Friday, February 17, 2012

TV Anchor Bitten On The Face: UPDATE

I'm sure you are aware of the Dogo Argentino that bit the news anchor in the face. The dog was let loose in a park, it fell into icy water and had to be rescued. The dog was then put on TV, and at the end of the newscast, the female reporter put her face into the face of the dog and she was severely bitten. Almost all dog experts said that the footage showed the dog under stress during that interview, and that you don't put your face into the face of any dog you don't know. 

No dog is going to be totally relaxed after a life threatening experience. It takes time, even months, to get over a traumatic experience. 

The dog is going home, but now the owner is being charged with letting his dog run loose illegally (which seems to me to be a fair charge) and for letting his dog bite someone (which is also a fair charge in some ways, and not in others). The dog shouldn't have been allowed to run loose in those circumstances. Regarding the bite, a dog owner is responsible for reading his dog and supervising all contact with others. The TV anchor also provoked the attack by doing what you shouldn't do with a dog, which I think nullifies the part about the owner being responsible. Let's say a drunk driver hits your car, you are thrown from the car and you die in the accident. The drunk driver usually won't be charged for vehicular manslaughter because he can reasonably argue that if you had been wearing your seatbelt, you would have survived the accident. So, yes, the owner of the dog should have taken steps to prevent the dog bite, but this TV anchor also did a stupid thing that provoked the bite. Similarly, if I am walking down the street with my dog and I sense my dog doesn't like you, I will try to increase the space between myself and you. But, if you run over and grab my dog, and my dog bites you, then it was your fault. I had a similar incident years ago. I was sitting on a park bench with my dog, enjoying the sun. A woman came running up behind us, saying "oooh, a DOBERMAN!!!" Next thing I know she has my dog's face cupped in her hands and she's kissing him on the lips!!! She had a Doberman as a kid, and so she saw her dog in mine. She was very fortunate my dog didn't take off her face. I was shocked. 

So, I think this tragedy is now going overboard. This dog and guy have had enough. Charge him for having his dog loose, but he shouldn't be charged for the dog bite.

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