in making his ruling.

The Travis County medical examiner's office ruled that the dog's mauling caused the woman's death.

After the judge made his ruling the dog's chief owner said he would appeal the ruling.

No mercy was shown to our daughter so how can we show any mercy to these animals, the woman's parents said in a statement. She was innocent, doing her job. These dogs do not deserve to live. To euthanize them will be a small justice. Also it may prevent them from harming another person.

The dog's owner said his uncle and his wife were chief caretakers for the dogs and claims they are the victims. If she had heeded the warning signs that say, "NO Trespassing." This wouldn't have happened. The caretaker uncle is who found the woman's body.

Texas law states it doesn't matter whether or not a person has a right to be on a property in fatal dog maulings.

Four of the dogs are Labrador mixes and two are Australian cattle mixes. They range from two to six years old.

No word on when the dogs will be euthanized.

This was all taken from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, Saturday, June 25, 2016

Maybe I'm strange but, personally I'm upset with the dog's owners and caretakers. Maybe they should be the ones euthanized. Somehow these owners trained or a least let the dogs understand that anyone who came on the property were to be attacked. I don't think dogs want or even think about harming a human. I suppose we'll never know if the dog owners's actually commanded the animals to "get" the woman.

I'm assuming this case isn't over and probably won't be for some time. I know other state's have laws that hold owners responsible for dog biting, mauling or killing a person. And unless I'm mistaken Texas law is that you must have your dog in your house on inside your fenced yard. The law also states you cannot have or keep your dog chained up.

I'm interested in knowing how my fellow sleuthsayers feel about this so please comment.

8 comments:

Leigh Lundin said...

It does sound as if the owners have at least some culpability and you’re right to be suspicious of the dogs being trained. Even if they weren’t trained to kill, packs of domestic dogs have been known to attack, a fact owners should have been aware of.

Does the victim’s family have any legal standing and grounds for a civil suit?

Eve Fisher said...

I think the owners are culpable. I would also suspect (cynic that I am) that they might have said something a wee bit hostile towards the woman, encouraging the dogs to let rip. And then did nothing...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I'll ever understand Texas law, but something smells wrong here. Like Eve said, the dogs probably took their cues from the owners.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I consider death for the dogs as punishment but more a public safety issue. Once they tasted blood and took a human life, they can't be trusted, just like their pathetic owners. What if a postman or meter reader is next? What if a girl scout selling cookies wanders into the yard?

Elizabeth said...

I watch Judge Judy almost every day. The plaintiffs & defendants come from all over the country. A lot of her cases involve dog attacks. What I get from watching the show is that the important thing isn't whose property the people & dogs are on, but whether or not the dog's owner has control of the dog.

In this case, it sounds as if the owners/caretakers were right there & could have had control. Since they chose not to exercise it, they're guilty of assault, probably manslaughter. JMO.

Herschel Cozine said...

As much as I love dogs, and hate to see them euthanized because of situations such as this, I agree that it is necessary. They did it once, and they can't be trusted. That being said, the owners share the blame and should be dealt with. Leashes, fences, training, signs, (or all of the above). At the very least they should not be allowed to have more dogs. Without more information I cannot speak intelligently on further sanctions: fines, imprisonment. Are the relatives of the victim planning to sue?

Jan Grape said...

Since this is a recent event I'm sure much more will happen. The owners still may be charged. The victims family still may sue. Wheels of justice grind slowly. The whole thing just grabbed at me. The horror the woman went through. The sadness because the dogs would have to be euthanized. How could Labrador mixes and Australian cattle mixes attack and kill? Those seem like benign breeds. I guess the dogs were only defending their yard. And maybe after the first blood pack mentality took over. Were NO TRESPASSING signs enough. Why didn't they have BEWARE OF DOG signs? I guess the dogs have to be put down. I wonder if a human was in the house and did nothing until it was too late? Why didn't she skip the court papers for that day and come back another day with an officer? Was this a house out in the country and no close neighbors? If she was was serving court papers what were they for? Were these people in trouble with the law. So many questions and so few answers. The whole thing just hit me hard and I had to write about it.

Jan Grape said...

And yes I'm cynical about it all too. I don't know if a person was in the house and just let it happen. And we may never know. But I feel strongly the owners must be held accountable. Personally I think Jail time should be in tbe mix and at least big money compensation to the victim's family.