Im happy to announce that I will be publishing and ebook very soon on defending Dangerous Dog hearings alleging Bodily Injury. This will be an informative guide for lawyers, and owners who cannot afford a lawyer, to defend a dog in court.
This specific ebook will cover only bodily injury allegations. Separate ebooks will cover fear of attack, and serious bodily injury or death. See the introduction below to learn my intention for the ebook as I write and publish this book for a dog’s benefit of a fair trial in court.
Update- I have an ebook to purchase for preparation for a dangerous dog bodily injury case. If your dog is seized for a serious bodily injury case this book is not designed for that hearing. Only bodily injury. I will have a serious bodily injury ebook out soon.
In Texas dog, as other animals, are considered property in the law’s eyes. Although this book is intended to advise the dog owner about dangerous dog hearings alleging bodily injury, it is important to understand how courts and judges tend to characterize animals and specifically dogs. This means no matter how much you love your pet the court system will ultimately look at them as worth only fair market value. That is not much according to Strickland v. Medlen in 2013. The Texas Supreme Court basically says an animal is worth how much money you paid for them. They are not valued by taking any intrinsic monetary value amount into account. In contrast a human would be valued much differently in a court of law.
The Strickland case was not a dangerous dog hearing. It involved the negligent euthanizing of a family pet at the Fort Worth animal shelter. It does illustrate the hesitance to classify animals close to the status of humans in the eyes of the law. Beware of no matter how much you love a dog and treat him or her as a family member, the courts will not.
Fortunately dogs are somewhat protected under Texas law in the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 822. This statute has been added to gradually and probably could stand to be reorganized to be a lot less confusing. It is important to understand that dogs accused of biting or attacking have some legal protection. It is important for a dog owner or their lawyer to understand every single part of the statute and use the limited protections that exist in order to get a fair hearing for the dog.
This book is intended to get information out to dog owners that these dangerous dog hearings are not simple or casual situations. They have lasting and sometimes deadly consequences for the dogs. Many dog owners have contacted me after a hearing that they thought was going to be informal and unimportant. They become extremely distraught when they learn that they were completely unprepared, outnumbered, and now it is past the appeal deadline. The dog never had a chance. I hope this book helps the owner understand they need to seek experienced legal counsel to help their pet. If the owner cannot afford a lawyer, then they need to know how to at least put up a legal fight to save their dog from unnecessarily being deemed dangerous. The consequences of a dangerous dog designation can cause a court to order euthanasia if the requirements are not met.
This book focuses on Dangerous Dog Hearings alleging Bodily Injury. Subsequent books will address Dangerous Dog alleging Fear and Dangerous Dog alleging Serious Bodily Injury. My goal is to inform as many people as possible to take these hearings seriously and fight them. Too many times it is the human’s error not the dog’s fault and the dog ends up paying the ultimate price.
Attorney Eric Torberson